A Week in Bellagio

7 09 2012

I write this post sitting in a beautiful villa at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center in Italy. During this past week, I have taken part in a workshop on Multiple-Use Water Services (MUS) attended by some 19 practitioners and academics from around the world. The objectives of the meeting were to: develop a common understanding and framework for MUS; elaborate a common direction and goal for the next five years around MUS; elaborate strategies for the MUS Group and its core members to reach this success; elaborate how best MUS can be moved forward; and develop a broad road-map for the way forward and clear commitments for action among the members.

The workshop was facilitated by Dr. Jürgen Hagmann and Dr. Joe Ramaru – professional facilitators from the Institute for People, Innovation, and Change in Organisations (PICOTeam) in South Africa. I mention the PICOTeam because of the superb facilitation they provided. I learnt much from watching how they worked with the group and managed the workflow as the meeting progressed.

The workshop participants developed a comprehensive agenda that will be developed further in the coming months. What was encouraging was the emphasis given to the need for a robust evidence base from which further MUS activities and programs can be built.

In addition to the workshop, we had the opportunity to meet many of the Rockefeller Fellows in residence at the Bellagio Center. I had the privilege with speaking with Geoffrey West, Ellen Silbergeld, and David Freedman and learning about the research and writing projects they are pursing at the center.

Below are several photos from the workshop and grounds of the Bellagio Center, which is now my new favorite place to work in the world. The location has a unique way of relaxing and freeing the mind.

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