Analogue leadership in a digital world

Abeer Abu Ghaith

Abeer Abu Ghaith

Abeer is Founder and CEO of MENA Alliances Group Inc., an International business aimed at providing opportunities for talented individuals in the MENA region to work in business and technology.

After completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Systems Engineering from Palestine Polytechnic University in Hebron, Palestine, Abeer worked as Computer Network Instructor at the Palestine Polytechnic University and at the Dura Industrial School for girls she held the post of Hardware Engineer. She followed this by working as the the Country Director of the Women’s Campaign International (WCI) and their flagship program, ALWANE where her work included several efforts to increase women’s participation in the labor market and decision making positions; supporting youth and women’s employment and entrepreneurship; to initiating advocacy campaigns using innovative technology; and to growing youth and women’s internet and computer literacy.

Abeer then founded her first company, StayLinked, which brought more than 370 jobs opportunities for youth and women across the West Bank and Gaza after which she went to the Harvard Kennedy School to undertake The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women-U.S. Department of State Entrepreneurship Program for Women in the Middle East and North Africa.  Abeer then studied for her Masters in Science in Business Innovation with Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management at Birkbeck College, University of London before returning to continue her work with MENA Alliances in Palestine.

Abeer is continually curious and driven to achieve and through this is providing opportunities for quite literally hundreds of women in the MENA Region.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/abughaith/

Nick Byrne

Nick Byrne

Nick works with leaders from business, government and civil society to help navigate issues at the intersection of technology, society and the next economy.

Over the last 10 years this has resulted in Nick working with many notable people and organisations.  He has launched a number of landmark technology ventures including Australia Post’s Digital iD platform, has helped reinvent civil society organisations such as Australian Red Cross and Oxfam Australia in order to account for the pace of technological change, and acted as a formal advisor to Swinburne University’s Social Innovation Research Institute.

Nick has an interest and belief in the role of government to lead people through the unique challenges presented by technological progress in the 21st Century.

He now works as for the

Nick lives in Western Australia, with his wife Helen and two kids, Cecilia and Fiona.

Nick’s Homepage

Nick’s LinkedIn page

 

What has your Fellowship enabled you to do, explore, or gain that you wouldn’t have otherwise?

Through my Fellowship Intersticia is enabling me to explore how technology is empowering, or disempowering workers globally. Becoming an Intersticia Fellow has opened up networks that were either previously unavailable, or would have been difficult to develop.

What impact has your Fellowship had on your ability to lead in the 21st century?

The Fellowship has made me realised that leadership in the 21st century is messy, as we are forced to lead across different tribes, and influence unfamiliar people. To lead through this requires clarity of vision and purpose; but most importantly networks. Leaders in the 21st Century use networks and trust to bring people together to advance a particularly cause or mission.

How do you imagine your Fellowship will impact on your personal and professional growth in the next chapter of your life?

On a professional level, I imagine the Fellowship will accelerate my career for reasons already stated. But on a personal level I’m hoping that Intersticia Fellowship will help my rounded leadership development; making sure I remain focused on all the other important aspects of life that, ironically, are also important to being an effective leader. These are things like prioritising family and loved ones, taking care of your health, and focusing on the bigger picture.

How is technology empowering, or disempowering workers and what hope is there for the future?

We have a hypothesis that blockchain technology can be used to advance the opportunity for decent work by offering features such as: Transparent, immutable work agreements Labour supply chain transparency Reputation systems.

I would like to use the Fellowship to establish a global network that will position TypeHuman and its members as thought leaders in the domain of work and blockchain.

Key activities in the Fellowship become: Research and writing Travel and meetings.

Bel Campbell

Bel Campbell

Bel is a multi disciplinary creative and worked as the Creative Director of the Intersticia Foundation where she managed our creative strategy and output across all Foundation projects including Brave Conversations and the Web Science Conferences.

Bel focused her Leadership Fellowship towards the development of Future Worlds Challenge, a youth education experience designed to prepare today’s youth for tomorrow’s complex world. Bel is passionate about awakening the imaginative capacity of all people in order to uncover innovative solutions to humanity’s most pressing social problems.

Bel now works as Communications and Engagement Officer) with

Bel’s LinkedIn page

Negar Tayyar

Negar Tayyar

Negar Tayyar is a philanthropic advisor and a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC). She has worked in 14 countries for UN agencies, governments, and international NGOs. She is now leading ‘The Global Whole Being Fund – Caring for Humanity on the Move.’ The Fund is a global grantmaking body supporting ‘people on the move’ (an umbrella term for refugees, migrants, asylum seekers, and internally displaced people) across the globe. Negar’s vision is to leverage philanthropy to transform the refugee support system. She envisions a refugee support system that is rights-based and engage people on the move as skilled and resilient individuals who given the opportunity can become self-sufficient and add value to the host community.

