Archive for Events

Friday, September 12th, 2014

What if your DPMI Plus Assignment was the PEACE CORPS?

michelle in nica

 

Michelle Zaragoza, IEP, left the United States to begin her Peace Corps service as an Environmental Education Promoter in Nicaragua last month. What follows is an excerpt from her blog: “My Journey as a Peace Corps Master’s International Volunteer”

How it all began (152 days til departure):

 

March 5th: Just another regular Wednesday morning. I was pacing my living room anxious about the phone call I was about to make to my Peace Corps recruiter. Not having heard from them in more than two months I was more worried than excited.


First try went to voice mail and I thought I would just try tomorrow…I called again and she picked up on the first ring. She started some small talk, and asked what I was up to in my life. The whole time I was hoping she would just get to the point and tell me what ever bad news she had. She asked about the research I was doing in school and I gave her a 30 second description of my Fulbright proposal for an environmental education study in Nicaragua. She laughed…why was she laughing!? After what seemed like for ever she says, “Well we have a slight problem”…here it was! 


She says, “I know we had originally told you you’d leave in September but that has changed. Could you leave earlier?”


Confused I said yes, although a little worried about how much earlier that meant. And she says, “We think you would be perfect for our Environmental Science Education program in Nicaragua that leaves in Aug…” YES!!!! YES and YES. I may have yelled yes about five times into her poor ear! After waiting ten months since I first sent in my application I was being extended an invitation to my top choice! 

Read more

 

Monday, September 8th, 2014

DPMI Kenya – Reflections from Abroad

martiza group

- Blog contributed by Maritza Munzon, MPA/IEM ‘15 

I was in Kenya a total of two months; at the time it felt longer, maybe because it’s a slower pace of life in Kisumu, or maybe because compared to a year at MIIS anything else seems to go at a snail’s pace. Whichever the case, slow was nice and much needed. Now looking back it seems like it all went by in a blur, I can’t believe how much I saw and experienced in two short months, while still having time to cook, read for fun and watch the World Cup every night! The DPMI training was intense of course, but nothing short of what is to be expected from a MIIS workshop, except that it was longer (10 days). This meant 8 hours a day of group work, charting, mapping, learning new tools and immediately applying them. We mostly failed at implementing the tools properly, but a great deal was learned from correcting our mistakes. I can now say that I am no expert at program design, but I know how to tackle the task of designing a program.

maritza obama grandparentsOur guide/mentor/program liaison, Rose Waringa, is a multitasking superwomen, she did a great job of taking care of us in and out of Kisumu. On the weekends we were taken to explore the local sites, it was great to get out of Kisumu and leave the books behind for a bit. There is LOTS of natural beauty near town and I feel fortunate to have taken a walk through Kakamega Forest, taken a boat ride on the biggest lake in the world (Lake Victoria) and visited President Obama’s paternal grandmother! Never thought I’d get to do any of it, let alone the last part!

Click here to read more

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

An Inside Look at Peace Trade and Development: “Innovative, Different and an Empowering Experience”

14742913214_ae09b61169_o (1)

As a summer graduate assistant at the Monterey Institute, my daily tasks range from marketing programs, providing logistical support and even learning to cook hot-dogs on charcoal at Del Monte Beach. However, the best part by far is being able to be a part of the institute’s many summer programs such as FMS, DPMI, and PTD, or Peace Trade and Development.  This summer I was lucky enough to actively participate on the many site visits with PTD.  I’m pleased to share stories from our fascinating excursions:

When asked to describe the Monterey Institute’s Peace Trade and Development program, Reed College graduate Shruti Korada could not have said it better when she remarked, “PTD has made development come alive for me.”

In this simple statement, Shruti made reference to her learning and experiencing of complex development topics in the most hands-on and real-life way possible. The program included class sessions taught by top-notch MIIS faculty and many immersive site visits on the Central Coast.

Alumni Joel Saldana commented that PTD teaches students how to, “One, identify what the global issues are today, and beyond Identifying, two is understanding what those issues are, and the third part of that is for those individuals to figure out how they can try to be a part of the solution to those problems.”

PTD students enjoy the natural beauty of Monterey at Point Lobos

Aside from the signature pedagogy in the classroom, the immersive excursions allowed the students to see peace, trade and development “come to life.”  They began their transformational journey learning about local and global development in Santa Cruz, where they visited the Homeless Garden Project and the Firelight Foundation.  After meeting with Global Supply Chain managers from Tesla Motors, they traveled on site to pitch a proposal about where should be the next source for lithium batteries.

After the visit, PTD Alum Jose Alvarez was most inspired by Tesla’s “drive for having no limits, literally. If somebody were to talk to me about going to the moon for lithium or washing away the whole oil industry, I’d probably laugh and walk away. When Tesla talks about that, though, you can’t help but to listen carefully and with all seriousness because you get this strange feeling that they actually could. Tesla embodies innovation. They’re the bold company the future needs for getting here.”

