Perspectives

Development and launch of a Pan-African Leadership Directory


Integrated Media Strategies has published a directory listing leadership initiatives across the continent, working closely with the African Leadership Institute (AFLI).  It can be found at the AFLI website in the grant-funded Project Pakati subsite.  The data for the directory was compiled by AFLI as part of a Ford Foundation grant-funded initiative to get more young leaders into real positions of power where they can impact the decisions being made on the continent.  Africa is the youngest continent on the planet - with more than 60% of the population under 25 - yet it's leadership is geriatric.  The data led to a report that was published and presented at an event in August 2018, titled An Abundance of Young African Leaders, but No Seat at the Table in Nairobi, Kenya.

School Districts and educational organisations in the United States face many of the same issues – tight budgets, large personnel cohorts, tens of thousands of students, and thousands of teachers. They face logistics issues with busing kids, have to display frugality in using taxpayer money, need to tell the many success stories provided by their students and teachers, must keep parents in the loop, and face the daunting prospect of communicating catastrophic events like school shootings or extreme weather.

One would imagine that school websites would be considered key infrastructure and that they’d be adequately staffed. You'd be wrong. Many would get a failing grade if they were evaluated. Other districts risk litigation daily due to poor online practices that are unlikely to change unless they are forced to do so at enormous cost - costs that are unnecessary had the district been smarter about staffing, Content Management platform selection, and having management experience in communications workflows.

Today is the fifth anniversary of Coherent Marketing. For many small businesses, surviving five years is a significant milestone.  For my company, the first year and a half was an Everest.  I'd left a corporate environment helping North Carolina develop a sustainable advanced biofuels sector to start up my company.  I needed the personal flexibility to support my wife whose breast cancer had returned.  I juggled the responsibilities of managing a startup with trips to the hospital for surgery, radiation, and pain management.  My laptop travelled with me.  I serviced clients on hospital wifi and from my Samsung Note.  When they sent her home, I set up a desk at the foot of her hospital bed in the living room to care for her and for clients scattered across the globe, collaborating with designers and data geeks in North Carolina and Australia in between catheters and tracking her meds.  She lost her battle against breast cancer, which had stalked her for the entire 13 years of our marriage.  I lost a friend, a counsellor, my book-keeper, and the co-founder of my business, and so much more. The struggle in the long, dark nights with little sleep while caring for someone for whom the stakes are so much higher teaches hard lessons that simply are not found elsewhere.