Our Blog


Build Your Social Innovation Management Skills at The Amani Institue

Build Your Social Innovation Management Skills at The Amani Institue

This impactful, field-based Social Innovation Management Postgraduate Certificate Program brings together a group of competitively selected, highly talented individuals from around the world who all share a passion for social change and want to build a career of meaning and impact. This 10 months learning experience has the depth and pace necessary to train for effective change making – the intensity is equivalent to a 2-year traditional master’s degree.   Amani Institute’s cutting-edge Social Innovation Management Program consists of 4 months field immersion in Kenya or Brazil, 10 skill-building courses taught by global experts, a customized apprenticeship, 3 inspiring field trips, 20+ like-minded classmates from around the world, a personal mentor, and much more. During this 10 months experience, you are sure to expand your professional network, get global experience, get to live in one of the major global hubs in social innovation, and learn how to change the world!   Who should apply?   The program is open to anyone in the world with an undergraduate degree who is eager to train intensively to build his/her skills at leading social change. We are especially looking for people like: •Aditi, a recent graduate determined to create a life and career of addressing big social challenges •Ken, who works for an international NGO and has been looking for a way to improve his practical skills and leadership capacity but hasn’t found a master’s program that provides what he needs •Rodrigo, who has been working in the private sector for some years but feels that his passion for making a difference would find better use with organizations solving problems like pollution or health care   When & Where?   •1st July to 30th November 2015 – Sao Paulo, Brazil   •1st July to 30th November 2015 – Nairobi, Kenya   Endorsements   This program has been endorsed and supported by a range of innovative organizations and institutions such as University of  The Amsterdam School of Creative Leadership, Ashoka East Africa, the Harvard Social Entrepreneurship Collaboratory, the African Management Initiative and the Unreasonable Institute. They also have a partnership with the United Nations mandated University for Peace, which means that Amani Fellows who complete their Post-Graduate Certificate in Social Innovation Management are now eligible for a further Diploma in Social Innovation.   Application   The deadline for registration is for the March program is 1st June 2015- however, applications will close when all the spots are filled, so APPLY NOW  on their website: bit.ly/amani_2015!   More information?   Check out their Social Innovation Management (SIM) program overview for information at a glance. And for more of a taste what the program is about, watch their program video  here.  For more information make sure to visit their website and don’t hesitate to reach out either directly to Caroline or to info@amaniinstitute.org,  if you have any further questions! They are looking forward to connecting with you!       “Being part of the Social Innovation Management program at the Amani Institute was the best personal and educational investment I’ve made. It provided me the opportunity to learn about courses and topics that I’ve always been keen on learning and integrated that education into practical skills that will help me in my professional and personal development. What I’ve taken and learnt in those months, I’ll be applying in my entire life.”  -Adam Chagani, Alumn from Canada...

read more

Friends, Family and Community Members, With the current humanitarian crisis in Nepal, we know that many are eager to help and are actively searching for effective outlets to channel their support. We’d like to invite you to participate in Nepal RISE – a global effort to increase awareness, generate support and raise funds for the communities and people affected by earthquake in Nepal. See poster below. Nepal RISE is a global movement with events happening in Bangkok, Beijing, Hong Kong and hopefully more. The goal of Nepal RISE – Bangkok is to raise USD 100,000 that will go directly to the International Medical Corps (IMC), who are currently working on the ground in Nepal.   Nepal RISE – Bangkok has three components: 1) May 4th: Nepal Information Night @ NIST International School – Please RSVP HERE 2) May 5th – 16th: Community-hosted events throughout Bangkok in support of Nepal Earthquake Relief 3) May 17th: Nepal RISE Benefit Concert @ NIST International School – Please RSVP HERE 1. NEPAL INFO NIGHT (Monday, May 4th): This Monday, May 4th from 6:30 – 8:30pm, Nepal RISE will launch with a community info meeting at NIST International School. This is an opportunity to learn more about the needs of Nepal in the short-, medium-, and long-term, as well how the international community can rally our support appropriately and sustainably. This meeting will also feature live video call from IMC staff on the ground in Nepal, to receive accurate real-time information from the ground in Nepal. 2. BANGKOK COMMUNITY EVENTS (May 5th-16th): From May 5th – May 16th, Bangkok community members will host a variety of awareness events to support the Nepal Earthquake Response. Please post event information to www.facebook.com/nepalrisebangkok. 3. NEPAL RISE BENEFIT CONCERT (Sunday, May 17th): On Sunday, May 17th, Nepal RISE will culminate in a fundraising event: a benefit concert with live music, delicious food provided by various Bangkok restaurants, raffles, and speakers. Donations will be accepted at the entrance, 100% of which will go to IMC’s relief efforts in Nepal. A percentage of profits from food vendors will also be donated.   Want to be involved? We’re looking for people to help in the following ways: Musicians to perform at the Benefit Concert on Sunday May 17th Food vendors to setup stalls at Benefit Concert on Sunday May 17th Volunteer event staff at Nepal RISE Benefit Concert on Sunday May 17th Items for Raffle Prizes Items for Silent Auction If you are able to support with any of the above items, email us at NepalRise@jumpfoundation.org. For more updates on events in Bangkok, globally, and to share your own events, please visit our Facebook page www.facebook.com/nepalrisebangkok. In solidarity, Nepal RISE Team     Email Nepal RISE!...