Salsabeel Khan described Tesla as, “an environment where even the sky isn’t the limit. Do you want to go to space? Go to space!”

PTD students present at Tesla Motors

The students also traveled to the Wells Fargo headquarters in San Francisco, where they met with MIIS alumni working in the Global Financial Crimes Intelligence department. Students learned how the department monitors financial transactions to prevent money laundering and corruption. Some students, such as Nyoma Clement were very intrigued by this field, and the visit helped them direct their career aspirations.

Clement remarked, “Actually my coming to MIIS has helped me reexamine myself as to what I need to learn in life. I have decided I wanted to do risk management. I really want to work in the area of regulatory compliance and managing political risk around the world and financial risk.  I want to study how risk can be used to help governments, NGOs and the corporate world in accomplishing the tasks they have set forth.”

The immersive site visits solidified and transformed the career goals for many by allowing the students to speak with the professionals in the field.  However, not only did they learn from the professionals in the field, as well as the expert MIIS faculty, but they learned immensely from each other. Just by sharing car rides, lunches and occasional trips to salsa dancing, I could tell how much the students had inspired one other.  Their interests in the complex development topics were expanded and defined.  To sum it up in four words, Jose Alvarez describes PTD as “innovative, different and an empowering experience.”  

Learn more about PTD at   go.miis.edu/ptd

About the author:

Cara for Blog!

Cara Hagan is pursuing her MBA at the Monterey Institute with a focus on the role of Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility within Supply Chains.  She has interned for a host of non-profits, working primarily on economic development and workers’ rights in Latin America.  She received her BA from Otterbein University where she studied in Alicante, Spain and Valdivia, Chile. Cara aspires to have a career in which she can positively impact supply chains, especially focusing on the lack of human rights in the garment industry. 

 

 

 

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

GSIPM Welcomes New Interim Dean – Jeff Dayton-Johnson

 

As a GA in the GSIPM office, I like to try and stay in-the-know about what’s going on in my department and around campus.

As it turns out, fall 2014 will usher in some changes. Yuwei Shi will begin to turn his attention to the new Center for Social Impact Learning (CSIL), and teaching in the MBA program. As the founding dean of GSIPM, Yuwei Shi has shaped the Institute in significant ways, helping meld the separate policy and business schools into one school (GSIPM) in 2009. He will officially step down at the end of December, and in the meantime Jeff will serve concurrently, and then continue as interim dean from January 1 through June 30, 2015.

I had a chance to sit down with Jeff recently to chat about what’s going on, and what this means for us students.

During fall semester, he’ll be a busy guy – still chairing the IPS department and teaching classes in addition to job shadowing the current dean. He feels pretty fortunate for the overlap, and is looking forward to “learning what the rules of the game are,” getting to know colleagues from other parts of campus.

I asked him if he’ll continue teaching in the spring and he mentioned that none of the deans currently teach any classes. So if you haven’t had a class with Jeff yet – get in on one this semester before he’s off the market! There’s also a chance he’ll teach a J-Term class or two, but nothing’s been decided for sure.

What new policies or priorities is the interim dean eager to tackle first? He says he’ll be pushing for the immersive learning programs. “We have an exciting portfolio for students, and a lot of them are working really well,” he said. “DPMI and DPMI Plus are great examples. The challenge is the monetary one – it’s so exciting, but students ultimately opt out for financial reasons.” He also mentioned that sometimes students have trouble fitting them into their schedules or finding enough credits to participate. “If we really believe these are such valuable programs, we should find a way to make them more accessible.”

This is certainly something I can agree with, and I wish him the best of luck! President Ramaswamy encouraged Jeff to think long-term in regards to his new role, and reflect on what’s working well, and what could be replicated. If everything goes smoothly, Jeff will likely apply for the official position in the spring.

In the meantime, he says, “If anybody is reading this and has something to share, please come see me, or email me, I’d be happy to talk.”  jdaytonjohnson@miis.edu

You can also make an appointment through Lauren Patron-Castro, Dean’s Assistant:  lpatron@miis.edu

 

 

Faculty-Profile-Jeffrey-Dayton-Johnson   Jeff’s Bio:

As program chair of the International Policy Studies program, Jeff has been working with faculty, students, and staff to bring the IPS and MPA programs together within a larger, stronger and more focused program in Development Practice and Policy.  As one of the architects of a major piece of curricular reform, he is well positioned to lead and oversee the implementation of new and revitalized programs.

Jeff came to MIIS in 2011, following seven years as a senior economist at the OECD in Paris. At the OECD, Jeff was the first Head of the Americas Desk at the organization’s Development Centre; the Desk has now overseen the publication of seven annual Latin American Economic Outlook reports on topics ranging from international migration, to fiscal policy to the middle class. In Paris, Jeff built a team of 20 professionals, led policy relevant research and dialogue processes, interacted with policy makers and experts in Latin America and beyond, and oversaw fundraising efforts totaling millions of euros.

