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Institute-Wide Collaboration Initiative Launched

The Solidarity and Development Secretariat of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools recently launched a new collaboration initiative involving 40 Lasallian representatives from around the world. The initial intention of the project was to develop capacity and foster a more collaborative culture within the Lasallian solidarity and development network. As such, the project originally envisaged focusing on the Institute’s fundraising units around the world. 

After additional discussions with the leadership of the Institute, the project was expanded to involve a membership diversity including, but not limited, to a full range of secretariats, services, and geographical representations. This expansion welcomes additional perspectives and broader engagement across the Institute, thus increasing the probability of greater organizational impact.

The program aspires to: (1) increase strategic effectiveness; (2) establish a consistent operational model for the design and delivery of activities; (3) strengthen teams; (4) engage leadership effectively and (5) develop a more collaborative culture. The program is designed not only to advance the Institute’s Secretariats, but also to build capacity, develop resources and enhance the operations of all participants as well as their local and Regional operations. As such, it will bring enhanced professional value to the participants as well as organizational effectiveness to the De La Salle Institute.

Peter Stemp, a graduate of Saint Mary’s College of California and current associate director of the De La Salle Solidarietà – ONLUS, is assisting with the coordination of this initiative. “The impressive talent and creative energy of the participants in this project are certain to yield us a great result,” he said. “We have engaged remarkable Lasallians from all around the world, and already there is much excitement about our working together.”  

To professionally guide the process, the services of Caplor Horizons were retained. A well-known, UK-based international consulting firm, Caplor Horizons has successfully mentored responsible businesses, global NGOs and religious congregations (including the Edmund Rice Brothers) in their development of regional and international capacities.  

Participants in the program will meet monthly via videoconference in different contextual settings (forums, conversations and activities) and the full process is likely to take a couple of years. Advancing the effort from the Lasallian Region of North America are: Scott Kier (Midwest District), Alisa Macksey (Midwest District), Brother Chris Patiño (District of San Francisco New Orleans), Mark Freund (Office for Lasallian Education, Christian Brothers Conference), Elizabeth Moors Jodice (Christian Brothers Conference) and Brother Craig Franz (La Salle International Foundation). The first meeting of all participants was held on May 19, 2020, and already this Institute initiative is being well received around the world. 

Contributed by Brother Craig Franz, FSC, executive director of La Salle International Foundation