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“The winner of the Brainswork Make a Difference Award 2009 and Brainswork senior consultant Muhamed Mesic spoke at a major international conference in New York City on November 15. The conference which was organized by the Center for Jewish History, the world’s largest repository of Judaism-related historic documentation, discussed the legacy of Raphael Lemkin, the genius who fathered the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide. Muhamed joined leading experts such as William Schabas, President of the International Association of Genocide Scholars and Ben Kiernan, Director of the Yale Genocide Program, in discussing the work and thought of the extraordinary scholar activist. Muhamed Mesic spoke about the importance of civil activism and connected action in helping prevent genocide and human rights violations today…”

More on Raphael Lemkin (source: Center for Jewish History ):
Almost 90 years ago, as a young linguistics student in Poland, Raphael Lemkin was intrigued – and deeply troubled – about the case of an Armenian youth accused of murdering the Turkish official responsible for the 1915 genocide of the Armenian community in the Ottoman Empire. Perplexed by the question of why it is a crime for one man to murder another, but not a crime for a government to kill more than a million people, Lemkin devoted the rest of his life to studying, educating, theorizing, writing, and actively campaigning to protect the existence (in every manifestation) of ethnic, racial, religious and national groups under international law. He accomplished it all through lectures, government service, international legal work and tireless advocacy. This crime had no name; Lemkin gave it one – Genocide – and devoted the rest of his life to the drafting, lobbying and ratification process of the United Nations Genocide Convention in 1948. What, Lemkin asked, are the economic, social and cultural consequences of genocide? How shall nations be made to be held responsible for their actions? How many ways are there to destroy a people?

For “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation among peoples” Obama is this years winner!

Here are a few excerpts from Obama’s Nobel citation (source CBS news):

“Obama has as President created a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play. Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts. ”

“Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world’s attention and given its people hope for a better future. His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world’s population.”

“For 108 years, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has sought to stimulate precisely that international policy and those attitudes for which Obama is now the world’s leading spokesman. The Committee endorses Obama’s appeal that. “Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges.”

Is this too early for him? But the right timing for us? Who needed more this nomination: Obama or we? We, in need for hope that there will be a better tomorrow? Is this a confirmation that by believing that “we can” we might really change the world? A welcome self-fulfilling prophecy?

Dear World,

I know – only got started and already making a break.

Well I will try my best to relax, enjoy the sun and the beach with my family. I willl then return full of power, positive energy and new ideas.

I wish you a great Summer,

40 years ago man landed on the Moon and made a “giant leap”. What can we expect 40 years from now, in 2049?

A few weeks ago at the IncrediblEurope Summit in Vienna 905 ideas on the future of Europe in year 2049 were generated within minutes. It is was a great exercise. Highly interactive, interesting and important (if interested you can read the resulting 10 key issues on http://www.incredibleurope.com/innovation.html). But at the same time it also showed that we have absolutely no clue what to expect.
We do no even know what to expect next year not to mention in 40 years (whereby MBA students are still being forced into the “where do you see yourself in 10 years from now” question!). Our visions are limited by our knowledge, experience and our own limited way of thinking. Or maybe you are the one who could have predicted the immense internet revolution, the genocide in Rwanda, the current crisis or other black swans as Nicholas Taleb calls them http://www.fooledbyrandomness.com/ To be honest the same goes for the majority of business plans I have seen as well as marketing and political predictions.

Reading more about the Black Swan (or check the interview at  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-tv/emblack-swanem-author-nas_b_181551.html) really makes you think. Although I do disagree with several points, especially the way the 10 principles for a Black Swan-proof world http://www.fooledbyrandomness.com/tenprinciples.pdf are written. The “do not” form is easy to write and impossible to implement. If I tell you not to think “blue”, what do you do? Of course you think “blue”. You know what I mean…

Anyway, I think, it is so much easier to critisize and talk about all the things that are wrong  and so much harder to build and make (a positive difference). I like thinking and talking solutions. But, hey, we have a long way to go till 2049…

I woke up today at 5am.

It was one of those mornings when you just want to close your eyes and go back to your dreams. Ok, it was 5am and there was absolutely no reason to wake up that early. A first moment of anger – I won’t be able to sleep again. But then I thought, this is an absolutely amazing morning. Why should today be a special day? This is the wrong question.

The question is: why not today? Why not tomorrow? 
I go out in the garden. The freshness of a day waking up, the sun rising, a bird singing. Take a deep breath and inhale the warm smell of flowers and grass. And smile… What a lovely morning to wake up at 5am!

When was the last time you woke up and smiled? Well, try it – it helps. 

PS and the people at the office will smile back when you come in with your “what a lovely day today” smile

How do you know when somebody should have a fan club on facebook? How big a star should you be to have a fan club? Many movie and music stars have one but many don’t.
Who makes the first step? The PR department, your best friend, your enemy, yourself,…
Who should write the introduction? Should it be a great sales pitch or an understatement (everybody knows him/her so there is no need to write much)? …

Today I found the Muhamed Mesic Fan Club on facebook. I was delighted! And became a fan immediately (altough I do not do that very often).
The young man (age 23) not only communicates in 56 languages but also uses this fantastic capability to make a positive difference into this world. I will not write much about him – this is the understatement strategy mentioned above – but if by any chance you have not heard of him …

http://www.muhamedmesic.com/english/about.htm

http://www.brainswork.at/html_englisch/muhamed.htm

https://selmaprodanovic.wordpress.com/brainswork-make-a-difference-award/

or google
or become a fan too http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?gid=102252289349

This morning when I checked my blog the statistics “yelled” at me saying that there are no incoming links but “it’s okay – there is no rush…”!!

In fact I did not expect anything else – how could anybody read a blog or link to it if they do not even know it exists? There is definitely no rush.  But still the message forced a very unexpected emotional reaction upon me. I felt like a teenager again. As a teenager you always do something wrong or feel wrong (out of place or in other words like an alien). It is this feeling which would activate a “what is it this time” processor in my brain when my mother would raise her eyebrow (in a very special way): a fast check of all the things I really did or might have done “wrong”, trying to pin-point the one she might be aiming at. Oh, it is only about the the dishes after lunch… 

I felt exactly the same when I read the message on my dashboard. Do we really need to feel like kids again just because we are no “masters of blogging”? Is it really necessary to be constantly reminded that we have not deliverd enough, that the result could be better?

 As in any other way of communication or business, writing a blog makes only sense if somebody reads it. Or maybe not? Maybe this blog will be the best kept secret in the blogosphere and then one day …

This is my new blog. I wish I knew a bit more about these new/old technologies, but hey no risk – no fun. So please keep with me as I need to first unlearn and then learn how this works.

Welcome!

Selma

PS Why do I start now? Well I got inspired by Seth Godin http://sethgodin.typepad.com/