Jeff’s experience as a policy researcher, manager, and fundraiser in the hyper-politicized bureaucracy of an international organization provided him with a mix of soft skills and thick skin that will serve him well as dean in the comparatively upbeat realm of GSIPM.

Prior to moving to the OECD, Jeff was a tenured associate professor of economics and international development studies at Dalhousie University in Canada. At Dalhousie, he coordinated the university’s Master in Development Economics (MDE) program, which, much like many of GSIPM’s degree programs, trains professional policy analysts with a passion for global issues. Jeff earned a Ph.D. in economics at the University of California, Berkeley.

Monday, August 18th, 2014

Celebrating its First Decade, DPMI Goes through Renewal, Reinvention!

dpmi_kenya

At its core a cutting-edge institution, the unique, intensive, development-focused three-week Development Project Management Institute (DPMI) program seems ageless. Nonetheless, as “nae man can tether time or tide” (in the words of Robert Burns), 10 years have passed since its inception, and that is worth celebrating. “A decade of DPMI has produced over 1,000 alumni using their skills everywhere in the world,” remarks founder and fearless leader Professor Beryl Levinger.

This year also marks the change of the official name of the program from Development Project Management Institute to Design, Partnering, Management and Innovation – still DPMI! Levinger shares that the “process of renewal and reinvention means seeing ourselves not only as responders to international development trends, but also shapers of them.”

The DPMI alumni network is vibrant, diverse, and a source of wonderful social capital for past, present, and future program participants, says Levinger, noting also that there is “nothing more rewarding than seeing a DPMI team in action responding to a development challenge by drawing on culturally diverse perspectives, deep social interaction, and a rich toolbox of tools and approaches.” Apart from Monterey and Washington D.C., the program has been offered in Ecuador, Egypt, Rwanda, and beginning this year, in Kenya.

DPMI alumni are encouraged to share their stories on the anniversary website found at go.miis.edu/dpmi.

 

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

How do MIIS students feel about the future?

IPS Student at MIIS and GSIPM Front Desk Extraordinaire

IPS Student at MIIS and GSIPM Front Desk Extraordinaire

Be the solution…now, that is a daunting idea. So, where do we start at MIIS given that this is our core goal? Here’s an idea, let’s start by asking ourselves who we are as people and what motivates us to act.  I’ll begin by sharing  my latest inspiration in honor of the United Nations International Day of Youth – please chime in with your comments below! 

Youth, Optimism and Peace

Young people living in less peaceful countries tend to be far more optimistic about the state of the future than their pessimistic peers living in more peaceful countries.

Originally published by Vision of Humanity on 12 Aug 2014

As the world celebrates the International Day of Youth, we ask how the 1.8 billion young people around the world feel about the future, and what this means for peace.

Using our own measures of internal peace and comparing them to qualitative data on levels of optimism and pessimism about the future, we were able to determine if levels of peace in a society impact on the optimism of the youth. The results might surprise you…

OPTIMISM, YOUTH AND PEACE

From a range of survey data is seems that young people living in countries with low levels of peace are, on average, pretty optimistic about the future.

While this may be surprising as those living in less peaceful countries tend to face greater barriers to development and often have less opportunities, their optimism about the future is promising, as future leaders this is the kind of thinking we like to see.

Not only that, but optimism is a key ingredient in the recipe for high levels of human capital, meaning it is one of the essential stepping stones on the path to a more peaceful future.

IEP estimates that 86% of the youth living in less peaceful countries (purple) are optimistic about the future, compared to 50% in relatively peaceful countries (yellow). Additionally, only 1% of people in low peace countries are pessimistic about the future, compared to 7% in high peace countries (see image below).

PESSIMISM AND PEACE

On the flip side we see that young people living in peaceful countries are more pessimistic about the future.

Having said this, it’s not all doom and gloom for those fortunate enough to live in peaceful countries.

In fact, if we look at relative response rates we can see that optimism across the board is about 10 times more prevalent than pessimism.

SO WHAT CAN WE DO?

If you are living in a peaceful country then…  brighten up! Yes you have a long way to go in creating a more peaceful world, and better life for yourself than the generation that proceeds you, but you also need to recognise that living in a peaceful country gives you access to a lot more opportunities.

Living in a not so peaceful country? Explore what makes a society peaceful and take a look around your local community to see what can be done at the grassroots level to start creating a more peaceful and prosperous future for you and the generations to come.

– Published by Vision of Humanity – http://www.visionofhumanity.org/#page/news/1067

Do you have any opinions or inspirations you’d like to share with the GSIPM team? We’d love to hear from you, please email us at gsipm@miis.edu. Thanks!

