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Schedule | Rules
Participant Resources | Scenario: North-South Conference
Similar to the Statement of Purpose you wrote in your first semester (if you were a student in Bremen's English-Speaking Cultures Program), your NGO's Mission Statement introduces your organization to an audience that does not know you, in this case the other participants in the simulation. Potential project partners will use this information to evaluate your organization before agreeing to work with you. Questions they will most likely want answered include:
At the very least, then, your Mission Statement should answer these questions:
What is your organization's name?
Who are its members using your pseudonyms and realistic-but-fictitious group descriptions (e.g., students studying International Development, retired teachers with an interest in Africa, a United Methodist Church women's group)?
Where is your organization based?
What are the challenges or needs you intend to address? (Purpose)
What do you do to meet these challenges or needs? (Activities)
What principles, beliefs, or values guide your work? (Values)
Here are two short mission statements to give you an idea what kind of message you want to convey:
|The mission of Big Brothers / Big Sisters of America is to make a positive difference in the lives of children and youth, primarily through a professionally-supported, one-to-one relationship with a caring adult, and to assist them in achieving their highest potential as they grow to become confident, competent, and caring individuals, by providing committed volunteers, national leadership and standards of excellence.||
Purpose: to make a positive difference in the lives of children and youth so that they will achieve their highest potential
Activities: providing and supporting committed volunteers who have one-to-one relationships with children and youth
Values: individuals who are confident, competent; caring leadership, standards of excellence
|Planet 3000 is committed to healing the earth. Using research into natural ecosystems, Planet 3000 develops policy recommendations and pilot projects that apply these underlying principles to human ecosystems that are in harmony with other life on the planet. By bringing the human social order into balance with ecological principles, the diversity of all living things can be sustained and the evolutionary process that has guided and nurtured life on this planet for millions of years can continue unabated.||
Purpose: to "heal" the planet
Activities: advocacy, research, and demonstration projects
Values: ecological principles, protecting balance, diversity, the evolutionary process, and harmony with life on the planet
To see an excellent model of a longer mission statement, you might want to read Transparency International's Mission Statement. (Since corruption is a major problem in many of the countries and regions in the simulation, this is also an excellent NGO to consider as a potential partner when you write your Project Proposal.)
Your Mission Statement should express your organization's purpose in a way that...
Stylistically, your Mission Statement should...
Suggested procedure (adapted from the Franklin Covey website):
Schedule a brainstorming session with your team.
- Working quickly, collect everyone's ideas regarding your NGO's purpose and values.
- Value all input and encourage creativity at this point. Remember, there are no bad ideas in brainstorming—even ideas you do not like can lead to better ideas, given the chance and an open mind.
- Be sure to allow enough time to explore options and generate more ideas.
Use the questions below to spark ideas and discussions about what should be included in your team’s mission statement.
- What does our team/organization want to be known for?
- What do we want to achieve?
- What contributions can we make?
- In what ways are our ideas innovative?
- In what ways are our ideas supportive of sustainable development?
(Note: You may also find it useful to use this process to develop your team's communication procedures and work strategies. In this case, the following questions should be considered:
- How do we want to treat each other?
- How (i.e., using what technologies, and how frequently) will we communicate with each other outside of class?
- Where, when and how often do we want to meet outside of class time?
- How will we let each other know if we cannot keep a particular commitment?
- How do we want to distribute the workload?
- How will we ensure that tasks are completed and deadlines are met?
- What unique talents and skills does each person bring to the team?
- What should teammates know about each member's strengths, weaknesses and preferences?)
As a team, assign a value or rank to each idea that was proposed in the brainstorming step.
- Choose the top five or seven ideas and spend some time discussing them in greater detail.
- Now rate each idea according to its relative importance. As a team, start by labeling each idea with an A, B, or C, with "A" being the most important and "C" the least important.
- Then, within each letter category, rank each idea numerically so you have A1, A2, B1, B2, etc., with "A1" being somewhat more important than "A2," etc.
- Once your team has assigned a value to each idea, choose the top five or seven to discuss in greater detail.
After the meeting, take the top five or seven ideas chosen in the prioritizing step and create a draft of the mission statement based on those concepts. Each team member takes a copy and gives constructive feedback. Keep refining it until it represents your NGO's vision.
When you are all satisfied with the resulting document, post it in the Message Centre in Moodle.
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Participant Resources | Scenario: North-South Conference | Home