Senior Associate Gary MacPhie and Senior Consultant Brent Mutsch were fortunate to be able to join literally hundreds of educators from across the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas Schools (NESA) region to participate in the Fall Leadership Conference in Bangkok on October 24–27. The event, once again held at the Royal Orchid Sheraton, Bangkok, Thailand, provided four days of powerful adult-learning opportunities focused on the themes of Adaptive Change and Human Potential. As has been true for so many years, the thoughtful and purposeful planning of the NESA team to include the Executive Director and NESA office staff, the NESA Board of Trustees and the NESA Professional Development Advisory Committee resulted in participants being provided a myriad of opportunities to engage in a variety of learning experiences through the combination of plenary sessions, specialist sessions, and general interest workshops. Although Brent and Gary were actively engaged throughout the conference in connecting with delegates on behalf of Search Associates, to once again be in the presence of such a dedicated and deeply committed group of education leaders from across the region was a professional privilege.
Search Associates (SEARCH) was proud to serve as a Gold Sponsor of the NESA Fall Leadership Conference and to have the pleasure of sponsoring Keynote Speakers Carolyn McKanders and Ochan Kusuma Powell. Carolyn McKanders is Director Emeritus at Thinking Collaborative and serves as an educational consultant, specializing in individual, group and organization development. Carolyn shares her passion for promoting quality human relationships through communication, collaboration, and leadership-skills development. Executive Director of Education Across Frontiers, Dr. Ochan Kusuma Powell, is a founding member of the Design Team for Next Frontier Inclusion, and an Associate Trainer for Adaptive Schools and Cognitive Coaching. Ochan focuses on the development of inclusive school cultures through collaboration and coaching.
The keynote address delivered by Carolyn McKanders and Ochan Kusuma Powell was entitled Diversity as a Systems Driver: How can we unlock the potential of individuals and the community by embracing difference? Carolyn and Ochan shared their insights specific to how we most effectively serve individuals within our communities who remain under served because they “don’t see themselves or their stories reflected in the faces of the individuals who would invite and teach them.” Their message, which served to challenge all of us in attendance, was focused on; “How do we communicate to others that they belong and are valued, especially when their cultures are so different from our own?” At a time when so much of the world-wide rhetoric reflects messages of exclusivity, Carolyn and Ochan provided powerful insights into how we unlock the potential of both individuals and organizations by ensuring that we embrace, value, respect, and celebrate our differences.
The mission of Search Associates is to partner with quality international schools and exceptional educators to serve and enrich learning worldwide. Search Associates values the on-going partnership with NESA as but one of the most powerful ways in which we partner with exceptional educators and directly contribute to further enriching learning worldwide.