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Tesla Pitch Continued: Cobalt, Graphite and Lithium

Peace, Trade, and Development Students Visit Tesla

Peace, Trade, and Development Students Visit Tesla

Last week the Peace Trade and Development (PTD) students met with Tesla’s global trade team at the factory in Fremont. The students were there to offer their pitch to the Tesla Challenge which called for proposals on sourcing raw materials for the new Gigafactory. In addition to the pitch session, the students were treated to lunch and a VIP tour of the Tesla factory, an impressive and re-purposed building conveniently situated in a California Free Trade Zone. “I was treating the presentation like a final exam, but when it came time to present, I had realized that we were speaking to real individuals with genuine concerns about their long-term acquisition of critical minerals. This wasn’t a quiz–my team had done in-depth research, provided a reasonable strategy, and were ready to have a conversation about alternatives.” -  Shruti Korada, PTD summer 2014 student What was the best part of the Tesla challenge?  Well, that’s subjective but things definitely got intriguing when one team suggested sourcing Lithium from the moon and another proposed a corporate-backed coup d’etat… Learn more about the PTD program via: go.miis.edu/ptd.

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

FMS Field Placements and DPMI Plus: Taking the MIIS experience to the world

Immersive learning

This summer, the name of the Monterey Institute has been heard in over 15 countries in 5 continents as 27 fellows are participating in a series of immersive learning experiences.  Each of those placements have been ensured thanks to MIIS’ immersive learning options offered to participants of the Frontier Market Scouts (FMS) and, the newly renamed, Design, Partnering, Management & Innovation (DPMI) program, in its optional practicum – also known as DPMI Plus.

FMS provide participants with a specialized 2-week training for those interested in a career in social enterprise management and impact investing. The training happens twice a year in Monterey and Amsterdam. After the training, participants have the option to apply their recently acquired knowledge in a 2-12 month placement in which the fellows are expected to help conceptualize a business idea, develop a business plan and an entrepreneurial team, provide due diligence, obtain investment capital, and scale businesses. This summer, the program have helped place 14 fellows who are supporting social entrepreneurship ventures in Cameroon, Costa Rica, Ghana, Guatemala, Hungary, the Netherlands, Rwanda and the United States. To learn more about FMS Practicum Placements visit the FMS Blog.

DPMI is a professional certificate training program that prepares participants for a career in managing international development projects.  The training has several offerings in the winter and summer in Monterey, Washington, DC, Rwanda and Kenya. After the training, MIIS-enrolled participants have the option to complete a 3-9 month internship in which they apply DPMI skills to benefit the host organization, while earning academic training towards their degree program. This summer, the program have placed 13 fellows in internships supporting development ventures in Burundi, Colombia, Fiji, Kenya, Nicaragua, Peru, the Philippines, Rwanda and the United States. For the full list of DPMI Plus Fellows and placements, click here.

Both DPMI Plus and FMS, are just two of the many Immersive Learning options that MIIS offers to students of all Degree Programs in order to foster learning through real-world situations. Besides, the unique opportunity that represents interacting with real clients and beneficiaries, participants also develop their inter-cultural competencies while creating memories that will sure last for a life-time.

Applications for FMS and DPMI are currently open for their Winter 2015 sessions. To apply for these programs, please visit:

DPMI: Apply Here!

FMS: Apply Here!

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

PTD Breaking Ground for Local Development at the Homeless Garden Project

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Last Friday, PTD students were able to actively experience Development, one of the three pillars of the Peace Trade and Development program.  Their first site visit was at the Homeless Garden Project in Santa Cruz. The Homeless Garden Project is a non-profit and an organic farm that provides job training, transitional employment and support services to the homeless.  The peaceful atmosphere and creative projects offered a healing and transformational environment.  Many of Santa Cruz’s homeless population come to the garden to relax, receive a meal and even work for minimum wage.

The Peace Trade and Development students spent the morning touring the site and weeding rows of plants.  They also joined community volunteers and farm employees for lunch—an organic and vegan meal sourced mostly from the garden. After lunch the students had a blast washing dishes.

ptd dishes

Click here to find out more about the Peace Trade and Development program.

http://www.miis.edu/academics/short/trade-development

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

The Tesla Pitch

MIIS PTD students meet with Tesla to  pitch ideas for the new battery.

MIIS PTD students meet with Tesla to pitch ideas for the new battery.

Our friends from Tesla visited the MIIS campus last week. They started off the day by meeting with the Peace, Trade, and Development (PTD) summer program students. PTD students learned about what it takes to snag a job at Tesla and work under the driving force of Elon Musk’s vision. This is just the beginning of the MIIS-Tesla exchange. Next week, PTD students will visit the Tesla Gigafactory in Fremont where they will present ideas for the next electric car battery innovation.

The Challenge

The efficiency of the car battery is the lifeblood of moving Tesla forward. PTD students are posed with the Gigafactory challenge question – what are the optimal raw materials to source for battery cell manufacturing?  To arrive at a solid pitch, students will analyze a broad scope of factors, including:

  • From where and from whom can the materials be sourced?
  • What locations are optimal from a customs duty/tax and logistics cost perspective?
  • “Outside the box” ideas and key factors to consider in the sourcing decision

Interested in hearing about how the pitch goes? Stay tuned for an update in the next few days. In the meantime, you can enjoy this video!

