Saturday, July 17, 2010

"The English Reflections" by Guest Blogger – Wulan Palupi, Indonesia

Wulun has been working as a journalist in Indonesian national newspaper and is now head of International Desk and had been covering economic issues.

I don't know why I come up with this title; it just came across my mind. I am so grateful that I have been given this wonderful opportunity to be here, in the middle of inspiring and talented people. No bullshit, this isn't just a meaningless nice thing that I would like to say. Its substantial.

Being here, in Mosaic International Summit in Cambridge University, one of the best University in the world, with such an energetic and full of energy young people, just really mesmerize me. I feel like all these years I've been throwing away such great opportunities been given to me by not doing my best. And I don't want that to happen again. I remember that I wrote some similar stuff when I was in Japan for scholarship, almost seven years ago writing this sort of reflection. Now I question myself as if I becoming a better person since then?

I'm sorry that this piece of my thought is a little bit emotional and not come out with a good organization. Seeing my new friends here, listening to such an inspiring journey from the speakers sometime almost makes me cry. These people are brave, enthusiastic and believe in their heart that they can make a change. Not all of them have been privileged to do something. They all face many stumbling blocks, I believe they all have some shortcomings in some aspects. But it doesn't stop them to contribute something. Their boldness makes everything possible.

We need those young people with positive thinking, energy, willingness and persistency to take action for their community. This doesn't really mean to be a big shot, it might be small but it can inspire people to do the same, even better. I hope this flame inside our heart doesn’t fade away quickly. I hope it will increase bigger and bigger so that will bring warmth to more people.

Mosaic Summit and the people involved here, my fellow delegates from 18 countries, has taught me an important lesson, something that might be new, but sometime we forget. We all are here in this world for a reason, everyone have a portion to color their life, to make it fruit full to themselves, their surrounding and to the mankind. With all my heart, thank you once again for such a wonderful experience.

Connecting the Dots – Round Up Day 4 and 5

Poverty had been the worst of ills that surrounds us; more than 1.6 billion below poverty line. This further triggers several issues. As put by Habib Malik from Islamic relief, big 5 issues that needs quick intervention includes, hunger, Disease, Death, Health, Livelihood.

Dr. Hani Taha the founder of Islamic relief was a hilarious inspiration. The work he has done and the achievements he had are simply commendable. All about him can be summarized in his concept of FAT KISS. F = Fund Raise, A = Advocate, T = Train, K = Knowledgebase, I = Innovative, S = Sustainability, S = Solution.

Mike hardy, Anjum Anwar and Chris Chivers gave absolutely magnificent talks inculcating a sense of accommodating others and having a meaningful dialogue to resolve issues. In the end, I would simply quote Jonathan, “The one who would be a leader, must be a bridge”.

“Colors of Mosaic” by Guest Blogger – Memoona Sajjad Pakistan

Memoona graduated with a major in English Literature and International relations. She is currently teaching and working as a freelance writer. Her first book "Us versus Them and Beyond" was released in March 2010.

It is amazing how effortlessly the connections at Mosaic materialized. It is as if we have known each other for years... It just shows that while our diversity adds the colour, at the core we share common values emerging from the Unity that is so central to Islam. The way we have all been gelled together with all our uniqueness, individualism and cultural diversity, only goes to illustrate how we can create a beautiful 'mosaic' full of the colours of humanity by knowing ourselves and respecting others as they are. The beautiful and intricate painting that materialized as we all worked on our tiny bits of paper is a powerful symbol indeed. It is a metaphor of the potential of collective human endeavour and how every individual adds his unique colour to create the Mosaic that is the human family.

I would also like to share an amazing project called "The Story of Stuff". The mission of the project is to mission is to build a strong, diverse, decentralized, cross-sector movement to transform systems of production and consumption to serve ecological sustainability and social wellbeing. Our goals are to amplify public discourse on a diverse set of sustainability issues and to facilitate the growing Story of Stuff community’s involvement in strategic efforts to build a more sustainable and just world.

