28 August 2008

IC 2008 mixed feelings

This is about IC content and how it relates to me.

IC has lots of sessions, some are related to AIESEC, some are related to personal issues (like the ones I told in the previous post) and some spaces are sold to companies so they can promote their brands and bring some value to us, while they profile themselves as a good choice for a career movement. In the war for talent, companies consider this as a good investment (and that definitely is, some companies that I never thought to work for seem pretty much a good option now, like Unilever, ING, Microsoft and DHL). Sometimes I feel valued, I mean, these companies fighting for us, for me, it makes some good impact in your self-esteem – and make you really be proud of being an AIESECer, because it seems organizations value our experience, values, profile, competencies, skills, etc.

But sometimes I feel bought – and bought cheap, by free stuff, like caps and bags or beer or anything.

I guess I am just going through a bad moment, caused by personal and professional stuff. IC is a very powerful experience, I can see now, because it seems I am having my first cultural shock related to Norway – even if I am in Brazil. Yeah, it’s strange, in these 2 months in Norway, I didn’t have any culture shock, but as I am back in Brazil (even though I feel in a global village with other 105 countries), I feel some pressing issues that are making me feel a little depressed, dazed and confused.

Maybe it’s just too much work and too little sleep, I don’t know.

25 August 2008

IC live

I am in Brazil in the 3rd (or 4th?) day of IC (but I don’t know when I will have internet to post it). IC, the AIESEC International Congress, in rough lines, IC bring together 600 AIESECers from the 106 countries we are present in, but there’s much more people, partners, alumni, facilitators, etc. I guess it’s around 1000 people from all around the world. It’s very dear to me to come back to Brazil, especially because this congress celebrates the 60th anniversary of AIESEC (and Norway was one of the founding members).

The celebrations of the 60th anniversary are almost over and it was one of the most amazing 2 days in a conference. It was lots of meaningful discussions around a wide variety of topics using open spaces technology. I discussed about education and violence in Latin America and those discussions gave me some very meaningful insights on what I want to do with my life and how to start that.

What is most amazing in IC, though, isn’t the sessions – sometimes with unclear relevance or basic content – but the people you meet, the speakers sharing their wisdom, the thoughts you hear and discuss, the people from the countries you barely knew you get to know. I discussed with Venezuelans about some problems with Hugo Chaves, I saw people from Georgia and Russia speaking about the war that is going on, I saw people from US working on expanding AIESEC in the Middle East to make a positive impact, I met these very funny people from Kazakhstan, those smiling Lithuanians, re-joined the Nordics and the Latins with all our spirit and so on.
People, in the end, are the best input, process and output of IC.

I am having billions of thoughts, insights, challenging my own ideas and concepts, meeting amazing people, smart and passionate AIESECers, ex-AIESECers and partners. Just as an example, a couple of days ago Fabio Barbosa, CEO of Banco Real (ABN Brazil) and Santander Brazil, was speaking about sustainability. Considering Banco Real just won an award as the best bank around sustainability in the world, I guess he is a very qualified speaker. Other people who were speaking were Kelly Michel (founder of Artemisia), Martin Wandmaker (Global vice-president of Talent Management for DHL) and Toke Moller (co-creator of the Art-of-hosting and the guy who lead the open space time that I loved so much. But the “anonymous” people are great also, for example, Nicos, my roommate, which is a very easy going Greek dude and highly fun (as most Greeks here, I definitely want to visit it, they are so Brazilian).

Definitely, IC and AIESEC are life-changing experiences and I truly recommend to everyone. I am very grateful to AIESEC in Porto Alegre, that gave me the opportunity to start in this great organization. I hope I am up to the challenges I am setting to myself. If not I don’t know what would happen, but also if yes, so that’s pretty much ok. Living the present now.

16 August 2008

ScaLDS 2008 – general ideas

This post is a more general one, I intend to make some special posts about different things in ScaLDS.