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

International Affairs Fellowship (IAF) Accepting applications now!

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is now accepting applications for their International Affairs Fellowship (IAF). 

Designed to assist mid-career scholars and professionals in advancing their analytic capabilities and broadening their foreign policy experience the International Affairs Fellowship aims to strengthen career development by helping outstanding individuals acquire and apply foreign policy skills beyond the scope of their professional and scholarly achievements.

This distinguished 12-month fellowship, launched in 1967, is different from traditional internship/fellowship experiences in that the program contrasts professional experiences fellows obtain through their twelve-month appointment. Selected fellows from academia and the private sector spend fellowship tenures in public service and policy-oriented settings, while government officials spend their tenures in a scholarly atmosphere free from operational pressure. 

“CFR awards approximately ten fellowships annually to highly accomplished individuals who have a capacity for independent work and who are eager to undertake serious foreign policy analysis. Approximately half of the selected IAFs each year spend their tenures working full-time in government; the remaining half are placed at academic institutions, think tanks, or nonprofit organizations. CFR’s Fellowship Affairs Office assists all fellows in finding a suitable affiliation for the year.” – www.cfr.org

How to Apply: MIIS students should apply online directly with CRF

Interested candidates who meet the program’s eligibility requirements can apply online between July 1 and October 31 on an annual basis.

Eligibility

The IAF Program is only open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents between the ages of twenty-seven and thirty-five who are eligible to work in the United States. CFR does not sponsor for visas. While a PhD is not a requirement, selected fellows generally hold an advanced degree and possess a strong record of work experience as well as a firm grounding in the field of foreign policy. The program does not fund pre- or postdoctoral research, work toward a degree, or the completion of projects for which substantial progress has been made prior to the fellowship period.

Fellowship Award

The duration of the fellowship is twelve months, preferably beginning in September. The program awards a stipend of $85,000. Fellows are considered independent contractors rather than employees of CFR, and are not eligible for employment benefits, including health insurance.

Contact CFR

For more information, please visit www.cfr.org/fellowships, or contact fellowships@cfr.org or 212.434.9740.

 

 

Friday, June 20th, 2014

22 Tips for Living in a New Country

MIIS and FMS Alumna Danielle Steer Shares Tips on Living and Working Abroad

Over the course of the next two months, 21 Frontier Market Scouts (FMS) Fellows will be heading into emerging markets as scouts, business development consultants, and impact investing associates. FMS fellows come from a variety of backgrounds and have very diverse international experiences.  For some, the FMS field placement is a first exposure to living and working in an emerging market.

Ready, Set, Travel!

As an alumna of the Monterey Institute MPA program, I can’t begin to count the number of experiences my colleagues and I have shared about being a development practitioner including “how to cope” and “methods for success”.

I decided to enlist the help of fellow FMS and Monterey Institute alumni to give our fellows advice for living and working in the developing world. Their collective advice stems from experience in Nigeria, Cameroon, Rwanda, Peru, Ecuador, Philippines, and India.

Tips for Living and Working in an Emerging Economy

  • Talk to your taxi driver!  They have some of the best suggestions for local places to check out and more generally just some great stories about life.
  • Get close to a family or two, especially if you’re in a more rural area.  This will give you so much more insight than just hanging with the expat crew.  Have meals with these people a lot.  They will also look out for you.
  • Invest in a good fan that oscillates, embrace crowded bus rides, and keep a good sense of humor.
  • It’s okay to be homesick. There may be moments when you long for the safety of “home.”  Find a way to bring a piece of home with you to self-sooth when need be (i.e. a DVD, favorite book, cooking spices and ingredients, or Siracha).
  • When family and friends visit have them bring you items from “home” like cheddar, mac & cheese boxes, and socks.
  • Take part in four things that can expedite building relationships – playing sports, music/dancing, food, & drinking (albeit not to excess or to the point where you cannot make sound judgments).
  • Be prepared for reverse culture shock.  Sure, there will be some initial culture shock when you move out of your home country.  But no one ever prepared me for the reverse culture shock.  It might hit you when you order a coffee in Swahili at Starbucks or when you are overly cautious trying to cross the street in your hometown.  If you can, get in touch with other people who might be experiencing it at the same time or who can sympathize.  That community of people “who get it” when you are stunned by consistent electricity or hot running water is comforting. 
Sierra Leone Peacebuilding J-Term Trip