You can check out a cool video here on The Story of Stuff.

“Feeding Mind and Spirit” by Guest Blogger – Lina Gomaa Egypt

Lina is a language instructor teaching Arabic to students at Beloit College in Wisconsin. She holds a degree in creative writing from Beloit College as well and was a part of successful inaugural session of mosaic summer school in 2009.

When I was 12, I always imagined myself teaching students in a classroom. I even had a white board where I spent hours teaching imaginary students. Many years later, teaching became my profession where one has to lead the education journey of others. I enjoy teaching and giving to others the knoweldge I have gained. However, if I want to lead my class properly, I should also feed my mind and my spirit; this is where attending Mosaic summit became very important for me. The summit is a recharge to leaders where they can reenergize themselves in their various fields. Personally, seeing successful leaders talking to me and the audience, exposes me to different role models; I am given the chance to talk and sit with them; thinking one day, I will be like them too!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Flow Begins – Round Up Day 2 and 3

“Coaching is unlocking a person’s potential in order to maximize their performance. It is about helping them to learn, rather than teaching them.”

Certainly, Professor Bina Kandola and Stuart Duff holds the capability to unlock a person’s potential. Stuart lead the sessions amazingly and a single most important message he gave to be a good leader was to stay ALERT. ALERT is the set of characteristics / habits that includes Awareness, Learns, Enables, Resilient, True. Together they make a leader ALERT. Exercises in coaching and self coaching were simply impactful. Within few hours we were ready to GROW. Again GROW represents the phases in coaching that includes Goal, Reality, Opportunity and Will. After these sessions you feel like being on The Leadership Journey.

Will Day’s speech on sustainability was magnificent. It was a real MIND OPENER. Haven’t heard so well before of all the apparent issues that we as a global citizens are facing, the way they all are inter connected and their negative impact. Issues like food, land grab, population, rising temperature, maternal health, child health, poverty, energy are amongst the few what we are facing today.

Few interesting global findings he shared includes, 1) More you are rich, less religious you are, 2) There is strong link between health and positive and negative growth, 3) Population growth is way quicker in poorer parts of the world, 4) Climate change could force 1 billion from their homes by 2050, 5) US military is one of the biggest consumer of oil on the globe and they have warned massive shortages by 2015, 6) British Petroleum says that for every 9 barrels f oil we consume, we are only discovering one.

I am sure bells must have started ringing in your minds by now. It’s a matter of concern and we as a globally responsive citizens holds the responsibility to address these issues.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Vision Pakistan

Hi Folks. I have been asked to put up the movie that you saw on Pakistan Artisans for a quick link. Here you go. Cultural Classics.

Here is another link to a brief movie on Pakistan suggested by Memona. Pakistan.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Followers of the Lone NUT

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!' - Goethe

We have had a chance to discuss different types of leaderships. Leadership types are characterized by different set of situations. Few of our collective brain storming outputs include,

Behavioral Leadership

Situational Leadership

Charismatic Leadership

Action Leadership

Thought Leadership,

Democratic Leadership

AND Accidental Leadership - Thanks to Rizwan Ahmad to coin it :)

But then again Followers play an important role in leadership and defining a leader. As Derek Sivers say, first follower is an under-appreciated form of leadership. The first follower transforms a lone nut into a leader. As they say, picture is worth a thousand words, so is movie worth a million words. I would like to connect to a movie and the article by Derek Sivers where he shows a video of a dancing guy who spark up the followers.

The Appetizer – Round Up Day 1

A great start to an invaluable learning. Stuart Liang’s (Deputy Vice Chancellor Cambridge, Master of Corpus Christi) welcome address simply built the connection between the ambience and the spirit of leadership. Followed by Farah Pandith’s story of defining priorities and values and pursuing passion was quite commendable. Sir Fazl-e-Hassan Abed is a great success story in the social sector. Challenging the status quo and being the mad man to invest GBP 8000 pounds in BRAC after selling his house could only sound insane. But that insanity turned into the world’s largest NGO working globally. Last but not the least, John O'Brian. He opened up the summer school with some really meaningful thoughts and expressions. How does one defines a leadership - through character, knowledge and role. A good foundation definition that is certainly meant to expand in the remaining summer school.

