WHO IS MANSOOR ABBASI?
Mansoor Abbasi is the Executive Director and co-founder of The Intercivil Society – a not-for-profit company that works to reduce poverty, protect the environment and improve community relationships. The Intercivil Society creates opportunities to help people improve their own situations, whether economic, social or environmental.
Mansoor is experienced in training, group facilitation and dispute resolution – both community and workplace – with specific expertise in facilitating “difficult” conversations. He also works as a community projects advisor and as a consultant designing, delivering and project managing peace-building programs in conflict areas (where the focus is on strengthening civil society through developing intercultural community leadership, conflict management skills, capacity development and improving intercultural and interfaith dialogue and cooperation).
Mansoor has worked with a range of partners and clients, including the European Parliament, West Yorkshire Police, UN Alliance of Civilizations, local and national governments and local community groups.
You can connect with Mansoor here:
IN TOR 019 YOU’LL LEARN ABOUT:
- The Intercivil Society, and efforts to bring leadership skills to young people in communities facing poverty and disintegration.
- The way Mansoor manages a virtual organization based in the UK but with projects in Greece and Portugal, and volunteers from around the world.
- The importance of providing free and safe spaces to young people along with a set of skills that they build themselves, and use to help their communities.
- The business format, tools, processes and systems Mansoor uses to stay focused on the Society’s mission, despite dwindling funding and other challenges.
OUR CONVERSATION INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING:
- Intercivil Society
- The European Central Bank
- Geza Tessenyi at Intercultural and Communication Leadership School (ICLS)
- London School of Economics (LSE)
- University of Tokyo
- Community integration
- Corporate sponsorships
- Private company limited by shares (UK type)
- SWOT analysis
- Safe spaces
- Documentary filmmaking
- Virtual organization
- Brighouse, UK
EPISODE CRIB NOTES
Inter civil society
Connect the disconnected. Poverty. Social, economic or environmental.
Co-work in Greece. Laden with recession, young people are invited to do entrepreneurialism and cooperation. A course service.
Problems in the young job market.
Public-private entrepreneurial partnership.
His partner created the vision, built the partnerships, brought corporate sponsorships.
Private company limited by shares.
Scale, funding and scope
Nobody is full time. 4 people working in Portugal. Investment from the European Bank will allow them to enroll them full time. The terms of the investment are being discussed.
Social development involves a youth leadership program in the UK, schools, kids from 15 to 18. Enable to engage them with policy makers, make role models out of them.
About identifying leadership potential, and finding their niche, their value. Drop cultural barriers.
Young and school issues, they affect communities. Integration, tensions.
IS provides leadership skills: critical thinking, emotional intelligence, ethical reasoning, power analysis, conflict resolution, communication, teamwork, filmmaking.
Also, a secure environment for engaging in dialogue. Safe spaces for trust and talk, free exchange of ideas.
A SWOT analysis done with them revealed lack of knowledge about politicians. Politicians were invited and a good forum was done. This led to high level discussions on subjects such as policy, fiscal budget.
A documentary was done. Working on the second.
Mansoor started in IT. Felt like a hamster on a treadmill. He ended up in project management and had to witness a town hall. This got him excited about community organization.
Joined the Intercultural and Communication Leadership School (ICLS), met Geza Tessenyi, then president.
This eventually leads to IS.
“It still pays the bills.” Full time commitment is a resolution.
“As much of the money should go to the project,” not to overheads. But it means he cannot live off it.
A commission is looking into financial sustainability.
He and his partner are involved in fundraising. But the best way to secure financing is by doing a good job and getting the projects continued.
Main sources are charities, local governments. Communities are not charged, but professionals would for development activities.
Time management, tools
“You stay highly organized, and you don’t sleep.“
Mansoor keeps honest, knows when to say no, avoids crashes.
Evernote. Lists always with him.
Yammer for team communications.
A virtual organization, with members in Japan, Greece, Portugal, Palestine, Israel.
Limited by shares
“The best of both worlds. You are allowed to make profit, just not distribute it to owners.” Gives less limitations than a charity figure. It’s a new kind of thing for companies to do commercial activities with social purposes.
IS objectives are all about improving community relationships and diminishing poverty. Any kind of work that helps into one of those things is welcome. They also take on projects requested by clients. There are long, short and flash term projects (day basis).
It has worked in his benefit. He enjoys the expectations put to commercial companies.
IS virtual army
A bishop, a Tokyo University professor, a media company owner doing a PhD at LSE. World rounded people.
“We’re all engaged in our own way.“
Grassroots organization, run a community center, provide leadership learning for people and team members.
He’s the IT guy, “but I’m not very good at websites.” He has knowledge, project experience.
Funding, it is getting smaller and smaller.
Trying to get organizations to work together. Instead there is territoriality and jealousy.
“Decide what you want to do, and just go for it.” Put your age, skills, all excuses aside.
“Analyze your motivations to get in.” Is it reputation, ego, feel good, be a better human being. Answers will define your level of success.
When getting in, “don’t give up.” Education helps, like a master’s on conflict resolution.
Advice he got: “Stop thinking about the person you’ll be in five years. Be that person now.“
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