Sierra Leone Peacebuilding J-Term Trip

Money & Safety

  • In a taxi, lock both back doors. Sometimes people try to open them while you are sitting in traffic.
  • Keep your money in two places on you. If a thief tries to steal from you, pull out your stack with less money and say that’s all you have.
  • Keep $50 USD in small bills stashed away in your luggage.
  • Try to find out before arriving at your assignment whether or not credit/debit cards are commonly accepted.  More often than not, you’ll need to carry cash, so finding an ATM in a well-lit, secure location is key.
  • Put together a thoughtful budget before you leave.  How much are you willing and/or expecting to pay for housing each month?  Groceries?  It adds up quick, and if you’re traveling with a fixed amount of cash in the bank, you don’t want to find yourself in a sticky financial situation without a backup plan.
  • A steripen is a great small investment. You can use it anywhere and it saves a bunch of money as opposed to buying bottled water.  It’s also good for the environment.
  • If you are a single (read: unmarried) female, regardless of having a boyfriend or not, be prepared to frequently explain your lack of husband.  (Side note: You’re not likely to convince an inquiring man to change his stance on the matter, but don’t let it keep you from sharing your point of view.  “Some of my female colleagues chose to wear fake wedding rings to avoid this, but I personally didn’t feel right pretending to be married just to avoid these conversations.”)
  • Keep your bag or backpack in front of you down by your legs or on your lap when traveling or at a restaurant.
Taksi

Lock the doors!

Keeping in Touch

  • A picture is worth a thousand words.  Take as many pictures as you can of your community, your work, and your travels but know when to be discreet either out of respect or for your own safety.  It might feel vain, but ask people to take pictures of you in the field as well. It makes for better storytelling and helps your family and friends to better understand what you did. Not to mention when you’re feeling nostalgic upon your return, it’s nice to look back.
  • Post about your travels via social media. Someone in your network will always have a good recommendation for a connection, place to eat, or site to visit.

Work Life

  • Patience is a virtue: In Peru, everyone is late, and people have different professional standards. In the end these are all cultural differences and shouldn’t be taken personally.
  • Take your colleagues out to lunch!  You’ll get a taste for local cuisine, build relationships, and hopefully pick up on some local slang!
Team Peru- Youth in Cacchin

Team Peru- Youth in Cacchin

Final Advice

  • During rainy season, don’t walk through flood water in the street. There may be a hole in the ground that you don’t see.
  • Don’t be scared to rock a fanny pack!
  • Never travel without the following:

                              Pocket knife & sewing kit                                                                      
                              Lighter
                              Small padlock
                              Charcoal pills (for tummy aches and intestinal issues)
                              Calendula cream (for mosquito bites and burns)
                              Duct tape (It really fixes everything!)

Have any intriguing travel tips or stories of your own? Please share them via: professional.dev@miis.edu

 

Sunday, June 15th, 2014

DPMI in DC – Cultivating Innovative Agents of Social Change!

This post contributed by Kelly Quackenbush, MPA candidate ‘15

I find myself in a very familiar place: An airport. As a current MIIS student and former Peace Corps volunteer, the fact that airports are familiar to me is surely no shocker. The airport I am in today happens to be Reagan International, just a quick metro ride from the exciting, even intoxicating city of Washington, DC, where I have just spent three incredible weeks with an incredibly diverse and inspiring group of people.

That’s right, I was at DPMI DC, building my network and learning practical tools and concepts for development work from some of the most highly respected professionals in the field. As someone in her 30s who has already been involved with development work, I initially wondered if this training was for me. It was. It was also for the recent college grads, and the current development workers. One participant, who works in the social responsibility department of his company, told me this was “the best training his work had ever sent him to.”

Click here to read more

Friday, June 13th, 2014

FMS Alum makes Headlines with his Social Enterprise in Brazilian Favelas

 

FMS alum Elliot Rosenberg has had great success with his own social enterprise, “Favela Experience.”  This is a way for tourists to stay in Rio de Janeiro’s Favelas and experience the local culture. Elliot’s personal experience staying with host families is what inspired his business model. By staying in the authentic and culturally rich Favelas, tourists gain a unique perspective and learn about the way of life of their hosts. Additionally, the local hosts earn a sustainable income and get the chance to meet culturally diverse guests. With the World Cup approaching, his business is growing and was featured in Next Billion Blog. http://www.nextbillion.net/blogpost.aspx?blogid=3670

When asked why he decided to start Favela Experience, Elliott remarked, “When I first visited Rio’s favelas, I was overwhelmed by the exciting culture and hospitable people.  I knew I had to open these communities to the world in an immersive way that contributes to local development.” By promoting tourism within the favelas, the negative connotations are also improved.

Bloomberg Businessweek reports that during the World Cup, over 600,000 tourists are expected to visit Rio and compete for 55,400 hotel rooms. There lies an excellent opportunity for business and sustainable development within Rio’s favelas. Hotels are rapidly increasing prices, and tourists are even willing to pay more to stay in the home-stays.

When asked about the role of profit in a social enterprise, Elliot reports that, “Social enterprises should aim to be wildly profitable, in order to have the most social impact.  Profitable businesses get the best talent, they garner the most investment, and they expand.  If people can improve the world and become incredibly wealthy at the same time, why shouldn’t they?  It’s a destructive cultural norm that we censure social change agents who make a lot of money; it’s backward how we accept that the people who most harm society and the environment have the highest salaries. If we can reverse that mindset, we’ll see a radical shift in capital toward ventures addressing the world’s most pressing problems.”