read more

A Week with Planet Walker

When I first met Dr. John Francis, I was not walking, but rather running to meet him; we had lost each other that was the madness of a Beijing train station after his arrival from Hangzhou. After frantically running between platforms, I found just the man I was looking for – complete with banjo and walking boots. Dr. Francis started his Planet Walking journey in the 1970s when he witnessed the aftermath of an oil spill in the San Francisco bay. So affected was he that he decided to give up motorized transportation, electing to only walk or bike as his modes of transport. On his 27th birthday, he realized that he was not listening to the people around him; only choosing to argue and debate with others. Thus, he chose to walk in silence for one day…one day eventually became 17 years. In his time walking on the West Coast, he earned his bachelors, masters, and doctorate degrees in environmental studies with emphases on oil spills…all in silence. Dr. Francis broke his silence on Earth Day in Washington D.C. in the 1990s expressing gratitude to his family and friends first, but also to express that he had learned something: humans are part of the environment too and thus, how we treat each other is the first chance we get to treat the environment well. The environment is more than just the air and water – it’s also the frogs and soil, it’s also civil rights and economic equity, it’s also education systems and gender equality. Dr. Francis proceeded to continue walking the length of South America while being declared a UN Goodwill Ambassador and later a National Geographic Explorer Fellow. Finally, 22 years after giving up anything with a motor, Dr. Francis decided it was time to ride in cars and planes and trains again, but now with the aim to raise awareness of the environment, encourage people to really listen, and develop ideas globally surrounding environmental conservation and using walking as an experiential education tool. We were so thrilled to partner with PlanetWalk, The Hutong, National Geographic, and Chinese International School Hangzhou to support Dr. Francis’ PlanetWalk journey in Beijing. We were able to have many events in Dr. Francis’ honor from speaking engagements to walks to a night of song and stories – check out some photos below for a recap of the “celebration of life” as Dr. Francis might call it.   Dr. Francis was able to speak with Year 9 students at Dulwich College Beijing who will be embarking on their own PlanetWalk in June with The JUMP! Foundation. Students were eager at the end to come up with their own way of silently thanking Dr. Francis for his visit.   At Canadian International School Beijing, Dr. Francis spoke with primary and middle grades students. These students clapped along to Dr. Francis’ banjo-picking and even welcomed him with some fan art. One particular primary school student asked Dr. Francis a poignant question wow-ing the educators in the theatre: You taught a college class when you were silent. What did you learn from your students?   On Dr. Francis’ first visit to the Great Wall of China, he stopped along for some banjo playing and watercolor painting. He had many many Chinese fans who stopped to...

