Sunflowers in field

New Leadership for the New Normal

Conversation with Dinky Soliman, Robin Alfred and Marlene Ogawa
Wednesday, June 3, 2020

As humanity becomes accustomed to the new reality of life brought about by COVID-19, many of us eagerly look forward to a time in which we may “return” to normal. But is that even possible?

The crisis has helped uncover long-existing traumas in our societies and the world.  

This conservation with Corazon Dinky Soliman (activist and former Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development of the Philippines), Robin Alfred (CEO of Findhorn Consultancy Service) and Synergos’ Marlene Ogawa explored how bridging leadership can help address those traumas and create a more just and regenerative world.

Resources shared during the event included:

Our speakers

Dinky Soliman

dinky-solimanDinky ‘Corazon’ Soliman’s background is in community organizing and people’s empowerment, both in the Philippines and around the world. She has served as Chair of the Caucus for Development NGO Networks, as the National Secretariat Coordinator of the Congress for People’s Agrarian Reform and, most recently, as Executive Director of the Community Organization Training and Research Advocacy Institute (CO-TRAIN), a non-governmental organization committed to enhancing knowledge and capabilities of community organizers. She has worked extensively on community development, peace and conflict resolution, gender and human rights, and innovative funding approaches.

Her experience within the Filipino Civil Society led her to serve as Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development in the Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Benigno Aquino III administrations. While in government, she pushed for policies and practices that were more focused on local empowerment and community voice, as well as more holistic approaches by government. These efforts touched on a wide range of aspects of development, including health, education, disaster response, poverty reduction, livelihoods, and social protection. Among her innovations in government were a national household targeting system, which identifies who and where the poor are in the country and helped determine which social interventions best suited their needs.

Today, Dinky continues to champion and consult on people-focused development, both in the Philippines and internationally. She is a member of the Synergos board of directors. She holds degrees from the University of the Philippines and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Robin Alfred

robin-alfredRobin Alfred, BA (Oxon), M Phil (Cantab), is a trainer, executive coach, facilitator and organisational consultant. Robin has extensive experience of leading and developing groups, and individuals, in a variety of settings including multinationals, NGOs, the criminal justice system and communities.

In 1995, he co-founded the Findhorn Consultancy Service sharing deep sustainability principles with people and organisations across all sectors; he serves as the organisation’ CEO.

He is a Senior Programme Director for Olivier Mythodrama, for whom he delivers a wide range of leadership trainings, based on the wisdom in Shakespeare’s histories and tragedies. His clients include Microsoft, Rolls Royce, Johnson & Johnson, HP, the UN, Mercy Corps, Greenpeace and many others. Since 1995, Robin has lived in Scotland as part of the Findhorn Foundation Ecovillage Community where he has chaired both the Foundation’s Management Committee and the Board of Trustees. In 1995, he co-founded the Findhorn Consultancy Service sharing deep sustainability principles with organisations across all sectors.

Robin is a Registered Facilitator for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and passionate about bringing a systemic and field-based perspective to the most pressing issues of our time.

Discover more about Robin Alfred: TEDxFindhorn Activists Anonymous - A 5-Step Recovery Programme

Marlene Ogawa

marlene-ogawaMarlene Ogawa is Acting Country Director for Synergos in South Africa. She is a highly experienced manager who has worked with NGOs, government and the private sector in South Africa and the SADC Region. Her expertise is in designing and implementing adult learning and sharing interventions, addressing both micro and macro needs. Career highlights include designing and implementing a national capacity-building strategy that ensured the National Youth Service implementers had the knowledge and skills to successfully guide young people in skills acquisition and service to their country. She was also instrumental in drafting a strategy and convening collaborators for the professionalization of youth workers in South Africa.

Ms. Ogawa has worked with youth and youth development practitioners in entrepreneurship, mentorship, education design, information technology for development programs, education policy and volunteer initiatives. She is committed to and passionate about supporting volunteer programs and community initiatives and believes that enhancing peoples’ capacity leads to successful program delivery and positive sustainable change and impact in society. She has an Education degree with the University of Johannesburg and various certificates in project management, ICT for development and management.