ScaLDS - or Scandinavian Leadership Development Seminar – is a conference that started in 2004, in Norway, and unite every year MCs and EBs (respectively National and Local AIESEC Executive Boards) from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. The main purpose of this is to connect AIESEC Scandinavian countries (with very similar internal and external trends) and leverage on it, making AIESEC grow in performance.

This year ScaLDS was hosted by Sweden, the first day in Stockholm and the rest of the 4 days of the conference in Fiskeboden. All MCs from Scandinavia are required as facilitators, so that was my involvement in it. I must confess that I was very very annoyed and frustrated with ScaLDS, all the confusion, going forth and backwards all the time. Yes, Imagine 20 people, from around 12 nationalities, scattered in 5 different countries, trying to create a common conference agenda, mostly using virtual means of communication, and you will have a more or less clear picture of it. That’s probably the recipe for chaos – and, if this was the recipe, I must say that it actually worked perfectly.

So, I was totally not wanting to go to ScaLDS, I thought it would be the crappiest conference ever and I would hate it. I had so much to do, ScaLDS was always under prioritized. Our arrival at Sweden was also not so promising: 8 hours by bus (much worse than the Brazilian ones) and when we set foot in Stockholm, around 6am, we had this marvelous idea of going to sleep a little in the Swedish MC apartment, dropping off our luggage and going for some sightseeing around. The thing is that none of us brought any kind of contact list and, in this modern Gmail times, where everyone relies on internet connection, we could not get one with our internetless and useless laptops. So Sonam knew where the MC flat was and we went, after some 30-45 minutes trip by bus. When we arrive, we knocked in every door and, to our surprise, there was no AIESECers around. Our discovery? The MC has changed flat, most precisely at the other end of town.

Besides all this, at pre-meeting, when meeting the 20 Scandinavian MCs, people from all continents, things started to heat up. Those high talented people working together, with the help of the AMAZING chair, Marina, from Romenia, was incredible. We started to get along, joke, work, discuss, disagree, make roll call and, when we looked again, we were this huge big Scandinavian team. Objective number 1 of ScaLDS accomplished.

Our energy was very high, we wanted to make the best conference ever. And, when the time came, when the delegates were in the plenary for the first time, I knew that was destinated to be a great conference. I felt very energized, more than in my first AIESEC conference. I thought conferences would never give me this chill again, but I was wrong. ScaLDS rocked.

Besides the amazing conference team and the delegates themselves, there was a group of 8 individuals that made my days happier and sunnier in the rainy Fiskeboden. My homegroup, the “10 Nature Suckers” (don’t try do understand the name). Homegroup is a small group of people, lead by a facilitator (in that case me) throughout the conference, almost delivering the sessions in a personalized way, making the experienced for the individuals more relevant. And, of course, you really get to know much better these people than the other delegates, so we really bound together. I was so extremely lucky to have this amazing homegroup. They were so passionate, intelligent, commited and funny. I felt I really impacted the life of those 8 amazing people and I will have them forever in my heart. My first facilitation in home group – I was very afraid, because I was never in a home group conference before even as delegate. But it went better than I would imagine. ScaLDS really challenged my world view about how things are in Scandinavia, changed my opinion about how impactful a conference can be, about how a chair can save a conference, how a group of people with a high diversity can create a better outcome than the best individual in the world, how I can have meaningful conversations, etc. ScaLDS was a huge hammer in my brain and one of the best AIESEC experiences I had – probably the best conference, beating even the amazing TR Track at Conade 2007.

The other group of people that realy surprised me in a good way were my 4 LCVPTMs. Oh - my - god, they are so good! In our discussions, they were really alive and kicking, even in the early morning after parting or late in the night. They are brilliant and they get the concepts so fast. I am sure they will rock supreme Talent Management this year. This is the year of change and those guys will lead it, for sure.

And, of course, I could not forget the FUN TEAM. Fun team is a team responsible to make some jokes and games during the conference - since Unite, my first fun team experience, I ALWAYS want to be from this team. We have so much fun together, it's amazing. Don't understand me wrong, usually we suck at making people laugh, but we have some good laughter, so that's great! In fact one of the only "compliments" we got was "yeah, fun team is not funny, but they are better than the avarage fun team". Our shout was:

- Hey fun team! - WE SUCK!