And I never thought that I would revert back to painting after so many years. And while painting, I discovered my hidden interest towards playing with colors and using them as a way of expression. But even more interesting was the fact that a small little contribution by everyone resulted into a beautiful Mosaic in the end. A lot of thoughts – floating on the exosphere of the brain.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Passion - Reloaded

People do their best at things they truly enjoy - their passion. Since we have all been talking about passions while exploring our inner strengths, I thought to share an old blog I wrote couple of months back.

Please check it out at Entrepreneurship 3.0

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Wow! Thats Interesting.

Monday mornings often start slow. Here's a way of Fighting the Monday Morning Blues. Would like to share an interesting strategy that I read sometimes back.

Strategy: Remember the story of the little girl whose reaction taught David a big lesson?

David was taking a walk when he noticed a helium balloon in a happy 3 year old girl's hand. A sudden sharp gust of wind took the balloon from the girl and David braced himself for lots of crying and wailing.

But, as the girl saw the balloon flying up, she gleefully said 'Wow!' Later that day, David got a call with an unexpected problem and just as he was about to say 'Oh no!', he remembered the little girl and said 'Wow! That's interesting. How can I help?'

Life's going to keep us off balance by throwing unexpected problems. We can choose, however, to be frustrated or fascinated!

“May The Octopus Live Long” – Spain

Watching the final at Clare conference hall with fellow delegates was a treat.

With all its flurry and noise, the FIFA 2010 comes to an end. Latin America over powered the pre-quarter finals and Europeans smashed them apart in quarter finals. An event full of surprises and upsets. Africa made the event delightful indeed. Waving Flag was much better song than waka waka. And the best amongst the lot emerged as the winners. Though it’s a collective team effort, I must say Iker Casillas stole the show over all. He must be having goose bumps never seen before while holding the trophy with the chest wide open. Well done Spain.

The biggest shock was for Maradona, which he is still trying to overcome. He along with his team refused the presidential reception, simply because they didn’t do something worthy of it. Others fire their coaches or retire their coaches who don’t perform well. Maradona is being insisted to carry on by the Argentinean president. The legends are loved forever.

Deigo Forlan was definitely the right pick for the best player of the world cup. He rightly deserves the golden ball. Single handedly, taking Uruguay to the semis troubling and scaring teams like Netherland and Germany is definitely commendable.

Anyways, its joy for few and tears for others. That’s how the life is in this beautiful game of nerves and strategy. Nothing worked in Africa, but OCTOPUS - for bookies!

Confucius Calls You !!!

It’s a peaceful campus. Silent and Contemplative. Just like Confucius. Calling you to get involved in a similar spirit. Think and reflect. Reflect and correct. Correct and adapt. Adapt and pass on. Confucius at Clare College Cambridge greets you. Its scenic beauty attracts you. The weather is simply awesome. Though a little hot for few but definitely wonderful for those coming in from 47 degree Celsius. The ambience is just superb.

While you arrive at Porter’s Lodge at Memorial Court, wonderful old trees welcome you onboard. Guest registration desk guides you to your suites. Old buildings with comfortable suites awaits you- a study room, bedroom and washroom all together. You drop your luggage, take a quick shower and move out to grab your information pack. At one corner Mr. Confucius stares at you. As you move outside the memorial Court, in front you will find the botanical gardens, the Great Hall for dining, a small canal and some big old cows grazing :)

“What the superior man seeks in himself is what the small man seeks in others.” - Confucius

Thats the Confucius way of saying, not to compete against others but to compete against yourself.

Discovering The Power of Network

It’s great. It’s amazing. As soon as you join a network, a world opens up for you. All of a sudden out of nowhere you end up meeting different people connected under a common umbrella called: The Network. People derive inspiration, bring forward plethora of information and open up the way you think and conceive.

