1 Week, 12 Team Members, 20 Decisions

Big team jump on Sigiriya rock
Big team jump on Sigiriya Rock

In our 2017 Leadership Week, we did not only meet as a team and visited our learning centers in Sri Lanka but also decided on important topics of our strategy and our vision 2020.

What a week! After more than a year, BOOKBRIDGE core team met together with our Foundation Board as a whole team. During the week we spent many great moments together and discovered Sri Lanka’s beauty but also worked on principles and challenges of our work and visited our learning centers (learn more about our trip in this article). Besides meeting Sampath in Kekirawa and the motivated women in his community we had the honour to attend Skills Learning Center’s first birthday in Bandarawela. Community Hero Sujitha had invited us to the celebration and integrated the whole team in the ceremony. We are grateful for spending a great moment with her, her dedicated staff and the people from her community!

In several workshops, we worked hard on taking decisions on various topics that will guide our work in the next years:

  1. Impact Assessment
  2. Vision 2020
  3. Quality in our learning centers
  4. Governance
  5. Rethinking the recruitment process of our Community Heroes

Between the workshops, we discussed many details and special aspects in small groups and on Friday the Foundation Board took the chance to meet for the first time in person (board meetings take place quarterly via video calls).

Results of Leadership Week 2017
Results of 2017 Leadership Week

Key results of our 2017 Leadership Week

Impact Assessment:

  • We have redefined the dimensions activity, outcome and output of our impact chain
  • A working group will set up an “integrated curriculum” for our learning centers combining English lessons with student projects and field trips to the community
  • In our learning center reporting, we have skipped the metric “community outreach” as it is too vague
  • We still have to discuss our current evaluation and assessment methods

Vision 2020:

  • Criteria for learning centers have been regrouped and refined
  • We keep the criteria for the Capability Program
  • We will skip the pure in-country programs with clients and candidates from the South
  • We have mapped the progress the learning centers and BOOKBRIDGE as an organization have made since 2015

Quality in our learning centers:

  • We have decided on 7 immediate measures to put quality at the center stage


  • The relationships between BOOKBRIDGE entities and stakeholdes have been thouroughly discussed and mapped
  • We have agreed on a “term sheet” outlining the most important governance topics

Recruitment process of our Community Heroes:

  • We have refined the criteria for recruiting the managers of our learning center

Board meeting: the Foundation Board decided

  • to give an additional EUR 3,000 investment to Sujitha for her Skills Learning Center
  • to agree on a EUR 10,000 investment in the South African social enterprise Green Business College that has been founded by alumni of our Capability Program and with the ideas that stand behind BOOKBRIDGE
  • to elect Natalie Moral and Tsolmon as fifth and sixth member of the Foundation Board


  • The environmental footprint of BOOKBRIDGE will be part of the agenda of BridgeBuilder Summit 2018
  • All-staff trainings in our countries will include a workshop on the environment to raise the awareness among our Community Heroes for this topic


  • As our organization keeps on growing, we have agreed on 29 abbreviations to make our daily work easier.

After a week full of friendship, great moments and new insights we said good-bye to each other at Colombo airport. We are proud of what we have achieved during Leadership Week: not only big progress on our work but also inspiring encounters with our Community Heroes and the people of Sri Lanka. We can´t wait to see eacher other again on Bridgebuilder Summit 2018!

Goofy faces after serious work
Goofy faces after serious work

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