15 April 2008

Discovery Days - AIESEC Porto Alegre - 2008/01

Discovery Days, the name of the (usually) 2 days long local induction seminar in AIESEC in Brazil, is not new to me, since I have been in 6 of them. But this one was especial, mainly because I was - for the first time - the chair! It was a totally 5 stars (and unexpectedly new) experience to me.

All those new faces, full of curiosity, the old members striving for their best, some being challenge by their first experience as a facilitator in a conference, the energy, the OC running around, the fun and all that being connected somehow by the chair. I loved it! It was so good that I managed to have external energy to give until the end.

New members

I think they were between 30 and 40 and they were so cool. I am always surprised how fast new members get into the mood, “joining” the AIESEC culture and all those dances, shouts, games, acronyms, roll calls and all, but these guys really impressed me - they were dancing since the very first music (obviously Tunak Tunak, the most effective “new member roll call activator” ever created). There was a new girl even teaching Cotton-Eyed John and that “manual matching hand on the table music” (yeah, I don’t have a better name to call it).

Impressive. Most impressive.


The most punctual facis I ever met. I didn’t even felt we were in Brazil (and in a Discovery Days). Definitely these guys were really well instructed on the importance to be on time, because most sessions had 5 minutes less than allocated. Result: no delays in agenda (and it was really really really packed agenda, with some 20, 30 and 45 minutes sessions that I was sure it would be delayed). Because the bus was delayed, we even managed to catch up a 1h delay, putting the agenda on track after lunch.

Again: impressive. Most impressive.

Organization Committee

I got impressive by some individual talents on the team (and how cool people they were, I got some really cool new friends, such as Lu and Sté), but I guess they were not fully a team. I am sure this was more a management problem, than anything else. Maybe the OCP needed more coaching on management than on event management. There were some clear delegation and tracking problems, but by far the OC was very successful. I just don’t want NEVER AGAIN to make paper stars and to stay in a bar without a beer opener and change. ;)

The girls did their job, that was important. And with all ups and downs, we had everything we needed, from laptops and beamers to flipcharts and pens - at the right time. So, great!

Executive Board

The first conference as EB is very exciting. Too bad I could not talk so much with the guys, but they looked very good. In fact, the LC is so big now that the EB did not need to appear so much. I guess this is a smart thing to activate leadership. I just had one concern: some unacceptable behaviors, such as waking up late. Leadership is sacrifice, I don’t mind if you didn’t sleep, you go and be a role model, no matter what.

This behaviour is easy to understand, we did that too in our first DD (Chico arrived so late that it was after lunch), but we did addressed that situation afterwards.


It’s hard to beat the south of Brazil in terms of fun. I really enjoyed being again with my former LC, those crazy parties and the very high level of energy. Even gossip box worked out with great gossips (thanks to my fun team, Felipe and Xande, and Jalusa for all the fun at the party).

Me as a chair

Lots of people told me they liked a lot and I also liked a lot to be the chair. It was really amazing. I didn’t know I could be fun and all, since I am much more a low profile person. But I guess it’s all about the roles I play, I just do what I need to, in the case of being a chair, I needed to be energetic and crazy, so I was. In the end I even managed to be a little inspiring - using Anna’s video (by the way, I didn’t post it yet because Anna asked me to hold on, because she need to ask for permission from the people on the movie. So wait a little more)

Final evaluation

Great experience, I definitely want to be chair more times. I hope someone invite me. By the way, thanks a lot a lot a lot to the OC, especially Sté, who asked me to be the chair and also the EB that agreed on that - UPDATE: Anna Laura told me that the EB and the OC had the same choice, just that the OC was the guys who invited me, but EB were already planning on that - I feel flatered once again. You guys gave me this amazing opportunity and I will be forever grateful to that.

Check some @PA Discovery Days 2008/01 photos here.

11 April 2008

Unite - AIESEC in Norway’s national conference (I have lot’s of troubles with this “’s” thing)

AIESEC has pretty much the same core worldwide, but is different in lots of aspects. And conferences are one of the main things to observe to get to know some differences between countries inside this organization. So here’s my perception of my first national conference in Norway - which is probably more similar to most European conferences. So, welcome to Unite 2008, held in Oslo.


