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    Thursday, October 23, 2008


    Our organization is aiming to grow 100% in the last quarter of the year (October, November and December) compare with the same period of 2007.

    The decision to grow 100% is based in what is left to achieve our 2008 goals and what we have in process and almost ready to be delivery.

    From my point of view, the challenges to achieve such ambition are organizational focus and members mindset.

    The first challenge is to keep a relevant part of our organization focusing on: (1) matching our students with the opportunities we have available, (2) recruit new students intersted in development work and education, (3) and sell more management internships.

    The second challenge is the mindset. I have came to realize that not everyone feels comfortable with the verb 'grow' and more interesting that some of us have the tendency to separate growth from quality, as if those aspects would make sense indepedently from each other.

    Let me give you an example, a Pizza place is decided to sell more pizzas. When a customer orders a pizza, his/her first expectation is to get the pizza (deliver our promise) and then enjoy the pizza at an affordable price (sustainably). In that way, the customer will come back next time and bring friends along (exponential grow).

    Growth in the scale of 100% can only be achieve when the focus and the mindset are aligned and when we bring the organization together building synergies around our common goals.

    Check out this video from our partners talking about the 100% Growth Campaign:

    Monday, October 13, 2008

    The Connecting Role

    The last week I had the luck to visit Slovakia and Germany where our organization had two very important meetings with the our local officers.

    I met lots of cool young guys and girls from Europe who commit at least 30 hours of their week in giving others the opportunity to become the person they want to be.

    Among them there is a group that we call "LCPs", which stands for Local Committee President. They are the final responsible of our Local Committees and they lead our operations in Universities or Cities across Europe and the World.

    Meeting them was an awesome experience, I realized how lucky I am to have the opportunity to share the same goal, the same passion and the same challenges with such a diverse group. It made me feel alive and part of somewthing more powerful than myself.

    Everyday these guys and girls work hard connecting their teams, Universities, the local companies and the rest of our organization to increase the impact that we have in the world.

    One day, just after the end of WW II, one of these LCPs in Finland found a student: Martti Ahtisaari who joined him in the adventure of learning how to connect people from different countries and to build friendly relations among them. This week, this fellow AIESECer, has been rewarded with the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in several continents to solve international conflicts.

    Everyday, AIESEC is enabling the development of agents of positive change to create the needed impact on society.

    Thank you LCPs!

    Sunday, October 05, 2008

    May I see your visa, please?

    Every time I travel I research to find out if I need a visa to enter the country. As a Costa Rican, I am very lucky to have free access to many countries of the world but that doesn't mean that I have had a hassle-free record of migration issues.

    For example, September last year a Schengen immigration authority stopped me for 12 hours and charged me 2200 Euros -refundable- to enter the region while having a valid entry for 10 more days of 90 days valid entry. Note that such restriction in not mention in the website:

    I felt awful. I felt like a thief stopped by the police in front of everyone, I felt irresponsible for something that was not my responsibility and I felt frustrated because there was nothing I could do.

    I know many cases of great individuals with great intentions being stop for reaching their final destination because of these rules, or lack of them, that our countries have set to regulate the mobility of people.

    The last example I know is about a Mexican trying to reach India to support countries in the Asia-Pacific Region running projects in social and business entrepreneurship. I am sure he is a harm for national security or a threat for income distribution in the country.

    Our World need wiser systems to regulate the flow of people, resources and technology to make sure that this three elements of development converge in the same place at the same time. Otherwise we will end up with a rich world of starving high technologized people.

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