read more

JUMP!er back at school

It’s been 12 years since I graduated from UWC Dover, and during that time clearly much has changed: a new campus, primary school students everywhere and thousands of new learners! But there was a nice fuzzy feeling brewing inside me while we facilitated the Student Leader program on Sunday because being in the room with UWC students and educators felt so familiar. Some things will never change – the positive attitudes, willingness to challenge oneself, and great energy were all still there, just like 18 years ago when I first stepped into a UWC classroom.     It was great to be back and to see everyone working together and learning about each other and their common goal – hosting an awesome Round Square Conference. I have no doubt that this year’s Round Square Conference at UWCSEA in Singapore is going to be a hit!   Student leaders started to develop their knowledge and facilitation skills and as the weeks progress they will surely grow into fantastic facilitators ready to inspire and connect students from all around the world on the theme of “Act Today, Change Tomorrow”. While the students learned about roles of a facilitator, the educators at the program were eagerly involved in designing a fantastic curriculum for the upcoming weeks in order to support the students’ development into knowledgeable, confident, and mindful facilitators. There is no stopping them now!   Thank you UWC East for hosting the program this weekend. Wishing you all continued inspiration, passion and energy for your ongoing preparations for the Round Square Conference!   Written by JUMP!er Kash...

read more

“Raise your hand if you can hear me”

There were loud noises. There was chaos. There were blindfolds. There were ties used as blindfolds. There were moments of brilliance exhibited by students as young as Year 6. There was JUMP!ing. In early December, form leaders in the KS3 years at Dulwich College Beijing led a 2-hour community-building PSHE session for their peers following a 2-day JUMP! Junior Facilitator training. During the training, these student leaders participated in and learned how to facilitate various activities ranging from Circle of Values for personal discovery to Diversity Circle for community discovery to Leadership Sherpa for community-building. On flipcharts as tall as some of the Junior Facilitators themselves, they planned a flow, likened to a lesson plan, for the 2-hour session. When the big day came for them to facilitate, Junior Facilitators donned their special navy JUMP! t-shirts and shone bright while wielding attention-grabbing tools, energizing activities, and a patience for “settling in the silence.” What is often forgotten is how mammoth of a task the students have in facilitating their peers: as adults facilitating youth, we have a much easier job commanding attention and respect from participants, but these students are facilitatingtheir peers, their football teammates, their lunch buddies, their crushes, their friends. They could not have done a better job of doing this – challenging themselves and their classmates – with little assistance from JUMP! Facilitators throughout the session. Bringing the session into a larger view, the Junior Facilitator training program and 2-hour PSHE are part of an innovative partnership between The JUMP! Foundation and Dulwich College Beijing (DCB). Beginning with a Community Day for the entirety of KS3 in the fall, followed by the Junior Facilitator training, and an Educator Training (in which the Junior facilitators will assist) later this spring, JUMP!’s involvement with the DCB community will culminate in the students leading their own China Week Trips in June 2015. These trips will challenge DCB students to engage in Chinese history and culture as well as push themselves personally to adventure and conquer challenges that are as much mental as they are physical. JUMP! Facilitators will help in the coordination of the trips, but Educators and Junior Facilitators will play a crucial role in making this JUMP! Experience their own. The trips will be facilitated by the members of the DCB community with the students at the forefront. We are looking forward to seeing what this summer will bring, but all along the way, JUMP! and DCB will be collaborating to inspire, empower, and engage their community continually throughout the year. For photos from the Junior Facilitator training, please see the JUMP! Facebook post!   Written by Sam...