AIESEC in Norway is much smaller in numbers than AIESEC in Brazil, in the whole conference we had more or less 130 people, less than the South’s regional conference in Brazil. This is somewhat good, because you can get to know people better, talking longer and meeting the same people at formal and informal moments. I am traditionally not the best networker in the world, but my facebook had a huge grow after Unite.

Also we have fewer days than national conferences in Brazil. We had 1 day of pre-meeting (just with current and elect LC Executive Boards) plus 3 days with everyone. In my opinion it should have at least one day more, because on the 3rd day I noticed that people were finally 100% in the conference mood, but then it was already time to say good-bye.

Organization + conference site

Dramatically different in terms of organization, especially because, as far as I noticed, there was very little preparation of things before the conference (not even the rooms where we would have the conference were booked to us). This was extremely surprising and in the beginning I didn’t feel very good. But the site itself was amazing, it’s a private business school called “BI”, with super high-tech classrooms (2 beamers in all of them), very fancy building (still, not very user-friendly, since I was always lost in that crazy messy halls) and expensive meals (around 10 euro a very simple plate).

Still, the OC (the people who are responsible for all the logistics and organization in the conference) were extremely hard-working - besides their very low numbers. They did miracles, I am sure. For example, imagine you have 130 people to eat and 2 microwaves to do all the food - yeah, that happened and, miraculously, it worked (but, really, let’s implement the buffet system). At least I ate a very nice curry thing. I have to congratulate 2 people specially (because they were the ones I had more contact with): Egle, a super cool Lithuanian girl (as all Lithuanians probably), very helpful and also my Vice-President Talent Management elect (from LC BI), and Kenneth, from the current MC, who was kind of supporting the OC a lot and acting in a so calm and resulted oriented way that it was very surprising. Egle is the laughing girl, Kenneth is the know-all-AIESEC-dances guy. By the way, all OC were very smiling people. Great people!


Breath-taking and super fancy were too shallow adjectives to describe the hotel, called Radisson SAS, that the OC got to us - and just crossing the street from BI and in front of the Nydalen metro station. It was a total paradise (especially for AIESEC conference standards). Too bad we stayed so little inside it. By the way, we from the conference team stayed on the Business Class.

Ah, I was totally made for that. Thanks a lot!


I felt some parts of the agenda were not connected (or people did not understand the connection). I think one of the things that made very hard to build the agenda (and deliver sessions) was that there was a huge gap between lowest and highest knowledge levels there. There was members with 2 weeks of AIESEC and members with around 2 years. By the way, knowledge levels, to my standards, are somewhat low in AIESEC in Norway. I would say they are in a similar page as Brazil was before the MC Archers (term 2005-06).

I hope we can impact the country so much as they did in Brazil.


Anna Brandt was for sure one of the most special person I had met in this conference. If you know me, you know when I am working I am serious and focused, a little boring probably. Then when Anna arrived to the Conference Team pre-meeting, everything changed: she is a walking smile - and she is GERMAN, studying in SWITZERLAND, not the best profile to be a cheerful person. I don’t understand how, but people that smile a lot give me so good energy - other example is Laura Adomaityte, one of the coolest in the universe.

Anna is the current National Talent Management Director (MCVPTM) in Switzerland - the same position I was elected to in Norway. The best thing is that she is good with smiling and timing (at least some German thing in her, since she looks like much more a Brazilian).

Fun stuff

No AIESEC conference is complete without the fun. And in this criterion, they are definitely different from AIESEC in Brazil: they have much more “AIESEC things”, such as gossip box, FBI and LC shouts (by the way, most LC roll calls are shouts, not dances).

One of the most amazing differences is the parties. Since alcohol is very expansive in Norway (and even more inside the parties), people traditionally organize “pre-parties”, where they drink a lot, so they don’t need to drink so much AT the party itself (the courageous ones also do after-parties, which I know I did, but I don’t remember, having as final result the lost of my mobile and my coat). Besides all the craziness provided by the alcohol, different from Brazil, no one makes out at the party - IF happens, everything is much concealed. Those charming discreet Vikings. :)

They did with me a thing called the “Norwegian circle”, were we pass a bottle of alcohol and scream some very Viking stuff before drinking. I had to empty 3 or 4 centimeters of vodka - geez, I am not used to and probably never will.

