Project Accelerator: The Next Phase of Fellowship- Second Year Projects

Project Accelerator: The Next Phase of Fellowship- Second Year Projects

Project Accelerator, held from October 7-14 in Luang Prabang, Laos, gave Fellows the space to bring their second-year project proposals to their final form through guidance from resource persons, peer feedback, and additional soft skills training in the form of a Experiential Theater Conversations.

Lesley Elaine Williams (PhD), is a senior associate consultant with IMA International with a specialization in M&E and Capacity Development, facilitated a session to enhance Fellows skills in project design. This included training sessions about Root Cause Analysis, Theory of Change, and Social Impact Assessment. Another session led by Jayce Pei Yu Lee and Crystal C. Y. Huang called Transformative Learning Framework for Systemic Changes: Activating the Social Field through Sensing into Collective Wisdom and Social Arts focused on enabling Fellows to effectively navigate complex challenges, foster personal growth, and create positive, lasting change in their organizations and communities based on ‘The Five Stages of the U’ (Theory U).

Soft skills were also addressed in the ‘Experiential Theater Conversations’ led by Serene Chen and her team. This session, often a staple in the Induction year, is a highly interactive program which aims to use dramatic scenes to explore difficult situations that are pertinent to the Fellows’ professional lives. The session aims to help Fellows understand and overcome communication barriers, active listening, body language, vocal tone and technique, giving and receiving feedback, and tools to manage difficult conversations- skills Fellows will need to use in their lifelong journey with health equity.

Project Accelerator also provided a relaxed environment, allowing Fellows to explore parts of Luang Prabang, including the Hmong tribe on cultural visits, and Kuang Si Falls. One of the nights included a sunset dinner cruise, matching the tone for a deep and reflective week. Bonding amongst Fellows is as strong as it has ever been and is evidenced in the amount of activities the Fellows organize amongst themselves- a running group in the morning and night time badminton to name a few. Drawing from a year of experience which incorporated training in technical skills and soft skills, and ultimately finding a place in a community for equity, the 2023 Fellows look more ready than ever to collaborate and reimagine a region primed for systems change.

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