read more

Light-bulb Moments are Pretty Special and Pretty Regular when JUMP!ing

I had one of those feelings. One when for a few moments, things just slow down, or when for a few moments, we look at a situation from above…   I was giving a workshop as part of a global citizenship education tour I am currently doing in Asia. Students were drawing creative, silly, profound, and elaborate pictures of what a global citizen thinks, feels, says, and does.   Having given over 400 global awareness presentations in the past, I have been extremely privileged to have seen many light-bulb moments in the faces, expressions, questions, and comments from audiences. On this particular occasion, I saw light-bulb moments—but they were not coming from me standing in front of people telling them stuff about the world. It was coming from within themselves, from their peers, and especially the kinds of students who usually don’t have those moments in a presentation.   There are a few profound things that have come to mind since this moment: JUMP! provides all audiences plenty of opportunities to have breakthroughs in self-awareness, leadership, empowerment, global citizenship and more A lot of these breakthroughs come from within which I think are more powerful than someone speaking at you in order to uplift you for just a moment JUMP! hits the kinds of students who aren’t already in the game of social justice, environmental awareness, or global citizenship and it does it on their terms. It preaches less to the converted and is more accessible to the norm JUMP! has personally boosted my effectiveness as a global citizenship educator. I now have this new superpower tool belt of activities, experiential learning, crowd control, and student interaction that I didn’t have in my previous presentation life   In essence, I will be eternally grateful for the tools, skills, and experience JUMP! has provided me so that I may be the best humanitarian I can be to move towards my ambitions of seeing a world without extreme poverty. Without JUMP! being a part of my life, and now in my DNA, I know I wouldn’t feel as effective in making the world a better place for people and the planet.   While JUMP! is all about supporting other people reaching their full potential for themselves, their community, and globe, I know it certainly is doing that for me…   I have a sense of privilege about the light-bulb moments I get to see and feel–JUMP! has offered the opportunities, methods and depth for me to do that.   If JUMP! is having this effect on me as a facilitator and fan, I know there must be a significant impact on those who step under the umbrella of a JUMP! program.   Happy JUMP!ing and lots of lightbulbs!     Cheers,...

read more

The Five Foundations of JUMP! Facilitation

The Five Foundations of JUMP! Facilitation

Written by Bo Percival, edited by the JUMP! Team In March of 2014, some amazing things happened while JUMP! was at Shanghai Community International School Pudong in Shanghai. The team worked for two days in a black box, completely devoid of any natural light and trained 16 incredibly talented young individuals to facilitate at the ACAMIS conference. During the process, we managed to create a new piece of JUMP! architecture which we would like to share with our community, ‘The Five Foundations of JUMP! Facilitation.’ This simple, yet effective, guide allows us as facilitators, as well as the youth we train, to have a clearer understanding of exactly how JUMP! does what it does so well. Facilitation is not something you can just pick up on the fly nor is it easily taught; however, it is a skill inherent in all of us that can be brought out with the right tools, models and understanding of effective communication and group interaction. Facilitation is a combination of preparation, knowledge and creativity. Given the extent of experience in the JUMP! team, we thought it was time to extract some of the brilliance into a form that can be incorporated into each individual’s style of facilitation. Here is the basic framework for how JUMP! facilitates, and we hope our community can use it to their advantage, whether they are facilitating an activity, school assembly or a conference. (Click on image to view pdf) The Five Foundations of JUMP! Facilitation Know Your Audience – It is important to know with whom you are working and what you are there to achieve. This context allows you to engage your audience through your stories, approach and delivery choices. Facilitating to a group of students in Grade 4 will differ from facilitating to students in Grade 12, and it’s important to plan and prepare accordingly. Define the Frame – The way in which you frame an activity serves to give that activity meaning and purpose. In other words, why are we doing this activity? Is the purpose of the activity to explore trust? To work on communication? To practice skills in resolving conflict? Defining the frame allows your audience to understand the intent of the activity. Set the Parameters – The parameters are the objectives and constraints of the situation. This is the information the group MUST know about the experience. What is the objective, or the indicator of group success? When will the group know they have achieved the goal? What is allowed within the activity, and what is not? In order for participants to feel fully empowered during an activity, it is crucial that they have a very clear understanding of the parameters. Support the Experience – This is where the magic happens. It’s not a science, but an art. Facilitators must develop the ability to know what kind of support to provide, how much, and when. There is no substitute for experience. A great facilitator knows when to assume the role of teacher, coach, mentor or trainer (more to come on this in a later post) and adjusts to fit the needs of the group, but it takes practice. The facilitator needs to observe what’s going on, provide the group with the support and tools they need, and know when and how to...