Special moments

Maybe this is the conference with more special moments to me. Those moments that won’t leave your head and that will impact in lots of things in yourself for a long time. Here they are (with no order of importance):

0. Meet my new team

Expectations sometimes are the killers of good time and joy, so I tend to kill any unnecessary expectation setting: that was no problem, because no matter how good I could expect my team to be, they are for sure BETTER. They are so funny and talented! It was amazing to meet the full team. Really, I am super excited about the year and for sure 50% of it is about them.

1. Alumni chat

One of the most fabulous things I ever saw in a conference: ex-members of AIESEC from the 60’s (and ex-PAI, President of AIESEC International), 70’s (ex-PAI also), 80’s (I think she was MCP, President of AIESEC Norway, the first female in Norway to do that), 90’s (ex-AI Director) and 2000’s (ex-MCP) sharing some really inspiring stories. And all of them were Norwegians (AIESEC Norway is one of the founding members of AIESEC, so naturally had a lot of old alumni). The most impressive guys were the ex-PAIs, not because of their former position, but because of the historical moment, the post-war things, communism flirting with AIESEC, etc. It was really amazing to see how big is AIESEC and how hard it was in the beginning.

2. LC coaching meeting

I met my LC, the guys who I will support specially so they can achieve their goals, it’s University of Oslo (AEEEEE!) It was amazing to meet then, they are so mature and cool. I am sure they have really huge potential, my only work will be to help them with some directions and they will perform. I see them very much alike my former LC, Porto Alegre, was when I was elected EB: lots of potential, lots of work to do, capable people, etc. And I remember very well what Marcelo, the coach of Porto Alegre, did to help us perform and how important his support was.

University of Oslo won the most progressive LC award (it does not mean they are the best LC, but the one that had more improvement from all) and I guess they can go to the LC Role Model Award next year. Let’s see. :)

3. Fun team

The best fun team ever, at least the best to work with. It was Anna, Sveinung, Camilla, Alexa and me - we worked very early in the morning and very late at night (respectively before opening plenary and after all the facilitators meetings) and it was impressive how much energy we got in those extreme moments, against all odds (if you ever saw me in the morning and sleepy, you know how bad mooded I can be - but not with them, it was amazing). Probably I had more fun there than with any party.

We were so mean that the most spoken phrase when we were building what to say so the delegates would have fun was:
- No, no, we cannot use that, it’s too mean (and this was followed by a lot of laughter).

Fun team rocks.

4. Closing plenary

Most closing plenaries in my life were shitty for one reason or another. But Unite’s closing pleanary was amazing, mostly because of Anna. She put a really touching video about some AIESEC experiences and the reasons behind we work as crazy (and have fun as crazy also). It was really some lessons we need to recap from time to time, especially when you start to be away from the local reality. I may post the video here someday, I won’t know because I will use it this weekend in a conference that I will chair. ;)

5. Post-meeting

As above, usually post-meetings are shitty: people are tired, stressed and hungry, but not this one (well, we did it eating, we were stressed and we were tired, but the outcome was different anyway). Once again, I guess Anna was the main responsible for facilitating it very well, so we got the relevant feedback (not only negative, but also positive). It was so strong that half of the people there cried (not in a bad way) and all of us made a super huge hug with all the team (yeah, I know, it’s fluffy, but it was appropriate).

If you don’t have the time to read all this, just know this: I loved this conference.

Check some photos from Unite 2008 in Oslo.

07 April 2008

Any Given Sunday

Any Given Sunday is a somewhat old movie by Oliver Stone, which I got to know thanks to Henrique Vedana and also in some AIESEC conferences. They always showed one scene of that movie: Al Pacino (the coach of the footbal team) is making a speech about the importance of the team and the achievement of small milestones in order to reach the end goal. It's a great speech (I used it as "inspiration" when I had to do the same with my previous team, BTMU, when they were underperforming - and it worked quite well)!

