A conference in Kiev

by Adrian

The local lore claims that St Andrew planted a stick in the ground on this hillside and declared that one day a city would grow here. Kiev is the result, and St Andrew’s church is built on the spot. The location of the annual event I just ran was directly across from here, and large enough to accommodate the 330 participants, in what was a combination of learning through play, team building and information exchange. All went well thanks to the tremendous help from the client team on the spot!

8th International Risk Assessment and Horizon Scanning Symposium

by Adrian

The International Risk Assessment and Horizon Scanning Symposium (IRAHSS) in Singapore is always a highpoint in the agenda for those trying to make sense of the future. Once again a super line-up, with some extremely interesting insights, ranging from the impact of technologies that are currently just below the horizon, through the hidden impact of migration and the state of (de)globalisation.

My only caveat, the dominance of (mostly male) speakers from the developed Eurasian and North American countries. Thanks to the whole team!


La migration à la Corne d’Afrique


Je viens de rentrer de Djibouti, ou j’ai animé l’atelier de cadrage pour la deuxième phase du projet Better Migration Management de l’Union Européenne. Etant un part essentiel du Khartoum Process, le programme vise à l’amélioration de la gestion des réfugiées dans la région, et notamment de soutenir les personnes dans le besoin et de lutter contre la traite des êtres humains.

C’est toujours très inspirant de travailler avec une multitude des experts et d’avoir, dans la même salle, des policiers, des activistes, des organisations de la société civile et de la coopération internationale, des délégués des ministères et des chefs des gouvernements locaux.

Ce que je n’avais pas su avant : C’est que 80% de la migration en Afrique est de la migration interne, c’est-à-dire que juste 20% des migrants africains s’orientent vers l’étranger, alors l’UE, mais aussi vers l’Arabie Saoudite. Pour Djibouti il est devenu claire ce qu’il faut supporter les supporteurs des migrants dans le besoin, mais aussi la population locale dans les zones éloignés, qui, aussi, nécessite de l’infrastructure de base comme des points d’eau. Et, bien sûr, a priori il fallait un changement dans les relations économiques vis-à-vis l’Afrique.

Union for the Mediterreanean Business Forum in Cairo

by Adrian

It was a pleasure to return again to Cairo, and to have the chance to work with my dear friend to co-moderate the ‘s first “Business Forum”. The speakers and organisers were excellent, and a real highlight for me (perhaps also as I could just relax and listen to that bit of the session as Leena moderated 😉) was to hear how entrepreneurs in the East and South of the Mediterranean are using e-commerce to beat entirely new paths to trade (and more). Certainly my congratulations to Roula Moussa, who now runs two super interesting ventures!

Golden Tourism?

by Adrian and Jonathan

We just ran a 2-day event for GIZ in Kachreti, Georgia, where participants from all 3 Southern Caucuses countries developed sustainable cross-border touristic products. Gold was a theme, as we

    1. Learnt of a trove of archaeological findings showing the region as a cradle of civilisation which then gave rise to the golden fleece myth;
    2. Discussed the Midas touch: bringing tourists to unspoilt villages, makes them richer. But some use the money to build concrete horrors…
    3. Realised that the boom of tourists from Germany is driven by the golden agers (retirees), and there is a need to reach other target groups;
    4. Enjoyed dinner in a super restaurant and winery in Sighnagi, named after the owner Okro(shvili). And guess what, Okro means gold…
    5. Had fantastic participants from the region and beyond (e.g. Albania, Germany, USA), whose contributions were worth their weight in gold!

Role-Playing Competitors

by Adrian

Just been helping a client to role-play a major competitor, and consequently refine their strategy.  A number of interesting insights emerged – a combination of bringing many perspectives together, and breathing life into the business intelligence already gathered.

Particularly of note though, was that the existing strategy (which we already developed with the client two years back) remained valid in most parts, so this served to ensure the strategy remained a living process.

Half-virtual workshop: It works!

by Adrian

Just completed a two-day workshop which involved distance participation from Kabul. The technology worked really well on day one, and even in a highly-interactive workshop format (no powerpoints, no presentations, only joint work on pin-boards) they were really well involved (at one point, we were all standing, and so were they in front of the TV screen, which (as it was integrated right next to the pin-board) gave the feeling we were all in one room.

Sadly on day 2 the technology failed miserably – so the lesson is: still be present if you can, but we are getting there with distance participation!