Elliot’s social enterprise has been mentioned in CNN, Bloomberg Businessweek, and the Wall Street Journal. To learn more about the Frontier Market Scouts training, visit go.miis.edu/fms

 

 

 

Friday, June 6th, 2014

Two MIIS Students Intern at the UNDP Pacific Centre in Fiji

fiji

The Graduate School of International Policy and Management would like to congratulate Madeline Stoeri and Deniz Firat for landing internships at the UNDP’s Pacific Center in Fiji. The Fiji Office of the Pacific works with the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Solomon Islands (sub office), Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

Madeline Stoeri, MPA Candidate for Fall 2014 will be working on the Corporate Management Team at the UNDP Pacific Centre. Deniz Firat, IPS Candidate for Fall 2014 will be working in Effective Governance.

The UNDP Pacific Centre works with the 10 Pacific Island territories and countries toward the Millennium Development Goals. Starting in 2015, the UNDP Pacific Centre will also help the countries build on outcomes of the UN Convention on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) to address emerging focuses, such as the sustainable use of oceanic and other resources.  The initiatives will focus on empowering the women and the youth by recognizing their rights and responsibilities. Learn more about the UNDP Pacific Centre’s work here: http://www.fj.undp.org/content/fiji/en/home.html

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

PTD Webinar: Gain a Deeper Understanding of the Peace Trade and Development Program

This week, Special Programs Manager Erina McWilliam-Lopez and MIIS Professor Jeff Dayton-Johnson hosted a webinar to deliver a deeper understanding of the Peace Trade and Development program. The webinar elaborates on the uniqueness of the program’s combination of classroom learning and diverse site visits. The top tier graduate faculty will teach in depth the three pillars of the program, Peace building, International Trade, and Economic Development. The central and northern California region also provides a wealth of organizations that the program participants will visit to complement the classroom learning.

Professor Jeff Dayton-Johnson is a development economist with years of experience in international development, including being the head of the OECD Development Centre’s Latin America and Caribbean Desk.  Other professors of the Peace Trade and Development program include Professor Iyer, Professor Scorse, and Professor Rheusen.

The webinar can be viewed at this link: http://middlebury.adobeconnect.com/p1swohwsohi/

Apply to the PTD program by 6/7 http://www.miis.edu/academics/short/trade-development/node/172

Questions? Contact emcwilliam@miis.edu

Friday, May 30th, 2014

Applications for the Peace, Trade, and Development are due Monday, June 9!

PTD at Google

It’s not too late for you or your colleagues to take part in an engaging global summer experience and apply to the Monterey Institute’s Peace Trade and Development Program. The PTD program utilizes the richness of the areas of Central and Northern California as a laboratory to explore the dynamics of global systems. From start to finish, you will be engaged in active and immersion learning experiences. You will leave the program with a solid and holistic understanding of global affairs, experienced first-hand within a 60-mile ratio from the Institute. This program is designed for upper-level undergraduates, prospective graduate students, and new professionals to expose them to challenging learning experiences in order to master key concepts and tools in human security, global trade, social change and development.  Please share this bog with any interested or qualified candidate for the program.

Here is what program participants can look forward:

        Gain a comprehensive understanding of trade and economic development by visiting innovative businesses in Silicon Valley and by interacting with trade policy professionals at the San Jose Free-Trade Zone.

        Learn firsthand about issues pertaining to social justice and youth violence and strategies for building community resilience through a multi-stakeholder process.

        Join an impressive global network of previous participants and like-minded professionals propelling social change around the world.

        Walk away with an Academic Certificate from a globally recognized top tier graduate school

Check out the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIK6tgRJy80

Dates: July 7-31.

Application Deadline: June 1, 2014

Location: Monterey Institute campus with site visits to Silicon Valley, and San Francisco Bay Area.

Contact: Erina McWilliam-Lopez, (831) 647-4645 or emcwilliam@miis.edu

http://go.miis.edu/peacetrade

Monday, May 26th, 2014

DPMI Celebrates 10 Years with a Toast from Freedom from Hunger CEO Steve Hollingworth

May 22, DPMI alumni and friends gathered in the DLC to celebrate 10 years of DPMI, and the many partnerships that nurtured the program’s achievements and innovation.

Honored guests in attendance were Beryl Levinger, Ed Laurence, and CEO of Freedom from Hunger Steve Hollingworth who offered the keynote toast.

The evening kicked off with attendees breaking the ice by answering the question, “if you could have a super power, what would it be?” Below are just a few things that would change as a result of DPMI super powers:

  • No more income disparity
  • Environmental damage would be reversed
  • Steve Hollingworth would be able to slam dunk a basketball…every time!

