Sun and Surf in Australia

G’day Mate! After an intense week at the Asia 21 Summit, it was time for some fun and sun! First up on my list was a trip to the beautiful “12 Apostles”, a collection of limestone stacks off the shore of  Port Campbell National Park. It was a long day that began with a 3- hour drive on the Great Ocean Road, followed by a visit to the 12 Apostles, and a walk through the rainforest for some koala spotting.  We were treated to an up-close encounter with  a koala who waddled along, as all of us, tourists, crowded around him/her like the paparazzi!

Learning and Network at Asia 21 Summit

Two weeks ago, I had an amazing opportunity to join up with 29 of Asia’s top young leaders in government, business, arts, media, and the nonprofit sector at the Asia 21 Summit in Melbourne, Australia.

This year’s theme was World Disrupted: Asia’s Future and we had the pleasure of learning from lectures and site visits focusing on geopolitics in the region to social innovation.

The Cemeteries of New Orleans

In the words of Bob Dylan, “The first thing you notice about New Orleans are the burying grounds – the cemeteries – and they’re a cold proposition, one of the best things there are here. Going by, you try to be as quiet as possible, better to let them sleep. Greek, Roman, sepulchres- palatial mausoleums made to order, phantomesque, signs and symbols of hidden decay – ghosts of women and men who have sinned and who’ve died and are now living in tombs.”

An uncared for tomb

Voodoo queen Marie Laveau’s resting place

Enhancing Communication between elements of Atlas Corps Fellowship

Being an Atlas Corps Fellow means being part of a community that expands every day in staff and Fellows, but that is also keen on cultivating an “Atlas Corps Fellow” identity as we go through this experience, all together.
As a relatively new Atlas Corps Fellow I found it confusing to correlate faces with positions and communication channels for Atlas Corps staff or Fellows. I really wanted to create a sense of an Atlas Corps community that shares and connect with all stakeholders, perceiving this as the core to shape my own identity as an Atlas Corps FELLOW.
Also, this was for me part of the process of creating my own home in a foreign country and culture for the upcoming 12 months.
Furthermore, in order to get a clear idea of what we have become through the work of the current fellow committees, I decided to search for the missing pieces in my mind of the Atlas Corps puzzle. What I came up with is a visual scheme, given that I really enjoyed drawing as a kid (:P).
I want you to see my blog not only as a simple diagnosis of a structure but rather as the mapping of communication channels between Fellows and Atlas Corps. Being able to spot where your bridges with Atlas Corps are, means recognizing a space, to enhance your experience and impact the fellow community.
Here are some key contacts of Fellow Committees and Staff Liaisons:
(Email) – Fellow Committees
Partnerships Committee alexandra.jimenez@atlascorps.org
Social and Cultural Committee olga.kuzmina@atlascorps.org
Training and Talent Management Committee sara.capaliku@atlascorps.org
Communications Committee disha.arora@atlascorps.org
(CC:)- Staff Liaisons
linked to the Executive Office: Calum Lindsay-Field executiveoffice@atlascorps.org
linked to the Partnerships Committee: Alissa Fenandez alissa@atlascorps.org
linked to the Social and Cultural Committee: Emma Almon emma@atlascorps.org & Zachary Morrice zachary@atlascorps.org
linked to the Training and Talent Management Committee: Sara Tariq training@atlascorps.org
linked to the Communications Committee: comm@atlascorps.org  

How much is Too much

Wherever I am, I have a company; I am always connected, literally always, thanks to social media in general and to facebook in particular. I spend most of my day online; posting and interacting with family and friends in an imaginary virtual world, which makes me comfortable in being far away in another continent, is it too much of socializing?!

It is true that facebook is a communicating platform basically, yet it is being used for so many different goals, utilizing the many functions available for users. It predicts and manages data based on your behavior, and it shows marketplace and what is trending. They made it super easy to communicate, broadcast, sell, buy, send money and donate, among many other functionalities I haven’t discovered yet. Is it too much offered by facebook?!

California Sunset

In the end of November, I had the chance to go to San Francisco, to this amazing city full of lights, full of lovely people and houses. There is no better way to describe it than  the lyrics of this song that you can find below:

I remember long ago
How I wondered where I’d go
While the blizzards,
Cold wind and snow
Pounded outside my window.

California sunset
Going down in the West
All the colors in the sky
Kiss another day goodbye.

Land of beauty,
Space and light
Land of promise,
Land of might
You’re my home now
And it’s true
California, here’s to you.

Giving Tuesday: A Global Day of Giving

Giving Tuesday is a movement to create an international day of giving at the beginning of the Christmas and holiday season. In the United States is celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.

Giving Tuesday started in 2012. The announcement of this idea was made by Giving Tuesday founding partner Mashable, a technology website. Additional founding partners listed in the story were Skype (launching Skype for Peace) and Cisco. Other news and opinion websites that announced Giving Tuesday well in advance were the Huffington Post, and Deseret News. Even Forbes used the occasion to publish a guide to effective giving.

Don’t have time? Make time

Sometimes we do complain about not having the time to do the things that we love, we blame work to take most of our time, or we are just lazy or procrastinate, whether we are planning to go to the gym or start some new activity, it’s always the same answer, I “don’t have time”.

In order to resolve this issue, we need first to recognize that we actually have an issue, look at  friends or colleagues, they wake up early in the morning and go for a run, or don’t get home till very late in the night, knowing that their day is no longer than ours, it’s 24 hours for all.

Does One size fit all? – When successful people advise

From sleeping for only four hours, to taking 3am calls or wearing clothes in only one color, we’ve all sometimes heard unique “proven and tested” ways to success from leaders and many successful people that we look up to or admire in our quest for success.

However, when it comes to success, does one size fit all? Do we have to do all the things that the people we so admire do to be a success? Must our principles be exactly aligned? When should we take advice with a grain of salt, especially if this advice is coming from people we view in high regard? These may be mentors, parents, leaders, and people our society considers successful.

Stop discriminatory cultural practices and traditions against women

Each year, the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign is observed all around the world starting from 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women to 10 December, Human Rights Day. The international campaign originated from the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute coordinated by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership in 1991.

This year, the overarching theme of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is “Leave No One Behind: End Violence against Women and Girls”— reflect the core principle of the transformative 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.