The news of me being selected as a group leader in Mosaic International Leadership Programme 2015 brought much delight but it also meant I had a big task at my hands. Although I was part of Mosaic 2013 as a delegate from Pakistan, I knew the role of group leader brings a lot of responsibility with it.
Mosaic’s ILP candidate selection is very rigorous which means only the best and brightest are selected, these are young and emerging leaders from 18 countries, some already accomplished and others on their way up. I’ve always been a huge fan of Mosaic ILP’s candidate quality. You see such a perfect blend of candidates in ILP coming from diverse backgrounds who are surely not short of innovative ideas or the passion to make a difference in their communities.
One would think that the programme itself may become repetitious with similar workshops and themes but its really not the case. Mosaic’s ILP is designed in a way that every programme has unique theme and workshops, lectures, project visits revolving around this very theme; all this while maintaining its signature structure of leadership training.
A highlight of Mosaic ILP 2015 was Climate Change as one of its themes and there were a few very interesting presentations and project visits focusing on this theme. Global environmental campaigner Rob Swan inspired the delegates with his wonderful journey for climate change.
Similarly, environmental campaigner and adviser to HRH The Prince of Wales Tony Juniper’s presentation and talk was thought provoking and inspiring at the same time. A project visit to Queen Rania Center for the Environment in Amman was also a hit among the delegates, many of which said this visit inspired them to include similar projects in their action plans for the following year.
Talking about action plans, this is one of the most interesting features of Mosaic ILP. Each delegate develops his/her own action plan for the year following the summit in a particular area of interest. The workshops, project visits, lectures and group sessions are all tools for the delegates to get inspired, brainstorm and try to look within to look for topics that are close to their hearts.
The end product of this two-week intensive process is an action plan that the delegate takes home with a commitment to follow through it. The group leaders help these young people steer themselves to a focused approach and maximize their learning from the programme.
Each delegate is assigned a mentor at the end of programme who helps him or her in the following year to realize their action plans and provide help whenever they need.
All this, in my opinion makes Mosaic quite unique, its not just another two-week conference, a group retreat or a series of boring lectures, it is an ongoing process whose effects are multiplying with every summit.
The Mosaic network is ever growing with successful community projects spread over many countries. From Indonesia to Turkey and Pakistan to UAE, Egypt and Algeria, Mosaic Alumni have made their presence felt in the development world with innovative ideas and leadership skills.
In my observation of Mosaic 2015 delegates, I’ve noticed a substantial improvement in the quality of young leaders who were selected. What really inspired me was that these delegates know their facts, they know what the ground realities are and there was a excellent clarity of vision as far as their future plans were concerned. Its been 4 months since the ILP 2015 ended and we have already begun to see successful community projects by the delegates.
Mosaic ILP Alumni making waves
I would like to mention two examples here of Mosaic Alumni from 2015 who are already making waves with their work whose enthusiasm and passion inspired delegates and group leaders alike.
Haneen Shaheen was a delegate from Egypt who is working on a project to support underprivileged entrepreneurs with green and environmental project ideas by trainings, counselling and seed funds to start their projects.
Another delegate, Imran Nawaz Khurshid from Bangladesh whom I had the pleasure of being group leader of, was a personal favorite. Imran who is currently pursuing a fellowship at Atlas Corps fellow specializes in soft skills development of youth. He found Mind Mechanics which aims to provide the above mentioned skills to youth of Bangladesh.
There are many more who continue to inspire us with their passion and innovation and I wish I could mention more of them.
It’d be very unfair if I don’t mention Carole Spiers here whose unique presentation and group session inspired delegates and group leaders alike. I’ll strongly recommend reading her articles and blogs, you’ll never think of presentations skills, body language and communication the same way again.
Looking back at the Mosaic ILP 2015, I feel that its not only the delegates who benefit from the programme, the group leaders also get a chance to build on their learning and experience for personal and collective development.
Personally I think of Mosaic as a self-sustaining life long network that multiplies every year. With a never-ending stream of ideas and innovative concepts, one can bank on it for lessons and inspirations.