You can check the speech bellow:

And I finally saw the entire movie today, a sunday, and I have to agree that this film is completly about leadership: roles, effects, problems and so on. Definitely a must see for anyone interested in leadership, how to form teams (and how to destroy them also). I totally recommend it.

02 April 2008

First 8 days in Oslo (I loved it!)

A total of around 48 hours inside airplanes or airports, airplane food, airport prices, flight delays of more than 5 hours and all what is on the package did not dim the greatness of my first international trip to my next home: Oslo, the Norwegian capital of just 500.000 habitants. On this post I intend to tell a little about the different perceptions (at least the ones I can remember). Sorry if I come up with any Brazilian stereotype or bizarre thought, that’s my culture and I am still in it. Besides that, I won’t explain exactly why I was there, but you can see it here on this post about the trip.

(I will make one post only about the conference, this is only about the Oslo experience)


I must confess I didn’t see much of the city, I arrived and my route was only house -> office -> house, with very few exceptions. But I must say Oslo is totally calm city to my standards. Very few traffic, few people on the streets and few tall buildings. It looks like a very pleasant city, since I particularly dislike crowds. Building look very pretty, well taken care of (except maybe some old apartments where inside is a little not so good or the old metro). But in majority it’s much prettier than any city in Brazil (when we talk about constructions, not nature - because, you know, you just can’t beat Rio de Janeiro, sorry guys). I loved it!

Temperature / climate

I know we were not at the worst winter part, so I have no idea of how cold it can really be, but for sure the -1 to 3 that I experienced there was not so cold at all to me. I was feeling colder in my own city, here in Brazil, because houses are not prepared to cold (so you are always cold) and the humidity seems to be higher, so the sensation is worst.

And I saw SNOW for the first time! :) Snow is a funny thing, I like the way it feels like. I just didn’t like when it melts and everything becomes slippery as hell, thus making me almost fall 3 or 4 times. And taking in account my underdeveloped dexterity, I know it will definitely happen.


Almost everywhere there’s a heating system in place, from houses and offices to public transportation. They have good isolation also, so it’s quite easy to be on short sleeves inside. Really, this is paradise near the way we feel at home in Porto Alegre’s winter, where the only time you feel hot is on your bed (after some 10 minutes) and on the shower (if you are lucky enough to not use an electric shower, which the majority are not). So it’s pretty easy to leave your bed and the shower without thinking every time you will freeze to death.

Bathrooms are worth notes: the bathroom floor where people have shower is heated. It’s an absolute paradise feeling to walk on that. Also the bathroom lights are mysteriously placed outside the bathroom itself (I wonder why, but had no courage to ask). Every sink I run through had hot and cold water - oh, yeah, and you can drink the water from the tap (this probably means that we could make Chimarrão – South Brazilian’s kind of tea - just using the tap, without the need for an stove).


By far what I will probably miss the most of Brazil, the food. OMFG, they eat kind of sandwiches at lunch and they have real warm food at dinner (quite the opposite of Brazil). And I must say that their bread is a little rough. Not to mention to put sweet things (as chocolate or some kind of jam) on it. NOT WARM FOOD AND SWEET AT LUNCH? I disliked it, but I guess I will adapt (I hope). I must say that the sauces and meat served at dinner didn’t catch up my tongue also - besides the fancy meal at the official dinner which was absolutely magnanimous (and probably overwhelmly expensive). By the way, as I’ve been told, meat is sooo expensive (I will miss the Brazilian barbecue, especially the one that my granddad does).

And no hope for buffet restaurants (so usual in Brazil - I already miss “Tudo Pelo Social”). When you buy it, they serve your plate and that’s it, no way of choosing “that and that and not that”. Maybe I could open a kilo restaurant with tons of meat?


I was expecting closed people, and I kind of didn’t find them. Really, people from AIESEC, I was told, are very different from the “normal” Norwegians, but AIESECers are pretty cool, smiling, starting conversations and so on. Of course they don’t hug you when meeting for the first time, but they are really nice. I can say that they are more open them me (because I probably am the most closed Brazilian ever since).