Negar’s LinkedIn page

What has your Fellowship enabled you to do, explore, or gain that you wouldn’t have otherwise?

The Fellowship at Intersticia has been providing me a fabulous support structure as I have been growing into my work. The Fellowship is more than a series of trainings. It comes with a sense of belonging to an inspiring community of like-minded leaders, who follow different passions and disciplines.

Through the Fellowship I got the privilege to attend an Executive Course at the Harvard Kennedy School titled ‘Leadership for the 21st Century.’ The course covered the main principles of adaptive leadership; a leadership theory that would transform my work. The timing of the course was auspicious. It happened right before my learning journey across the migration route covering five countries. I had to wait nine months before I could finally visit grant partners due to Executive Order of the Trump Administration. This trip was vital for refining the grantmaking strategy for the GWBF. The course equipped me with the tools I needed for this critical task.

Without the Fellowship, I would not have been able to attend the Harvard course and to hence step aside from the daily work to engage with inspiring minds from all over the globe; some of them I now count as friends and allies.

What impact has your Fellowship had on your ability to lead in the 21st century?

The Fellowship had a significant impact on my self-perception as a leader and the ways I see myself leading as I am working towards my vision. Through the Fellowship and the learning around adaptive leadership, I gained following three insights that shape how I show up as a leader today:

1. Sitting on the balcony vs. being on the dance floor
The balcony vs. dance floor concept, a keystone of the adaptive leadership course, was critical for me. The nature of my work requires me to balance multiple perspectives. While engaging with grant partners who each focus on different aspects of forced displacement, I also need to hold a broader vision. If I were to engage too much on the dance floor while supporting grant partners, I would lose sight for the broader vision of the Global Whole Being Fund and my leadership responsibilities as a philanthropic advisor. The course, the language and the exercises in small groups helped me to practice being on the balcony and carefully choosing when to engage on the dance floor. Practicing this metaphor in every meeting helps me to create an enabling space and to engage rather than be reactive.

2. The art of listening and asking questions vs. ‘knowing’
The course helped me to rediscover the art of listening and emphasized the importance to remain curious and ask questions. This mindset enabled me to visit the refugee camps and organizations with what is referred to in Zen Buddhism as a ‘Beginners Mind.’ It allowed me to stay with ambiguity and acknowledge that aiming to ‘know’ the complexity of each an every organization and camp across countries was a sheer impossible task. Interestingly this approach resonated with existing and potential grant partners. My grantpartners and colleagues shared their appreciation for having felt seen and acknowledged.

3. Trust
One of the critical insights of the course is that being a leader requires staying grounded in the most simple and yet most difficult things such as building and maintaining trust. The importance of building trust and the adaptive leadership stakeholder mapping has been critical. The stakeholder mapping including categories such as partners, allies, confidence, troublemakers to name a few, helped to distinguish a support ecosystem. Being clearer on the different kind of stakeholders I work with inspired me to revisit some strategies and reflect on alternative ways to implement these.

How do you imagine your Fellowship will impact on your personal and professional growth in the next chapter of your life?

The Fellowship has been critical for my learning journey. Intersticia’s support has first and foremost enabled me to see myself as a leader. The insights I gained through the fellowship and the Harvard course have been adding so much value to my work. The Fellowship enabled me to rethink the framework for my work and focus on the critical pillars. My work is centered on my vision, which I am deeply passionate about. That said, the insights I gained through my Fellowship also translate into actions and mind shifts in my personal life. The importance of balancing observation and action (balcony vs. dance floor), listening and asking questions linked to the art of building and maintaining trust have been shifting my relationships overall. In a nutshell, I feel curious about learning, and I make more intentional decisions and value relationships more than ever.
The course also enabled me to recognize that I seem to be most comfortable amidst chaos and conflict. Leaning into courage comes at times naturally, and other times it is accompanied by a sense of discomfort. In any case, I seem to be continually striving for situations that require me to be courageous. Embracing my courage makes me come alive.

More Information

Global Whole Being Fund

Negar’s private coaching practice

Judo Journeys

Articles

Negar co-founded and is co-chairing three Funders Working Groups:

February 2023
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