CONYAT CREATE – Progress Through Empowerment
/October 20, 2017
Conyat Create – Progress Through Empowerment
By: Conyat Create Founder and Director, Anastacia Howe
When I first enrolled in the Master of Sustainability Leadership course at Cambridge University, I was employed by an extractive company to primarily manage their CSR and communications strategy. I was required to work within an existing organizational culture despite my responsibility to create awareness on sustainability and obtain support from my fellow peers to ensure the business could be resilient and mitigate and maximize environmental and social risks and opportunities.
My biggest challenge at the time was learning how to communicate a concept to a new and young workforce. I continuously felt challenged and often alone faced with the dilemma of how to engage with my colleagues and speak in a language they understood. How do I communicate and frame the messages I need? And even if I conduct a workshop or meeting would they even think it would be worth it?
My time at MPRL E&P was a learning experience and I was fortunate to be part of a series of events that has placed the company ahead of the curve in terms of sustainability management. However, a huge gap remains in Myanmar. That gap is truly understanding and embedding sustainability practices within the private sector.
Taking into consideration, my working experience and time at Cambridge, I have learnt that communication and engagement, in my opinion, are the two most important factors in facilitating a culture that promotes long term thinking, planning, and effectively mitigating sustainability challenges. Creating an ecosystem for sustainability is required in order to encourage companies to improve their business practices and engagement. Key emphasis should be placed on framing sustainability activities into messages that can easily be understood by local communities. Utilizing film, story telling, animation, and art are necessary to initiate dialogue and conversation involving all key actors. In addition, strengthening local capacity to deliver change in a systematic manner is necessary.
It’s for this reason that I have now initiated a new adventure developing my own consultancy known as Conyat Create with the primary intention of building an ecosystem promoting sustainability conversations and most importantly creating Myanmar sustainability leaders.
The word “Conyat’ in Myanmar language translates to network. It’s sole purpose is creating local leaders through an approach that works with innovation to achieve breakthroughs – not change as usual. The impact I am trying to achieve through this endeavor is to create an ecosystem for sustainability, changing mindsets through advocacy and advice. Conyat Create is my new adventure. Ensuring progress through empowerment is my new personal leadership challenge.