Featured image for “How can you Influence Leaders with Chaotic Minds?”

How can you Influence Leaders with Chaotic Minds?

June 12, 2024
The GELI courses I teach are full of conversations that really challenge the assumptions behind my thinking. One recent example was a frustrated UN leader asking, ‘how do I try to influence a minister who is both more expert than me in the topic, in this case education, and has a chaotic mind?’ Think Donald Trump, but with added expertise.
Read more >>
Featured image for “My Last Day at Oxfam, but not on the Blog”

My Last Day at Oxfam, but not on the Blog

April 30, 2024
This is my last day at Oxfam. Pause for mass sobbing….. But when I explained my plans to keep blogging in some form, including on whatever post-Dexit FP2P emerges, a colleague accused me of resembling some kind of ageing rocker who keeps announcing his retirement, only to reappear within months. It’s quite common, apparently. Seems that bands like Mötley Crüe
Read more >>
Featured image for “The last Development Nutshell! 26 minutes of reflection on my 20 years at Oxfam, which are coming to an end next week”

The last Development Nutshell! 26 minutes of reflection on my 20 years at Oxfam, which are coming to an end next week

April 27, 2024
No excerpt
Read more >>
Featured image for “Learning from Humiliation, Shame and Failure”

Learning from Humiliation, Shame and Failure

April 25, 2024
The photo I dug up for Tuesday’s post of me wandering about in rainswept paddyfields in Vietnam got me thinking about a recurrent theme of the last 20 years at Oxfam (and earlier jobs too): the role of personal humiliation, shame and failure in learning. First the Vietnam example. I went there full of the 2005 hubris I described earlier.
Read more >>
Featured image for “Some Reflections on Leaving Oxfam after 20 years”

Some Reflections on Leaving Oxfam after 20 years

April 23, 2024
To prepare for leaving a job I have loved, first as head of research, then as strategic adviser, I have been re-reading a work diary I kept from my arrival in 2004 until about 2010 (when it fizzled out). It helps bring back those early days, and prevents rewriting my experiences, whether for good or bad, with the benefits of
Read more >>
Featured image for “A (tough) love letter to the Open Movement”

A (tough) love letter to the Open Movement

March 27, 2024
Guest post from Warren Krafchik and Peter Evans The ‘Open Movement’ is 20 years old. This reflection is written with love – one of us was deeply involved from the start, the other a fellow traveller looking from the sidelines. Tough love from firm friends, if you will. As we wrote, the think piece got bouncier and longer as it
Read more >>
Featured image for “RIP Father Frans von Hoff – the co-founder of the Fairtrade Movement”

RIP Father Frans von Hoff – the co-founder of the Fairtrade Movement

March 11, 2024
Guest post from Kelly Hawrylyshyn, Head of Global Resource Mobilization at Fairtrade International; and Harriet Lamb (CEO WRAP, former CEO of Fairtrade International & Fairtrade Foundation UK) On February 13th, the Fair Trade movement mourned the passing away of the liberation-theology worker-priest,  Father Frans von der Hoff,  the co-founder of a global movement that now generates over €8 billion in
Read more >>
Featured image for “GELI Stories – How to get Early Childhood Development into the SDGs (with a bit of help from Shakira)”

GELI Stories – How to get Early Childhood Development into the SDGs (with a bit of help from Shakira)

March 6, 2024
In the fourth of this series of podcasts with UN and other aid leaders making change happen on the frontline, I talked to UNICEF’s Pia Britto about how she and a group of colleagues managed to include Early Childhood Development in the SDGs.  Firoz Lalji Institute for Africa · GELI Stories – Pia Brito on getting Early Childhood Development into
Read more >>
Featured image for “Development Nutshell, (30m). Audio roundup of February blogs on From Poverty to Power”

Development Nutshell, (30m). Audio roundup of February blogs on From Poverty to Power

March 2, 2024
GELI Stories: –          Building Coalitions between UN Agencies and Government Ministries in Eswatini –          Working in closed and informal political spaces like Eritrea  4 posts on future of UK Aid under Labour: –          Two from Andy Sumner of Kings –          Options for UK Aid: DFID survivor
Read more >>
Featured image for “GELI Stories – How to influence in closed Political Systems like Eritrea”

GELI Stories – How to influence in closed Political Systems like Eritrea

March 1, 2024
In the third of this series of podcasts with UN and other aid leaders making change happen on the frontline, I talked to OCHA’s Vincent Omuga about the challenges of working in closed and informal political spaces like Eritrea (although I think his experiences are probably much more widely applicable) Firoz Lalji Institute for Africa · GELI Stories – Vincent
Read more >>
Featured image for “Development Nutshell, bumper edition (28m). Audio roundup of (selected) January/February blogs on From Poverty to Power”

Development Nutshell, bumper edition (28m). Audio roundup of (selected) January/February blogs on From Poverty to Power

February 17, 2024
How Blogs can Change Government Policy Six big humanitarian policy trends for 2024 What are the Grounds for Hope in a World of Wrecks? The Rise of ‘Trust-Based Philanthropy’ – aka Unconditional Cash Transfers to NGOs Is Poverty Porn a thing of the past? Yes and No
Read more >>
Featured image for “GELI Stories – Seizing a Chance Meeting with Iran’s President to Unblock Food Shipments”

GELI Stories – Seizing a Chance Meeting with Iran’s President to Unblock Food Shipments

February 13, 2024
One of the best things about the course I give on ‘Influencing for Senior Leaders: Analysis, Strategy, and Practice’ is the anecdotes from the participants, who are working in the most difficult of circumstances and often achieve amazing results. So recently I started recording some of them to come up with a series of ‘GELI Stories’ (GELI is the name
Read more >>