Since 2003, GVI has undertaken dozens of activities. These have encompassed coaching workshops, retreats, brown bag lunches, panels, visionary conversations with UN system leaders, and facilitated sessions, as well as informal social gatherings.
Among the topics covered have been politics at the UN, being a world citizen, promoting peace and human security, UN reform, leadership, communications, change management, sustainable development, indicators, human rights, and cultures for creating shift. All activities emphasize connecting our professional lives in the international community with our personal values and collective ideals, and making concrete action commitments towards change.
Some key thematic highlights that GVI will be taking forward are:
- Collaboration, complexity and systems: GVI Visionary Conversation January 2010 with Dr. Monica Sharma – Director, Leadership and Capacity Development, UN Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States. In outlining her vision for a values-driven international system, Dr. Sharma noted the strategic importance of creating networks and partnerships in every sector – development partners, government, business and civil society- that solve problems, shift systems and source “wisdom” and values.
- Empowering oneself in an environment of change- know oneself and one’s values: GVI Workshop “Optimizing Opportunity in a Changing Environment” October 2010. Facilitators Craig Coble and MaryJane Bullen stressed that, in navigating change, it was critical to know your values, beliefs and life mission, since values allow you to take a stand.
- Global governance – human rights culture: Panel on “Towards a Culture of Human Rights: Taking Ownership” September 2008. Panel participants from the diplomatic corps, UN, UN University and civil society outlined a vision of an international system fully reflective of human rights, and personal actions towards that end. This including recognizing the UN as a values-based, not neutral, arena; breaking down the walls between security, development and human rights; acknowledging collective rights and the equal footing of economic, social and cultural rights; overcoming the dominance of national interest; freer participation of NGOs; and that all actors have a role, including persons working in the international system, who should fully read and absorb the UN Charter and UDHR.
- UN/International system culture – actions for change: GVI Visionary Conversation December 2009 with Kishore Mandhyan, Deputy Director, Political, Peacekeeping and Humanitarian Affairs, Executive Office of the United Nations Secretary- General: In terms of options for the way forward, Mr. Mandhyan stressed that change does not begin with the Secretary-General or an institutional mechanism but with oneself. He suggested that titles, the ornamentations of power and technological trappings should be minimized, while promoting active listening and integrity, expressed through respect for colleagues and common sense accommodation of their needs, e.g. breastfeeding breaks for new mothers. It was felt that the UN was a microcosm of the world, which made it more imperative to “do it right”.
For the full archive of GVI past activities, click here.