May the Grace and Joy that Christmas has brought to us all be with you and your loved ones in the coming year! May Peace come finally to our country!
2013 has been a fruitful and remarkable year for the Center. As another year unfolds, let us take this opportunity to reminisce our journey together through a most tumultuous but grace-filled year.
We would like to congratulate Cohorts 4 and 5 comprised of the forty-four (44) bridging fellows under the Center’s flagship Mindanao Bridging Leaders Program (MBLP). Cohort 5 fellows presented their public narratives at the March 21 seminar, entitled “Co-Creating Peace in Conflict Affected Areas in Muslim Mindanao.” Their narratives reflected the “pathways” and “platforms of engagement,” as well as their aspirations, to achieve peace and development in their respective communities. Peace in Mindanao is built, a “fellow at a time.” And the fruitful negotiation at the MILF-GPH negotiations becomes more secure with the growing resilience and confidence of the “ground.”
These stories of leadership are told in the MBLP Casebook Volume I, entitled “Co-Creating Peace in Mindanao: A Fellow at a Time.” This volume is a collection of stories of twelve fellows from MBLP Cohorts 4 and 5, sharing their inspiring stories of leadership through a narration of their struggles and victories in achieving social equity in their respective communities in Mindanao. You can view and download the casebook at this link. A second volume is forthcoming for use by our own fellows and the partners in their own leadership development work.
The Center continues with its goal of mainstreaming the Bridging Leadership (BL) Framework across all sectors. At the Institute, the Strategic Leadership courses of the Master in Development Management (MDM) Program as well as the Executive Education Programs (Executive MBA Program, Management Development Program, Basic Management Program) for Philippine and international clients were implemented this year. “Leading with Impact: Bridging Innovation”, a BL elective for Cohort 8 of the Master in Business Administration degree program was also successfully piloted this year. We also continued advocating the BL Framework to all partners, focusing on four key areas: (1) Conflict and Development, (2) Corporate Citizenship, (3) Governance, and (4) Youth Leadership Development. This year, BL Programs for Governance and Youth are set for implementation next year again with old (TEFI) and new partners (Smart Foundation, etc.) year. Through our partners at the Xavier University (Trel, Luther, Ivan, Dean Roel), the Center worked with their ASUL leaders in developing and testing curriculum for a second cohort of the “Tuloy-Tulay” program.
The Network of Bridging Leaders (NoBLe) began its initial steps as an association with the first Strategic Planning Workshop last July, at Balay Mindanaw, Cagayan de Oro. The BL Alumni board members developed plans to strengthen their institutional partnerships by advocating the BL Framework in their respective communities. Thank you to those who attended especially Dedette Suacito, Ding Ferrer, Mayors Sonia Lorenzo, Oscar Moreno and Jasper Que, Councilor Freddie Siao, Ayih Hernandez, Sec. Jehanne Mutin, Atty. AG Alonto and Susano Balais. We look forward to working more robustly with our fellows and alumni to further mainstream the framework and institutionalize existing initiatives on the ground.
Outside AIM, we were privileged to have been invited to introduce and/or use the BL Framework for engagements with various corporate entities such as Unionbank at their 10th Leader’s Learning Circle last September; pharmaceutical, power and telecommunications companies. This November, the Center once again collaborated with International Alert in Myanmar for the successful execution of a training workshop entitled, “Conflict-Sensitive Leadership Governance: A Training Workshop on Peace-Enabling Approaches in Fragile Contexts.” The training workshop was well-attended and well-received by the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industries for bringing together a multi-stakeholder platform for engagement on the issues that face Myanmar’s “compelling future.” Even as the Institute “winds down” the Center, with the CDM team is busy conducting FGDs with various government agencies as part of the TDBM-PFMP project on "Civil Society Engagement in the Budget Process: Needs Assessment for a Technical Support Program for DBM and Selected Agencies."
In May of next year, the Center will be celebrating its 10th year anniversary. With this, the Center looks forward to new partnerships and programs that would enable us to continue “deepening” and “expanding” our community of practice and in enriching the BL Framework. The Center encourages you to be a part of : (1) the 2nd Leadership Development for Social Change Conference (LDSC 2), which will convene partners from the academe, the corporate sector, non-government organizations, civil service organizations, the youth, and universities; (2) a two-day Community Engagement Program (CEP), entitled “Co-Creating the Future: Mobilizing Multi-Stakeholder Partnership,” with the AIM Ramon V. Del Rosario, Sr. Center for Corporate Social Responsibility (RVR CSR) which will gather executives from business, LGUs, and NGOs; (3) the conduct of the Impact Assessment for MBLP Cohorts 4 and 5 to assess and evaluate the BL Program as a means to address the peace and conflict situation in respective areas in Mindanao; (4) a joint training program for BL trainors; and (5) the opening of the Bridging Leaders Fellowship for Cohort 6, among others.
2014 is also the beginning of new pathways for engaging an ever-widening circle of fellow practitioners and friends. Starting January 1, 2014, the Center will be headed by another AIM faculty member who had closely worked with us on the BL framework I would like to take this timely opportunity then, to introduce Professor Manuel J. de Vera, the new Executive Director of the Team Energy Center for Bridging Leadership. His expertise and experience as well in leadership and negotiations and service in the government, private corporations, and international institutions should shepherd the Center into a new strategy period.
Let me also extend my thanks to everyone who has made the “deep dive” a most robust and fulfilling one. It has been a privilege to have worked and served all of you. The journey has been both memorable and worthwhile. Your cooperation and continuous support to the Center produced excellent publications, BL programs, and external institutional engagements, which allowed all of us to shine and become the leaders for change.
Have a blessed Christmas and a meaningful New Year!
Ma. Nieves R. Confesor