But also people from outside AIESEC (I talked with people from Electrolux and Hybel, 2 organizations that were in the conference) and they looked like quite interested to talk to me and they were great people). Also, when I was waiting at the bus stop at 4am, a random guy who arrived there to wait for the same bus started to talk to me about where I was going (it was an airport route) and, after getting to know I was Brazilian, about football (or soccer, as you wish).

And what about public service (such as the police thing to get the work permit)? Absolutely helpful, smiling and flexible enough to really help you. Being used to the Brazilian public service, I can say that nothing of the above can be found here. I loved it.

By the way, Norwegians seem to be very polite and caring about other people. Every time I was around, they started to speak English, so I could join the conversation. I think I didn’t need to say not once “hey, please, switch to English so I don’t feel a baby here”. And their English knowledge is great. And everybody speaks English, really. From bus drivers to random people on the street. I just met ONE person that did not speak English, and it was a restaurant waiter with all the looks of being an immigrant from middle east or somewhere near. Norwegians speak English very well. Once again, I loved it.

Are Norwegians closed? NOT! Maybe I was expecting too closed people, so the good impression. Let’s see the impression on the long run.


Definitely I didn’t love it. Prices are so expensive there, probably because they get a very good salary there (or is it the other way around?) Anyway, prices are huge, for example, a very simple plate at the university restaurant by the office was arounf 50 NOK (Norwegian Kroner), which means around 6.5 Euro or 16.7 Brazilian Reais. WOW! And for sure the worst prices are for alcohol, in a bar we paid 50 NOK for an long neck beer. At the store it’s a little cheaper, but not so much, a can of 500ml bear is around 20-30 Kroner. Totally bad for a beer lover as me, I guess I will have to brew my own alcohol somehow.


Talking about alcohol, we could not forget to mention parties: in fact people do not drink much at the party (because of the prices), so they do kind of pre-party and after-party, where then they kind of rock the house until the bottles are 100% empty. They go wild at the party, dancing and all, but, different from Brazil, they do not make out or anything (at the party at least). I loved the party, but, then, I was so drunk that maybe it was just the alcohol. Who knows? Well, just to make sure you understand: I loved it (besides the formal one, that band was really bringing me down and the beer was so expensive that it was not worth)!


Buy the passes (from machines), go anywhere with the same pass (bus, tram or metro) and no body checks anything. Absolutely not working in Brazil, but there, people really buys it and respect (I think). Norwegians seem to be very responsible people in that sense - no cheating the rules. And is so easy to understand their transport system, where is it coming, where it came from, in how many minutes it will arrive and how many minutes it will take to your destination. I loved it! Transport is punctual, I loved it even more!


Safe as a Swiss safe, people just leave the offices open (the whole floor), leave a computer screen at the building hall to pick up tomorrow, leave the house key at mailboxes, walk without any worries to very desert streets and so on. I saw ONE begger there and it was clearly not a begger, but a drug addicted just asking for money. A very good cultural shock, I can say.


I will be the coach of University of Oslo (or UiO as they say). They seem to have a great potential to perform (they grew a lot in the last term and were awarded with the leadership award and the most progressive LC award). What I liked the most of them is that in the SWOT analysis they were the only one to think of opportunities to grow on Exchange and that they are very mature people, really good to talk to them. I guess they were really happy to have me as coach as well, so we both are very willing to start the work. Guys, let’s go for the Role Model LC next year. ;)


The last are the best: my team is absolutely amazing. The guys are so funny, it’s unbelievable. The ones that were more mysterious to me, Sveinung and Alexa, are amazing. Sveinung is probably the funniest guy on Earth (and for sure the funniest on Norway) and Alexa, besides being funny and extremely competent, is a very good dancer. Camilla, Ida and Sonam just reinforced the good impressions I had from them. Also the current MC is amazing, Kirsten, Kenneth, Camilla, Magnus… It will be amazing to work with all them, I can’t wait. So, just to make sure you understand: I loved it!

Can’t wait to be there again in 15th June!