Monday, December 17, 2007

"We are the system"

Last weekend I participated in a 3 days Art of Hosting training lead by Toke, a guru of AoH. Was good (and needed) space for reflexion and learning, got a lot of good insights about hosting, working with people, creating change ... re-learning many things, reminding myself about others.
I´m thinking of posting a few of my notes here still, but firstly I´d like to share with you a final message by Toke.

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"We are the system - the system is not outside ourselves - it is our own broken relationships that need to heal - my relationship to myself, to life - to this earth - to the others - to the world - that is how systemic shifts happen.

I am the need in the world - we are the system - we are the solution. Meaningful conversations and real learning space heal our relationships.

We are invited to enter living from the heart....

From disrespect to respect - from I know better to curiousity - from judging to understanding each other- from fear to love.

This is what we need to host now between us - this is part of the Work of anyone who wants to help the world at this time."

- collective insight during Aoh in Brazil December 2007

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Maintain the fish in the sea!

Yesterday I gave a presentation at an AIESEC seminar about my experience in working in ABN Amro Banco Real in the area of Sustainable Development. Various presentations alike where conducted that day, wherein one a presenter brought a very simple example of what is sustainability:

- giving someone a fish, that's philantrophy
- teaching someone to fish, could be referred to as a social or community investment*
- making sure that there's always fish in the sea, that's sustainability

How simple is that :)

* the presentation was made from a corporate point of view, similar deed could be considered a social entrepreneurship, depending on the actor.

Education - Estonia ranks 5th on the OECD PISA survey!

OECD’s PISA survey shows some countries making significant gains in learning outcomes.
Based on tests carried out among 400,000 students in 57 countries in 2006, the latest PISA survey focuses particularly on students’ abilities in comprehending and tackling scientific problems.
At a time when scientific and technological know-how is helping to drive growth in advanced economies, the results of PISA 2006 reveal wide variations in skills levels. Student attitudes to science will be crucial to countries’ economic potential in tomorrow’s world, and PISA 2006 gives a detailed picture of how well students around the world are prepared for the challenges of a knowledge society.
The top performer in science in PISA 2006 was Finland, followed by Hong Kong-China, Canada, Chinese Taipei, Estonia, Japan and New Zealand.

It's was not a news to me that the level of education in Estonia is very good (heh partially a legacy of the Soviet era, I guess. It had its pluses).
Being now in Brazil, which is a country of 180 million people (large!! especially in comparision to Estonia), with much higher unemployment rate and a huge number of people competing for both blue and white collar jobs, among them the around 25 000 master students that graduate each year (if I remember correctly), I often started to wonder how competitive is one with an education from a country that hardly anyone has heard of.
I think in terms of Estonian universities, we still have a few leaps to take to get ourselves on the global scene (should that ever be possible), but according to PISA, the high school education is there already.
That`s an encouraging sign especially considering the challenges Estonia faces like a lack of teachers, not very competitive pay etc.