Wednesday 9 December 2015

From Toronto to Accra - John May, Secretary General

In Toronto, I likened our development as an Award family to making coffee. I spoke of the need to use percolators as well as cafetières -- to allow ideas room for discussion and consideration as well as driving down hard on the plunger of change. I believe that Forum 2015 gave us the opportunity to percolate a set of ideas and to begin to reach a common vision of our future.

Over the coming months we will be following up on this work: sharing with you further results from the discussions that were facilitated by Group Partners, and suggesting how those discussions might continue and transfer into action. We have further work to do on developing the memorandum of understanding and we look forward to working with members of the International Council on this task in the first instance. And we hope that, in planning for regional conferences and other meetings over the coming three years, we can capitalise on the amazing spirit of co-operation and collaboration that we created in the Fairmont Royal York Hotel.

None of this could have happened without the hard work of everyone: our amazing Canadian hosts, Foundation staff, volunteer facilitators, members of review groups, delegates and guests. Thank you for making Forum 2015 the success that it undoubtedly was.

Before Forum 2015 I wrote to you about the 'road to Toronto'. We have now begun our adventurous journey along the 'road to Accra'. It'll be quite a journey and I have no doubt there will be twists, turns and the occasional exploration in what turns out to be the wrong direction. As Robin Sieger said in his speech, "let's concentrate on the 'where' and not worry too much about the 'how.'" If the Award really is the wonderful thing that so many of us believe it to be, then it is nothing short of our duty to bring it within the reach of as many young people as we possibly can; and to do that with rigour, with skill and with urgency.

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