Greetings from Kenya!
I arrived last week after an invigorating week in Ghana where I observed our trainers Aryeh Shell and Veronica Thamaini conducting the final course with our Creative Environmental Leaders. I also had the privilege to travel and see up close the amazing work our partners are undertaking in the field.
Because this training was the final course in our Certificate for Creative Leadership course, CAI Board Member Jennifer Butz and I interviewed our partners to ascertain the impact that these series of trainings and coaching calls have had at the individual, community and systems levels. What was clear in each conversation was that our trainings have brought about a fundamental paradigm shift within the organizations that participated. Each person spoke of newfound confidence in facilitating group learning, in leading others, and in thinking creatively. Most identified internal organizational changes where communication and power dynamics shifted dramatically. They also said they were able to form new relationships with communities by using the creative tools they learned to build trust, foster deep and productive collaboration and build local leadership. Using creative processes, they helped community members more fully understand the fragility of the eco-system and their role in nurturing and protecting it, which they said, led to real behavior changes. Several partners even mentioned that the trainings had improved dynamics within their homes. Our partners recognized the impact of the multiplier effect - those who trained were then able to train their teams, as well as community leaders and teachers. It was inspiring to hear about the intricate web of impact that has occurred as a result of this work. We are proud of these many accomplishments, but it is clear we have much more work to do. We need to grow the application of learning at the field level and provide the same opportunities to other environmental and social change leaders who are eager to learn innovative training methods, leadership development skills and behavior change work. I look forward to sharing more next week as I continue my journey. Thank you for making this work possible.