The Mosaic Netork brought forward a similar binding. Strangers, all of a sudden turned connections. Right from the Lahore Airport I met Adil and Memoona, next my old buddy Afzal at Abu Dhabi Airport who coincidently turned out to be a part of Mosaic. And just before stepping out of the plane I happened to bump into Salman, Tabinda and Rizwan. By the time we collected our baggage and stepped out of Heathrow Palwasha was there and that completed the group from Pakistan. Before heading to Cambridge, Ahmad and Afrah from Bahrain joined in as well. Stepping into Clare College Cambridge, Aarij, Lina, Betul, Zara and Sharif from Pakistan, Egypt, Turkey, UK and Oman were ready to greet. And the story goes on. Fourteen plus new acquaintances, yet to gel in a strong bond over the next few days, all within less than 24 hours.

"Always pay it forward and never forget to pay it back. It's how you got here and it defines where you are going". - Brian Solis.

That’s the power of network !!!

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Summer School on Leadership

Mosaic summit will be bringing 80 leaders from around the globe to take part in an interesting and unique program commissioned to develop a momentum for positive change. Built to form a cavalry that can further create beacons of hope in their respective communities, is simply an initiative worth pursuing; both for organizers and the delegates.

What comes ahead during the summer school is still unknown, though the agenda has been shared. But the program has more to do with practicality and experience rather than static information. None the less, the momentum has already started building. The choice of location has its own traction. Clare College Cambridge has a history dating back to 1326 and is the second oldest of Cambridge’s 31 colleges. The diverse group about to be together for 2 weeks holds a unique karama. Thread of email exchanges and quick intros are simply energizing. The enthusiasm, anxiety, dreams, support, sharing have all started converging towards the same path: translating the power of positive thinking.

I will end with an interesting answer to a question I read recently.

What will you do if one day the whole world will be on one side and you on the opposite? Simple just turn back and you will be the leader of the whole world. Work smart. Stay Positive ;)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Mosaic Art - Philosophical Significance

Mosaic is a combination of small colorful pieces of glass, stone, marble or ceramic joined together to form bigger tiles – a unified whole. A form of art that is usually used for interior d├ęcor is often a symbol of cultural significance since ages. Mosaic art has a history dating back to 1500 BC and picked up in Islamic world during the time of Ummayyad Dynasty.

This colorful multicolored square / cube shaped tiles gives a unique message of harmony, coexistence, interdependency and totality. Smaller tiles gel in together to create a bigger tile that dictates beautiful pattern and sequence and secure attention while alone they are nothing. An important aspect is the placement of small blocks to develop a meaningful pattern. If out of place, the mosaic loses its significance. While you closely observe the art, it directly correlates to the aspects of leadership, teams and outcomes of collective action; the power of a unified whole.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Mosaic Netwrok

Mosaic was founded by HRH The Prince of Wales in 2007 with an aim to develop and groom young muslim leaders from around the globe who can further contributes towards bringing a positive change in the society.

Mosaic works towards a more integrated and thriving society where all individuals, regardless of background, are supported in realizing their potential.

The Prince of Wales has set the objectives for Mosaic simple and straight: to extend a helping hand to those members of our Muslim communities who need it, and together with our other diverse communities, about whom I happen to care a great deal.

To achieve this, Mosaic aims to:
- Increase education opportunities for those who do not have them
- Increase opportunities for understanding between people of different backgrounds

Mosaic operates in the U.K as a set of initiatives championed by Muslims aimed at raising aspirations and providing opportunities. Internationally Mosaic reaches into 17 countries via an emerging leaders development programme and opportunities for established leaders to gain insights into key social and environmental issues. Mosaic is also now being established in Bahrain, Qatar & U.A.E by individuals and organisations who have embraced the principles developed within the U.K. under His Royal Highnesses leadership.

For more details, please visit Mosaic website.