Tools For Change (T4C) KUALA LUMPUR'2011'
Overview (By Padmini Solomon)
24th - 27th Feb 2011: The Tools for Change (T4C) 2011 Conference in Kuala Lumpur, organised by Initiatives Of Change (MRAIofC) Malaysia between 24th and 27th February, was the third in a series of meetings that began in Kuala Lumpur in 2009. MRAIofC is “an idea in action”. Its vision : “a world transformed - through change in attitude, actions and structures.” Its mission: “You can plan a new world on paper but you have to create it out of people”.

The Institute for Diplomacy and Foreign Relations ( IDFR) in Kuala Lumpur was a buzz of activity for the 31/2 days of the 2011 conference. It was well attended by 70 participants from 10 countries. It was a time of reflective learning and sharing for participants drawn from various

walks of civil society including educators and students.

There was fair representation of age, gender, work experience, cultures and nationalities that contributed richly to the interactions at the World Café, Open Space Technology and the various Workshops.

The introductory session of World Café was ably facilitated by Rob Lancaster, setting the tone and conveying the central idea that all participants were in a cooperative and level learning community. IofC(Malaysia) Vice Chairman, Haridas gave his warmly received welcome remarks. David Curtis‘ impactful keynote address on Positive Change was followed by enthusiastic testimonies from 4 returning attendees who spoke passionately of their gratitude for the positive changes that had occurred in their lives consequent to their participation. Regina Morris creatively facilitated this process by sharing some powerful short videos to reinforce personal stories of the power of “change within”.

On following days, morning Quiet Times were followed by Small-group Check-ins with table facilitators present for clarifications and de-briefs. Morning Gatherings were entitled Change Within & Around Me (on Day 2) which was a very imaginative Action for Life(AFL) presentation about IofC and Intiatives of Change (on Day 3) which was a case study on Banking For Change focusing on Partiban’s life story.These sessions showed how IofC core values can impact different areas of life, including the corporate world and bring fair benefits to all.

Open Space Technology, scheduled prior to lunch on all 3 days was enthusiastically received by the participants who enjoyed the opportunity for relaxed interaction and a sense of fun. The large space in the hall allowed the comical phrase “the law of two feet” and the more cryptic “bumblebee” and “butterfly” to be actualised and practised. The afternoons were set aside for 7 Seeking Change/ Leading Change Workshops conducted by experienced trainers in the areas of Emotional Intelligence, Heart of Leadership, Passion@ Work, Positive Influence and Communication Strategies Across Cultures, Negotiation Skills and Creators of Peace Circles. The 7 Workshops ran parallel into some 12 hours of training across the first 3 days.

Evening Events were lighthearted with cultural and musical performances by conference participants. The third night saw a sharing and dialogue through a panel discussion about Change Within. Ms Suzanna George did a great job facilitating this session with guests Mr Steven Gan, Dato Ambiga Sreenivasan and Mr Kiran Gandhi.

The discussions, interactions and outcomes were promising and productive, supporting further plans for IofC networking and expansion for the future.

Tools for Change 2011 KL Final Report

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