Since Humentum’s founding almost forty years ago, we have been fortunate to support the growing development and recognition that global operational capabilities are essential to delivering and sustaining the impact of international NGOs. Appreciation of the unique value that operational expertise brings to enable and support effective programs and overall organizational strategy has grown, notwithstanding ongoing challenges in funding.
Humentum began almost 40 years ago as experts supporting fellow experts with ideas, solutions, and the means to explore new and emerging issues.
As we know, major trends and forces are reshaping the international development and relief sector and creating new opportunities and challenges. With the daily headlines filled with news about climate change, financial crises, and political transitions that influence the development agenda, the leadership team discussions and team meetings across our organizations signal a growing need to respond to the accelerating pace of change. Successfully leading through change tops leaders’ agendas across the NGO community.
On a trip to London last month, I had at last the opportunity to read Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World, the new book by our keynote speaker for the Humentum 2016 Annual Conference, Adam Grant. Early in the book, Grant discusses how as human beings our nature is to "rationalize the status quo as legitimate." He calls this the "default system" and highlights the many perils of taking the status quo for granted and never questioning the default assumptions we make.
Of the many attributes that characterize the essential community of Humentum, learning is at the core. Founded by expert practitioners, Humentum’s approach to learning emphasizes the practical application of training in day-to-day roles and in real-world problem solving. From a half-day workshop at an inaugural member meeting in DC 33 years ago to the beginning of international workshops in Nairobi in 1995, the significant contributions of several experts, member practitioners and thousands of participants globally have created the learning community we all value.
As long-standing members may recall, Humentum began as two predecessor organizations: the Association for PVO Financial Managers and the Personnel Co-op. The Personnel Co-op was launched in 1980 to focus on meeting the needs of the traditional HR professional in the INGO sector “with programs, information, and networking opportunities that promote professional growth and enhance contributions and effectiveness in their organizations.”