Immersion Days 2021 → Save the date

Re-imagining the future of International Cooperation – shaping up for stormy times and tapping into emerging potential

Online, 18, 20 & 21 January 2021

Covid-19 has challenged most of the certainties we had a year ago. The pandemic is a catalyst of what already existed but was hardly noticeable. This applies both to the positive (home office, telehealth, etc.) and less positive aspects, such as inequalities, lack of political cooperation, lack of sustainable management and effective leadership in situations of crisis.

Business as usual has no future. Tomorrow depends on technology and how we use it, on how we shape cooperation and succeed in building trust, and on our ability to adapt in stormy times. How will the “new normal” look like? All we can assume is that it will be marked by increased volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. A key success factor will be our ability to navigate the unknown and project ourselves into the emerging future. This is true for both individuals and organisations.

A key success factor will be our ability to navigate the unknown and project ourselves into the emerging future.

After our Immersion Day in November 2019, we invite you to continue our collective exploration of the unknown: Welcome to Immersion Days 2021.

Join us online for the kick-off of this new series of co-sensing, co-shaping and prototyping. "Shaping up for stormy times and tapping into emerging potential" consists of 3 initial online sessions. 

For whom

Be prepared for inspiring inputs, and space for individual and group reflection. We offer a platform; you define your field of action and what you take with you.

We welcome humanitarian and development professionals working in the field abroad or at headquarters – whatever their function and specialisation. 

We aim for a diverse group of participants, allowing for a rich exchange of perspectives and experiences. We encourage participation in all sessions to facilitate community building among participants.

Online sessions

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Pressing the fast-forward button

with Gerd Leonhard, Futurist, Speaker, Author 

Monday 18 January, 1 to 3 pm (Swiss time)
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Embark with us on a lively exchange with the leading futurologist Gerd Leonhard, who will help us shake off the remaining dust of 2020. Awareness of our secret intuitions, concerns and hidden feelings will be the starting point to grow new seeds in the soil.

In his input, Gerd will take us on the path of "Total transformation: what to expect in the next 10 years – and what the impact on international cooperation will be". Gerd is convinced that "the future is better than we think". He will share with us his main observations and foresights for the next 10 years and what they might imply for geopolitics, international collaboration and the work of NGOs.


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Mobility down? No worries – localisaton and new formats of collaboration and networking are key

with Faye Ekong, Managing Director RavelWorks Africa and Ernesto Izquierdo, Co-Founder of Possibilistes and Global Community Manager with the ICRC

Wednesday 20 January, 1 to 3 pm (Swiss time)
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Thank you, virus, for showing us the importance of strong local structures and roots. During the crisis, local employees were the most important actors, they kept things going. You also broke the illusion that travelling around the world was the best and only way to interact effectively with partners and stakeholders.

Theoretically, we wanted to build up capacity locally and shift power for years and technology would have allowed us to consult with colleagues, build teams, manage projects and data, and exercise our leadership remotely for a whole decade.

Now this theory must become practice: let's gather our collective courage to open our minds to new realities and prepare for localisation and human interaction online. Our shepherds Faye Ekong and Ernesto Izquierdo and other pioneers will lead the flock and protect us from paper wolves. 




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Withstanding in stormy times thanks to inner calmness 

Thursday 21 January, 1 to 3 pm (Swiss time)
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In stormy times like the ones we are experiencing now, stability and calm must come from within – from within ourselves. This session is about YOU. Your inner place – not only your head, but also your heart and even your guts. This session comes with a warning: if you are addicted to looking for stability in strategic plans, power points, logframes and report sheets, this session could be detrimental to your current hairstyle. With the advice of experts for the inner world, we will explore and experiment with tools and approaches to enhance individual resilience – including body, heart and mind. And we will highlight how individual and organisational resilience go hand in hand.