What is your BATNA?

In negotiation, its generally considered good practice to think about what happens if parties decide to walk away from the table without an agreement. Professionally, this is called a BATNA, or your Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement. While this seems like common sense, I am beginning to notice how often negotiators underestimate the usefulness…

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The Final Placement

What do frozen pizzas, lipstick, shampoo, instant noodles, biofuels, Nutella, the Amazon, Peru and my next two months as an Insight Fellow all have in common? Palm oil. Did you guess correctly? If so, consider yourself extremely well-informed… it’s hard enough to keep track of my location, let alone a mysterious vegetable oil that has…

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For development, look no further than the floor

When we think about international development, our minds tend to conjure up images of education initiatives, economic opportunities for women, basic health care for poor families, and WASH campaigns supporting the use of soap or clean drinking water. The organization I’m currently working with in Rwanda, however, has a different idea about their impact on…

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January’s Emotional Teeter-totter

An unfortunate turn of events has inspired me to write about something different this month. I arrived safely in Rwanda on January 10th and enjoyed my first three days at the EarthEnable office. However, I woke on my fourth morning unable to walk due to excruciating back pain. I subsequently spent the next full week…

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Applying Content to Content…

I’m writing today from Kampala, Uganda after 10 days of training, learning, and good fun with the teachers of the Insight Collaborative Peace Education Project (PEP). In 2011, Insight designed and implemented a unique Peace Education Project for secondary schools in northern Uganda. The teaching materials combine key pieces from the Facing History curriculum and…

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Fighting head spin with purpose

My placement in Ghana continues to go really well. The team is appreciative and receptive to new concepts, and they routinely express how happy they are to have me here. The Executive Director is also pleased and has invited me to return again next year. I’m learning so much about Ghana, its citizens, and frankly,…

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A meeting with the Chief…

During the last month, I’ve had the honor of accompanying Saha Global staff on two Chief visits. The rural communities around Tamale are not only patriarchal, but also geriarchal. This means that each of the villages is lead by a chief- typically an aged male- and a small community of “elders” (also old men). Major…

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Will Coach from ANYWHERE!

Like many international organizations, Saha is made up of a combination of well-educated, goodhearted Westerners (in this case, American women) and motivated, prominent locals (6 men and recently Saha has added its first woman). The differences in culture, language, gender roles, education levels, access to opportunity, and finances are vast and contribute to divergent opinions,…

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Just Do It

If I had to pay Nike every time I used their slogan to give myself the courage to accomplish something… well they’d probably be as wealthy as they are now, but I’d be broke. Yesterday I ran my first solo Insight Training with Saha Global. I’ve been preparing for this training ever since I first…

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Water. Is. Life.

When September came, I was Africa-bound. Leaving Concord was bittersweet, but as my plane took off from Boston, I was pleased to feel the nervous excitement of a new adventure. I had a week layover in France to visit some dear friends, eat delicious food, and spend some time with Justin, but after that, it…

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