By Jonathan Dudding and Maria Franchi

Our outgoing director and facilitation master, Jonathan Dudding, in action!

A Fond Farewell from Jonathan Dudding

I am not sure that ICA, as a global movement, is something you ever leave, but earlier this month my relationship with ICA:UK, one part of that movement, changed. I stepped down as an employee and Director and became an Associate, one of the key group of individuals who work with ICA:UK in the delivery of its programmes and contracts. 

This marks the end of another stage of my 30-year journey with ICA, which started in Brussels, introduced me to the ICA values and approach in the Montemuro hills of northern Portugal, led me to live in the village of Kapini, near Lusaka (Zambia) and in Nairobi in Kenya, and to visit/work in many more countries across the globe. I settled in London towards the end of 1998 and joined the small group of individuals who wanted to bring together and develop the various ICA activities in the UK, leading to the creation of ICA:UK in 2000. Since then I have worked with ICA:UK, initially with responsibility for our international programmes and then, from 2012, as Director.

During those first twenty-odd years, the organisation has, probably like many others, been through times of great achievement and great challenge, experienced fluctuating levels of finance and capacity, moments of “will we be returning after Christmas?” and moments when everything seemed to be coming together both for us and, crucially, for the people we want to serve.

Happily, this seems to be an appropriate time to be handing over the Director’s role. Thanks to the combined efforts of a strengthened Board, a committed group of Associates and a wonderful staff team, ICA:UK has been able to navigate and emerge from the worst of the pandemic in a position to adapt to the new reality and to build back better. The combination of Maria’s fresh perspective, based on her own extensive knowledge and experience, and a participatory strategic planning process scheduled to take place over the coming weeks, will provide both Maria and ICA:UK with the focus and direction needed towards the next twenty years!

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Our new director, Maria Franchi, brimming with enthusiasm and ideas!

A happy hello from Maria Franchi

ICA:UK has successfully navigated the challenges of the pandemic and will now be looking to act strategically to ensure we build on the connectivity and accessibility we have gained online, whilst strengthening our role in building the capacity of other organisations  and individuals to fulfil our mission. The support and dedication of the Associates now including Jonathan has been amazing and  Jonathan and the other staff have left a solid organisation with a new Board and I’m looking forward to walking alongside them as the new Director into a bright future.

As Jonathan leaves with such long service to ICA, my journey begins. I feel very grateful to be welcomed into the ICA fold at such an exciting time. I’ve been working in the same landscape for some time, as a facilitator and trainer with an emphasis on participation for social change as well as managing a number of enterprises including an open programme of training and bespoke, inhouse training and capacity building support across the UK and in Sierra Leone. I’m also pleased that I am also working on a PhD with Bath University using participatory methodologies and focusing on the human factor in Universal Basic Income. I hope that the synergies between these activities will benefit both endeavours in the UK and in the global movement.

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