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Rob Lancaster - Jack-of-all-trades

From 2007 until now, I have worked in the NGO sector, most of my roles connected with the work of Initiatives of Change; as the Director of the Caux Interns Program, Project Manager and then Director of the Caux Forum for Human Security (now the Just Governance Forum), as support team for the leadership training program Action for Life, and training coordination for IofC International in South Sudan. Work with Initiatives of Change International and Caux-Initiatives of Change has also included consultancy work with the Costa Rican Mission to the UN in Geneva and Training of Trainers programs in India and Cambodia.

As a facilitator and trainer, I have worked with online strategic planning processes, face to face primarily with younger people in exercises around cooperation, trustbuilding, active and empathic listening skills, focussed conversation and conflict resolution.

I have worked on designing programs and conferences with international teams across time zones, blending virtual and physical teamwork. In 2014, after moving to an entirely associate relationship with IofC International, I created the company ‘Inside Change’. Building on the work under the auspices of Initiatives of Change International, Inside Change’s first partnership was with the South Sudan Committee for National Healing, Peace and Reconciliation, alongside the South African-based Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR) and the local Youth in Solidarity to deliver a four-week training program for 70 Peace Mobilisers, based in Yei, South Sudan.

Academic Background

I have degrees with Honours in both Law (LLB) and Arts (International Relations/French) from the Australian National University, as well as a Master of Public Policy (MPP) at Oxford. My key areas of interest in my Honours studies were humanitarian intervention and the Responsibility to Protect (R2P); cosmopolitan theory; critical theory; human security discourse; and secularism and religious freedoms in the public space.

I speak fluent french (though it deteriorates without use), having studied as part of my degree program for one year in Lyon at Jean Moulin Lyon III and a further six months in my Honours year at the Institute of Political Studies in Paris (Sciences Po).

Community involvement

Before working with Initiatives of Change - which is all about working with and in community - I worked as a Project Manager in 2007 for the ACT (Australian Capital Territory) leg of the Australian Make Poverty History Zero Seven Road Trip. I was President of the ACT Debating Union, organising inter-schools debating for the region.

A bit about me...

Having surrendered my childhood aspirations to captain the Australian Cricket team, I’ve been working for several years now in initiatives that explore the link between personal and global change – through conferences, unconferences, training programs, and getting alongside people who are trying to change the world and struggling as much as I am.

That journey has taken me from Australia (where I was born and grew up) through India, South East Asia, Africa, Eastern and Western Europe (including the UK and Norway, in case that isn’t automatically included). I’ve been working primarily with multicultural teams – which I think is meant to be something good to say – but have always learnt as much from the challenges of working with people from my own ‘culture’ but with a very different ‘culture’. I love music, from Handel’s Messiah to the Idan Raichel Project, to Riverdance to teenage boy bands, and enjoy playing and singing musical theatre numbers in my spare time. I like to think I have good judgment, though good friends tell me (and presumably others are thinking it) that my hair is ridiculous and I have no fashion sense. I like taking naps and am suspicious of people who don’t like donuts.