read more

How I Choose to Experience China

How I Choose to Experience China

Written by Tim Foley, Program Manager May 2013–It’s my first time back in China since a semester abroad in 2010. I’ve been back for one week and I’ve already spent more time in the mountains north of Beijing than I have in the city. Three days after I land, I’m hiking up to HuangCaoLiang and the Seven Towers, inspecting the trail before we take a group of 20 high-schoolers out on a trek. We’re hiking along the ridges and breathtaking peaks just two hours outside Beijing. This is how I want to experience China.   Taking It All In We spent the first night at a guesthouse in CuanDiXia village. Before it got dark, I had a chance to wander around the mountainside village, see the community beehives, talk to the locals, and appreciate the fact that not only have I made it back to China, but I’ve already gotten to see a brand new side of this country. Over the next few days, I trekked through landscapes that sometimes looked like postcards from the Alps, rolling Irish hills, or a scene from Lord of the Rings. Each time I’ve done this hike, I’ve walked through a different palette of flowers in bloom. The feeling of finally making it to the top of a tough climb and taking in the scene is one I will never forget, and one I will always associate with China.   Sharing My Experience With Others Bringing a group of high-schoolers out into the mountains is an even more rewarding experience. Some of these kids have lived in Beijing for most of their lives, and are totally surprised by what they find. Aside from a few crowded, noisy trips to the most popular Great Wall sites, they have no notion of natural China so close to home. Some students start the trip anxious, and a little scared at the thought of sleeping in a tent, carrying all their food, water, and gear up and down mountains. There’s nothing better than watching the whole group supporting each other, seeing the looks on their faces after each victory. This is how I choose to experience...

read more

A Different Style of Leadership For Everyone

A Different Style of Leadership For Everyone

Written by Andrew Chang, Jr. Facilitator and Student at Shanghai American School Pudong   Being with others, I have always pursued that sense of total immersion, a feeling that transcends mere obligation, to cultivate a more profound and organic relationship between people. As a member of JUMP!’s Junior Facilitator Program, I have not only experienced the growth of a committed, supportive group of students from Shanghai and Hangzhou, but have also learned and demonstrated strategies for inspiring confidence within all members of a team. Over the past two months, I have gained tremendous insight into the possibilities that can arise among individuals, while bolstering my capacities in leadership, observation, and facilitation.   Learning With Students From Different Schools   My experience with JUMP! was unique in that it was not confined to members of any one school, but rather entailed the congregation of representatives from SCIS (our host), Concordia, Hangzhou International School, and SAS Pudong. Though hailing from different institutions, every student was incredibly welcoming from the very beginning, and this goodwill only continued to expand as we progressed through two leadership training sessions in February. During this time, we collectively distinguished the concrete, top-down nature of management from the more fluid, discovery-based qualities of facilitation, refined our public-speaking skills to a startling degree, and otherwise engaged in a series of activities and discussions that continually pushed us beyond the everyday and familiar, to embrace those opportunities outside the realm of dull comfort. Above all, the challenges that I experienced during training allowed me to acknowledge the driving force behind all empowered teams: trust. As the current President of the Student Council at SAS Pudong, I have occasionally encountered bouts of doubt, and have looked for a means of resolving these silent tensions, this uncertainty beyond immediate control. Following one training activity wherein each student was silently lifted into the air and then placed safely onto the ground by his peers, however, I was able to consider again the importance of trust between people, and the steadfast purpose that conquers all doubt. As I collaborated with the other students – individuals who I had met just hours before – I realized the great willingness to trust in all people, and reaffirmed a fundamental sense of hope that has since colored my relationships substantially. This sentiment of trust was further consolidated through an activity that occurred on the second day of training, during which everyone partnered up and took turns answering the question, “Who are you?” This single prompt incited a wealth of introspection, and the exchanges that followed signified the full extent to which the team had bonded together.   It was one of the program’s most exhilarating experiences.   Putting Our Skills to Test   Having become certified Junior Facilitators, we met again in March to exhibit our earlier work and facilitation strategies during the Spring 2014 ACAMIS conference at SCIS. Demonstrating the values of experiential and student-led learning, each Junior Facilitator helped emphasize JUMP!’s commitment towards “turning education on its head,” as we helped facilitate a gymnasium full of educators and administrators through a number of activities. In spite of initial anxieties, we quickly overcame any hesitations to ensure a sincere and productive experience for everyone involved.   Though I was struck by the enthusiasm and teamwork with which...

read more

Identifying Challenges Educators Face in the Classroom

Identifying Challenges Educators Face in the Classroom

Using JUMP!-style interactive activities, the workshop highlighted the importance of balance, whether it’s between Chinese and western styles of teaching or student and parent expectations. In hosting events like these, we hope to spark dialogue that helps educators connect with like-minded individuals who are eager to tackle the challenges they face, both as a group and as an individual.

read more