Some random moments in ScaLDS:

The unforgetable faci team:

Minutes before opening plenary:
Conference team roll call (the process of creating it was so funny!)

Fun team judging the performance of the AIESEC talents during the global village:

Me and Sveinung at Pina Colada party:

The fun team and the gossip box in the gala dinner:

The absolutely amazing view from Fiskeboden:

ScaLDS rocks, these Scandinavians are always surprising me. If every conference was like that, people would pay to be part of AIESEC. Thanks a lot!

We’re Nordics, We’re Nordics
We’re far away from home,
We’re highly obnoxious
So leave us alone
We drink when we’re thirsty
We drink when we’re drunk
We drink ‘till we’re motherless
And have a good time ti ai ai aim
Sing, sing, arriba arriba
We live it up, we live it up
We live it up, we do
So give us some Aquavit

If the ocean was whisky
And I was a duck
I’d swing to the bottom
And never come up
But the ocean aint whisky
And I am no duck
So lets go to ScaLDS
And have a good ti ai ai aim
Sing, sing, arriba arriba
We live it up, we live it up
We live it up, we do
So give us some Aquavit!

14 August 2008

Oslo - first sight seeing photos

Oslo, where do I start? I arrived here in the 15th of June 2008, my first experience here with the so called summer. But, what I saw, was not summer (for me) at all. Everyday it was raining and I needed to use sweathers. Fortunately, this was not the true summer and some 1-2 weeks after my arrival, I've expirienced the most agradable days - on the boarder of 30 degrees - sunny and happy.

These are photos from my 2nd or 3rd weekend in Oslo, where I went sight seeing alone (because I was tired of people and didn't want anyone trying to guide me through this amazing town).

Carl Johan, one of the most cute (and expensive) streets in Oslo:

The fortress in Oslo:

The amazing view from the top of the fortress:

The Royal Palace (for me it's so strange to have a real king living there):

What is most amazing in the Royal palace is that, besides having royal blood or whatever, there's very few guards around and you can enter the royal garden (which is AMAZING) and be there. And people really do. Lots of people having a sun bath around, even in swiming suit (a little funny to me). By the way, here it's totally common to go to a park using your swiming suit and just lay down, getting some tan.

The only part with no people I could find in the Royal palace's garden:

Nathional Theater:

Then I got a ferry boat to go to some kind of very close island (and the amazing part is that the ferry was a "normal" public transport, so it was covered in my monthly transporta card).

Photos from the trip and the island:

And what most non-Norwegian speakers call "statues park", or, how they call, Frognerparken. There's also another name, Vigeland park. The thing about this big park in the hearth of Majorstuen (the very nice semi-fancy neighbourhood where I live) is that it's full of statues. Maybe there are hundreds, I don't know. And they were all done by this Vigeland dude. Pretty obsessive, eh? Still, it's really nice park and I was used to run there every once in a while - more in a while than once, to be really true.


Stortinget, the parliment:

And yes, this was only in one day. Oslo is not a big city at all (and that's one of the reasons I love it). I prefer much more Oslo than Stockholm, for example, even Stockholm being so much prettier.

That's it for now. Soon, more on Oslo underworld, Stockholm stuff, conferences, perceptions and what comes, comes in good time.

13 August 2008

Reactivating and change proposal

It's been a while I don't write, since before leaving Brazil to go to Oslo. But know I will make this more lively blog, with 1-2 posts per week. My ambition, my vision, my dream to it is very very low though (and that's no problem as long as it suits me and anyone interested in it):

I will post 1-2 times a week, maybe more at some points, maybe less at others, and I will talk randomly about my experience, things that happen to me, things that amaze or frustrate me. You may expect some misspelling (or lots) of it. In between one error and another, I might come with some lucky shot and good insight or a good link or quote that I saw somewhere.

As I said, the ambition is low - at least for the blog, not for my life.