To design a new democratic strategic decision making format for the Director General’s Consultation in 2010, a 58 country event simultaneously run in French and English,
Working with the UK President and 12 other country presidents, we created a format which was a democratic, collaborative decision making process that worked to bring and discuss 100 UNESCO priorities and to create and agree on 15 to take to the Director General.
This process has since been taken up by other UNESCO regions around the world.
In 2009, we hired Andrea and Mel to run the UNESCO National Commissions Regional Consultation PrepCom. This three day meeting brought together a small, high-level group of National Commission Presidents and Secretary Generals from nearly 20 countries.
Andrea and Mel developed the meeting’s format, introducing the café world style. They identified and developed two of the event’s most important elements – an engaging programme and working method that would encourage participants to think creatively; and an inclusive process where delegates would leave the meeting with a sense of ownership over the outcomes. They brought a fresh perspective and concrete solutions to the various constraints that come with hosting a UN meeting.
During the event itself they ensured each delegate felt comfortable, remained engaged and had fun. Their attention to detail was impressive, addressing everything from lighting to changes in room temperature. They kept the meeting dynamic, helping bring in the diverse views of delegates and address language barriers.
The delegate’s feedback from the meeting was incredibly positive and key elements of the programme and format were subsequently used in similar UNESCO meetings across the world.
Despite the daunting project they were retained for, Andrea and Mel remained creative, resourceful and highly attuned to the diverse needs of our delegates. They helped ensure that we not only met, but exceeded the very high expectations for this event.
Senior Research and Communications Officer
UK National Commission for UNESCO