You just never know, surprises Brazilian style

Best two hours in rio

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been at the UN World Urban Forum (WUF) in Rio de Janiero, Brazil where I gave a workshop on cultural intelligence.  Here’s the behind the scenes story to the workshop, what I didn’t tell you in that post.

When the time came to start there were only 3 people in the room.  Disappointed, I wondered if the topic was wrong for the conference.  I thought perhaps I shouldn’t present it at a WUF conference again.


The organizers asked if they could let in people.  Turns out the participants had been waiting outside the room.  The room ended up being at capacity.  There were so many people I ran out of handouts.


A man walked in whose workshop, about social inclusion in cities, I had attended in the morning.  I enjoyed his workshop thoroughly and I was equally happy to have him attend my workshop.


I split from traditional UN genre workshops and did interactive activities that involved a lot of laughter and had people from all over the world working together and enjoying themselves.


The workshop ended and the same man came up to thank me, saying he’d enjoyed himself and wanted to talk further about possible collaboration.


I was sorting through the business cards that people left, those who wanted follow-up resource packages and found the unsolicited written feedback pictured above – ‘best two hours in Rio’ (referring to my workshop).

What a kind thing to do, to take the time to give a presenter unasked for feedback.  It made my week.


I realized it was from Gerd Junne, the same man whose workshop I had so admired in the morning.  He is the Chair in International Relations at the University of Amsterdam.  He’s also the source of the gorgeous woodcut picture in my last post.

You just never know.  From disappointment to gaining a new colleague and hosting a sold out workshop all in a small space of time.  How fast things can change if only we keep our chins up and our eyes open for 180 degrees of reconsideration.


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One Response to “You just never know, surprises Brazilian style”

  1. Rock.Paper.Scissors.Blog » Blog Archive » You just never know … center university Says:
    March 29th, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    […] post: Rock.Paper.Scissors.Blog » Blog Archive » You just never know … By admin | category: University of AMSTERDAM | tags: also-the-source, amsterdam, […]

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