Inaugural FINISH Mondial Global Meet: Flexibility & innovation in practice

FINISH Mondial COO, Tjitske Leemans, meeting the newest FINISH Mondial Ethiopia team member, country coordinator, Hanna Hansemo on the webinar platform.

Over the course of the last 6 months, the FINISH Mondial team has been hard at work preparing the first-of-its-kind FINISH Mondial ‘Global Meet’. The Global Meet aimed to gather key team members from all FINISH countries (spanning 6-countries, 2-continents!), for the first time ever to discuss the exciting next phase of scaling up.

The expanded 6-country ‘Mondial’ programme kicked off in 2019 and to date has been responsible for the following:

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Infographic FM Achievements to date

We understand that as the FINISH Mondial programme continues to grow, reaching for scale and innovation, it is crucial that the global ‘family’ has opportunities to exchange knowledge, best practices and innovations, as well as align strategies together. Until now, these cross-team collaborations have been key to our ground-up approach and success, with many opportunities for country-to-country and peer-to-peer exchanges/mentor-ships. However, a global ‘summit’ was prioritised as part of our 2020 strategic discussions to further foster these global connections while dedicating time to focus on innovations and ‘bigger picture’ opportunities.

Unfortunately, like many conferences and meetings scheduled in [early] March, our inaugural Global Meet was cancelled due to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation (now pandemic). Jointly, the Management Team and Supervisory Board made the difficult decision to cancel the travel for the 60+ international team and bring the summit online.

With some quick action from the organising team, new webinar platforms were sourced, and agendas reworked. We met virtually each morning as originally planned, for 3 days, with each country team sitting together to make presentations and ask questions amongst each other.

Despite the unfortunate circumstances, we are still deeming the inaugural Global Meet a success and are confident in our decision to protect the health of our teams and communities we serve! At the end of the day, two of our main objectives were reached including: (1) aligning and collaborating as a joint ‘global’ programme on our vision and mission for the next 5 years, and (2) introducing the key FSM-circular economy programme pillar for the next phase. Have a foundation of success in India and getting off the ground in Kenya, FM is linking sanitation and waste management with circular economy initiatives for innovations such as agriculture improvement or waste-to-energy products, were applicable.

Acting fast in moments of both chaos and opportunity, contextualizing programmes and ‘rolling with the punches’ to achieve our targets, are all key characteristics of the FINISH Mondial programme and teams, exemplified by the leadership shown here.

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Some of the Dutch Management Team members making video introductions. Pictured left to right: Valentin Post (CEO, FINISH Mondial), Wouter Tout (CFO, WASTE), José Sluijs-Doyl (Portfolio Manager, Amref Flying Doctors), Tjitske Leemans (COO, FINISH Mondial), Astrid van Agthoven (Regional Programme Manager South Asia, Aqua for All)