DPMI alumni, current participants, and friends of the program are invited to attend the D.C. 10 year anniversary reception:

In Washington, D.C.:
When: Thursday, May 29 from 6:15 – 8:00pm
Where: Middlebury office in DC, 1400 K Street, NW, Suite 1225
Who: DPMI alumni, current participants, and friends of the program
Guest Speaker: Michelle DeFayette, Integrated Learning Systems Practice Area Director at Engility Corporation/International Resources Group
Contactdpmi@miis.edu or call 831.647.6417

About: DPMI is a three-week professional training program that prepares participants for managing development projects around the world. Since its’ founding in 2004, DPMI has accomplished many milestones, including trainings in Ecuador, Egypt, Rwanda, and a training that will take place in Kenya this summer. All programs combined have cultivated approximately 970 new development leaders, from 40 different countries.

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

World Bee Project

Sanghata Global co-founder and early FMS partner and supporter, Sabiha Malik recently traveled to Malaysia to speak about the World Bee Project she recently started with the help of FMS Alum, Ravi Kurani, current FMS scout, Peter Nawaneri and MIIS’ Director of Immersive Professional Learning and Special Programs’ Carolyn Taylor Meyer.

The World Bee Project, a UK-based social enterprise is tackling the global challenge of declining honeybee populations through an innovative and scalable model for indigenous honeybee conservation.

Partnering with local communities and enterprises, the World Bee Project aims to increase agricultural productivity, conserve biodiversity and improve livelihood opportunities for the rural poor by creating and supporting beekeeping projects worldwide.

To hear more about the World Bee Project, watch Sabiha Malik’s interview with William Morris on THE ENGLISH HOUR

photo.1

Sabiha Malik talking with M.A. students at Limkokwing University in London.  Limkokwing is a private international university with 13 campuses worldwide which awards full scholarships to Malaysia’s brightest talents.

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

DPMI 10th Anniversary Celebrations

Come out and help celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Development Project Management Institute! This summer’s cohort will bring the total participants trained to over 1000!

There are two events happening this month to commemorate the occasion:

In Monterey:
When: Thursday, May 22 from 6:00 -9:00pm
Where: Monterey Institute, Digital Learning Commons
Who: DPMI alumni, current participants, and friends of the program
Guest Speaker: Steve Hollingworth, CEO of Freedom from Hunger
Contact: dpmi@miis.edu or call 831.647.6417

In Washington, D.C.:
When: Thursday, May 29 from 6:15 – 8:00pm
Where: Middlebury office in DC, 1400 K Street, NW, Suite 1225
Who: DPMI alumni, current participants, and friends of the program
Guest Speaker: Michelle DeFayette, Integrated Learning Systems Practice Area Director at Engility Corporation/International Resources Group
Contactdpmi@miis.edu or call 831.647.6417

Food and beverages provided.

About the Monterey Speaker:

steve-hollingworthSteve Hollingworth has served as President of Freedom from Hunger since September 2011. An expert in international development, his fields of expertise include: microenterprise and microfinance, health, education, agriculture, environment, civil society strengthening, local capacity-building, governance and emergency relief and rehabilitation.

Prior to joining Freedom from Hunger, Hollingworth spent 26 years with CARE, most recently as Chief Operating Officer, based in Atlanta, GA. In this capacity, he was instrumental in developing and implementing organization-wide strategy and was responsible for direct line management of global operations and programs with a total of 13,000 employees and a budget of $650 million. He has also held senior field positions in Asia (India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh), Africa (Lesotho) and Latin America (Bolivia), building collaboration between practitioners, technical assistance providers, donors and government agencies.

Mr. Hollingworth has an M.S. in Economics, Development Studies, from Victoria University of Manchester, UK and a B.A. in Economics from Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois.

About the D.C. Speaker:

Michelle. EngilityMichelle DeFayette has worked for Engility/IRG – a leading provider of training, systems engineering services, program management and operational support for US Government-funded development projects – since 2009. An expert in international development, her fields of expertise include: facilitation, training, capacity building, organizational development, strategic planning and e-learning.

Prior to joining Engility/IRG, DeFayetter spent 8 years with USAID/Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance as Training Manager. In this capacity, she was responsible for designing, developing, facilitating, and managing instructor-led and online courses in new employee orientation, grant-making to relief organizations, safety and security, direct disaster response activities, team management, and coordination with US Government and international entities. Her impressive body of work in the Agency made her the recipient of the USAID Superior Group Award, Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance (DCHA) in 2008, and the USAID Meritorious Honor Group Award, OFDA Training Unit for Iraq, Sudan, and Tsunami disaster response in 2005.

Starting in January 2015, Ms. DeFayette will join DPMI as a faculty member thanks to a strategic partnership developed between Engility/IRG and the Monterey Institute, which also include a number of DPMI+ placements.

Ms. DeFayette has an M.A. in International Communication from American University in Washington, DC and a B.A. in Political Science from Iowa State University.