Introduction

From 8-13 February 2020, Conservation Music/Earthsong Summit (CMES) held a training and collaboration summit with its chapter leaders at NOSH Food Rescue in Fontainebleau, Johannesburg, South Africa over a period of five days. The summit was organized by the CMES global leadership in order to further educate its management staff and work together on the creation of the CMES Handbook, which will be used as the organization’s global standard as it continues to expand.


Participants

The summit involved youth from five African countries representing chapters of CMES. Their work spans from project management to building local teams, resource mobilization, and more.

Timeline

The summit took place from the 8th to the 13th of February 2020. Each day had an individual workshop with sessions starting at 8:30 a.m. and ending at 6:00 pm, with 30 minute breaks and 1 hour lunch breaks mixed in.

From left to right: Ghaamid Abdulbasat, Tumiso Selaledi, Reekelitsoe Molapo, Natasha Sakala, and Zinja Gaveta stand atop Northcliff in Johannesburg.

Training Goals

The main objective of this summit was to educate the chapter leaders and teach them the essentials of conducting successful chapters in their home countries. Additionally, they were informed on the particulars of running projects throughout Africa so that they would have a good example to go off of. Chapter leaders were also trained in CMES practices and collaborated to co-create the Handbook that will be used as a reference and standard of protocol.

Workshop Sessions

The following core concepts were covered during workshops:

  • Values & Brand
  • Processes & Protocols
  • Resource Mobilization
  • Strategic Planning
  • Team Building
  • Self Care
  • Alumni and Ambassadors
  • The Handbook
Guest Speaker Yaron Assabi of Digital Solutions Group discusses entrepreneurship, values-based leadership, and corporate giving.

Training Procedures

On the first day, training sessions began with introductions and a short briefing by the facilitator, which was then followed by individual introductions. Participants were also consulted on their expectations for the workshop, and what they hoped to take away from the experience. 

Every day, the individual workshops began with a discussion on an identified topic and individual note-taking, which was then followed by a handbook session in which the topics from the workshop were organized and inputted into the handbook. After this hard work and brainstorming, the participants were then given a break for lunch to refuel and prepare for the next phase of the conference

Some sessions featured guest speakers on specific topics for the day, which were followed by Q&A sessions so that participants could ask any relevant questions and get informed and educated answers. On another of the training days, the participants also took a field trip and engaged in team building activities, using games and challenges that highlighted the importance of teamwork, critical thinking, and problem solving.

Facilitation Methodologies

Techniques used by the facilitators included lectures, brainstorming sessions, Q&A, group studies, case study dialogues, and film discussions.

Closing of the Training

On the last day of the training, the lead facilitator gave closing remarks and the participants had a brief session on a CRM for Gmail, called Streak. This program is a workflow and productivity software that the participants would use post-workshop to manage their projects. Individual video interviews were also conducted as part of an evaluation of the entire summit.

Conclusion

The workshop was a success as it achieved its core mandate, and we identified key improvements for the next rendition. Feedback was positive and progress has been made on all points discussed at the summit. We can’t wait to get together again, and in the meantime, to keep making change across our countries and the world!


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