Sunday, October 30, 2011

MOSAIC 101 – How To Get The Best Out Of The Summit

I can imagine the excitement amongst the delegates gearing up for the Summit just 2 weeks away in Qatar. A lot of you must be having goose bumps imagining about the summit and the rest would be chilled while waiting to see what happens. Well I must say whatever happens, will be one of the most exhilarating time you would have ever spent. But, having said that, there is a way you can even proliferate the fun. And the core rule for that is, “Be Proactive”. 

I just finished the entire round of introduction with my group, what a pleasure to know so many enthusiasts with such diversity. While having this first level introduction I came across quite a few questions and thought to write this post to share some experiences from 2010 and help you all get the best out of the time you will spend during the summit. 

1. Be Proactive – As I said, you can get the best out of the summit if you are proactive. You need something, ask it. You have a question, ask it. You want to connect to someone, ask it. You want some information, ask it. You want some help, ask it. You are not feeling good or facing any challenges, tell your group lead. Being proactive will help you being most effective during the summit. This is the golden rule and rest is all a derivation. 

2. Know Your Group Members Early – Earliest the better. You will be closely working with your group during the 10 days spent together. It’s always better to know them as early as possible. By now, your group leads would have gotten in touch with you and you have a fair chance to introduce yourself. Use this opportunity as an ice breaker. Introduce yourself fairly and share as much as you can so that rest of the group members is able to connect to you. Extracurricular details like, interests, hobbies, and past experiences help identify synergy easily. 

3. Be Receptive – You will be meeting with almost 100 different people in 10 days. On average knowing 10 persons a day. This can be overwhelming but it’s a great chance to network. You may not be able to spend much time with everyone, but try to talk to most of them. Get to know about them a little, share contacts and don’t forget to follow up. There is a great probability that you have a home and a host in 17 different countries by the end of a summit :)

4. Be Punctual – The sheer pace of the summit can put you on the back foot. Be very cautious about time keeping and being punctual. Your slight delays can make you miss out some wonderful opportunities to listen and connect to some wonderful people. I am sure you don’t want to be in that situation. Best thing is to be on time during all the sessions given in the agenda. And least to say, being punctual is the first step towards leadership. 

5. Cram the Agenda – You will be given the program time table and a pack of file when you arrive and register at the summit. Make sure you get some time to look at all the details and mark your game plan. All the sessions are very important, do not miss them. Mark those that are of your interest and if possible explore and think about them a bit before time. This will help you connect a lot of dots. 

6. Participate and DO NOT SHY away – You will be listening to a lot of different speakers and will be going through some workshops and activities. You MUST participate and interact. Remember, we all are here to learn and do not shy away asking any tempting questions or sharing your views. It’s a collaborative place and everybody who participates is respected. And this is one good chance to overcome your fears and shyness. 

7. Make Notes – You will be receiving bits and pieces of very unique learning’s that is worth noting. There is so much going on that its always good to write notes and probably jot down the pointers that you can later reflect upon and connect with. I am sure you will have a list of lessons and learning’s that you would like to keep as your guiding principles in future. So don’t miss out, keep your pen and paper handy. 

8. Leadership – The main theme is leadership and you must all be excited to learn some leadership lessons. But honestly, half of your learning’s will be your actions and experiences during the summit; how you respond to various situations, how you deal with your peers, how you react to various scenarios. So be self critical, and reflect on your daily actions and outcomes. Where you did well, where you did not and how you can improve. Don’t forget, you are all a part of a bigger Mosaic, so play your role well. 

9. Don’t Panic - There is so much happening in a day that most of you may not be used to. Don’t panic, rather take it as a challenge and try to participate as much as you can. In case you miss out anything unfortunately, just move on. Being IN is the name of the game. 

10. ………………………………………………. 

Well I have left that empty for my peers to fill in :) Come on Mosaicers 2010, I am sure you would like to contribute some Suggestions from your wonderful experiences during the summit last year. Delegates from 2011 are waiting to hear some real time experiences; I just collected some of my thoughts, please add yours. Its a good time to reminisce as well :)


  1. 10. There is a five-minute each talking time given to delegates most of the days, after the main proceedings are over. This is your opportunity to share, connect, reach out and speak out all that you ever wanted to say_ about your work, your inspiration, about an issue you feel strongly about, or about life and the world. Plan these precious five minutes well ahead of time. You may wish to make slides/visual presentations etc to have greater impact. Make a statement!

  2. 11. Make the best of the time you may get between events, on free evenings etc to mingle with fellow delegates, and spend some quality time getting to know their work, sharing ideas, concerns etc. Listen well, understand deep, and value the diversity around you. It is an opportunity of a lifetime.

  3. I love this! very true and indeed very helpful...i have shared this link with my group members and i hope they go through it too... i agree with all but most especially the making notes helped me alot..i used to make notes whenever we had a talk, group discussions and site touring...i wrote a summary on the summit then and whenever i read it, i feel like it was just yesterday :) thanks for this Jameel, and see you soon INSHAALLAH..

  4. Engage in Dialogue - Exercise Critical Thinking

    As a learning process, the summit will offers you discussion and talks by prominent speakers. A good indicator of a successful learning process is when the learner comes out from the summit with new insights and way of thinking that wasn't exist before. This can be effectively achieved if we engage ourselves in dialogue, dialogue will produce a new thinking (synthesis) when two thoughts collide and interact (thesis and antithesis). So, ask questions and make sure its a critical one, challenge the dominant discourse and old ways of thinking. It's the only way to move ourselves forward to a new horizon of seeing and understanding reality. Being critical and engaging ourselves in dialogue might feels like a rollecoaster sometimes, but the experience and the result is always rewarding. Be bold, critical, daring and of course have some fun!