I think the world is getting it wrong in regard to designing strategies to annihilate terrorism. We are too emotional, too subjective, too resentful and too vengeful. I can’t blame anyone, how can I? The nature of this phenomenon is very sophisticated and multifaceted to begin with. I think government officials, policy makers, military strategists etc. need to take more civilian negotiators, mediators and peacebuilders on board to help the counterterrorism efforts. It has been a while since the debate was held; but still relevant. Enjoy and would love to see your reflection


“Days after 9/11, President Bush declared a War on Terror that would “not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated.” Is America in a state of perpetual war, or has the threat of terrorism justified its position as the organizing principle behind our foreign policy? In 10 years we’ve been in 2 wars, witnessed the Arab Spring and the death of Osama bin Laden–is it finally time to end the War on Terror?”


Peace Can be a Dirty Word: by Fleur Just at TEDxTbilisi


Excellent talk by Fleur.
I used to be a ‘Conflict Coward’. So afraid and disgusted of any kind of conflict – not knowing – ‘Conflict’ is inevitable, and is a channel towards change – a positive and a better change.

“Fleur Just challenges common assumptions made about peacebuilding and conflict prevention – advocating more realistic approaches to addressing conflict. She is the Director of the Peaceful Change Initiative (www.peacefulchange.org), and the founder of a school for underprivileged children in Liberia (www.fleurschool.org).”
Merid Desta

Can I reconcile with the man who killed my son: Robi Damelin at TEDx-TelAvivWomen

Pax Dei as Missio Dei

Listen to one of my Peace heroes “Robi”. She is inspirational and one of a kind. She is applying one of the most difficult concepts in practice which is easy say than done. How would you feel reconciling to someone who has hurt you the deepest way possible? … who has taken the dearest person away from you … forever?
Merid Desta

Published on 29 Dec 2013
Robi, an Israeli mother, ponders the possibility of meeting her son David’s killer, and can’t help wonder how honest she is with herself in her quest for reconciliation. Can a person who stole the life of a women’s child ever truly be forgiven? Is the dialogue between perpetrators and victims the key to ending the bloody never ending Israeli/Palestinian conflict? And can a glimmer of hope come from a place of unbearable pain? Recognizing the humanity in the other must be a recipe…

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Failure as Iteration


Reframing Failure as Iteration Allows Students to Thrive

Who is not afraid of failure? Recent studies show us that failure or failing to perform what you aimed to accomplish should not be treated as a complete failure. Hundreds and thousands of articles and quotes have been written on the web; but still millions of people, children or adult, get entangled in that killer web of deadly and poisonous sense of defeat and failure. Why is that happening, in spite of all the information and examples available around us?

The purpose of the video above is to show you about how a school in the USA is trying to redefine failure by using a very interesting method and how they try to educate their children in a very unique way. At New York City’s game-based learning school Quest to Learn, sixth graders take risks in the process of designing a Rube Goldberg machine, which enables more creativity, innovation, and engagement.

But I would also like anyone reading to use it and accept the value of failing or failure; and how we can use them for our best benefit. One of my professors recently said, “In the five years I’ve been running projects with Darden MBA students, I have never had a project fail to add value. If it was the right kind of question in the first place, And if the students worked hard. You will add value. And often it’s the insight, as much as the ideas themselves, that are the ones that really make the most impact.

Let me mention a few quotes made by people you may know.
“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.”
Michael Jordan

My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.
Abraham Lincoln

Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.
C. S. Lewis

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.
Steve Jobs

It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.
Bill Gates

Don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t waste energy trying to cover up failure. Learn from your failures and go on to the next challenge. It’s OK to fail. If you’re not failing, you’re not growing.
H. Stanley Judd

Ambition is the last refuge of the failure.
Oscar Wilde

Do not fear mistakes. You will know failure. Continue to reach out.
Benjamin Franklin

I’ve come to believe that all my past failure and frustration were actually laying the foundation for the understandings that have created the new level of living I now enjoy.
Tony Robbins

Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed on an equal or greater benefit.
Napoleon Hill

Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.
Thomas A. Edison

On one of the articles I recently read, Pauline said, “To many in our success-driven society, failure isn’t just considered a non-option—it’s deemed a deficiency, says Kathryn Schulz, author of Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error. “Of all the things we are wrong about, this idea of error might well top the list,” Schulz says. “It is our meta-mistake: We are wrong about what it means to be wrong. Far from being a sign of intellectual inferiority, the capacity to err is crucial to human cognition.”


Back to the video!

The video is made by EDUTOPIA. They have a video series called, “Made With Play”. Edutopia’s new series takes a look at game-like learning principles in action and commercial games in real classrooms — and offers tips and tools for bringing them into your own practice. Made With Play is a co-production with Institute of Play.

Enjoy the message for your own, your children, school and company sake.
Merid Desta

For-profit problem solvers: P R Ganapathy at TEDxGolfLinksPark 


This video is an excellent talk on Social Entrepreneurship. P R Ganapathy talks about a few very pragmatic and exemplary entrepreneurial works that are in great demand in the world today. Published on 30 May 2013. Take a few minutes to reflect on this video, give it a serious thought and design acton plan. Move it and do it! That is what makes you what you want to be and do. What can Ethiopian entrepreneurs learn from this inspirational speech?
Merid Desta.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

“Starting a New Private School” with Reed Sumida


This is a very short video clip that opens the door to the steps towards starting a New Private School. ISPG/The Independent School Performance Group is a company that offers consultancy services to existing private schools and and schools that are on a start up stage. Lots of excellent materials and advices worth browsing. As usual I will be posting the other excellent short video clips on “Advancement”, “Student Retention”, “Strategic Planning”, “Board Development”, “School Formation” etc. I’m sure you will be benefiting a lot from this a..n..d Enjoy!!!
Meri Desta

ISPG and its Associates provides school start up services to private and independent schools throughout North America. Our experience of helping numerous other founders form their schools guides us in understanding the critical functions of starting a school and will provide you and your group with the strategies and tactics that will contribute to making your project:

financially viable
void of costly errors and missteps
on time and on budget
stay within the financial reach of the founders
exceed the expectations of the community
a long-term legacy of the founders’ vision
ISPG Quick Tip – If you want to significantly increase the likelihood of making your school dream
a reality, make certain that you have:

A vision for the school shared by others who will dedicate their time and energy within your founding group;
Financial resources sufficient to fund the development of your school’s business and financial plan.
ISPG School Formation

Whether you are looking to start a pre-school, grade school or vocational/career school, ISPG Associates have real world experience based in our vast educational and business sector experiences.

The following are services provided by ISPG for new school formation. ISPG Associates have been instrumental in the formation of numerous new private and independent schools throughout North America.

Private School

Business Related Services

ISPG School Formation

Defining the true vision and mission
Establishing the legal entity by which the school will operate;
Establishing a school governance and reporting committee structure based on the vision and values of the founders which may include a School Society Constitution and By-Laws;
Creating a three year strategic Business Plan;
creating a strategic financial plan including
requirements for investment capital, working capital and cash flows for the first three years;
Creating a three year strategic marketing strategy to drive enrolment;
Oversight of an application for Charitable status (if applicable) for purposes of issuing donation receipts:
Leading the design of an identity package, including website, brochure, logo, motto, crest, slogan and uniform concept;
Property procurement
Lease negotiations
Administrative requirements
Policies and procedures
Procurement of project financing
Market research
Private School

Education Related Services

ISPG School Formation

Registration and licensing;
Curriculum development;
Advertising for, evaluating and interviewing teaching staff, administrative and other staff;
Development of the admissions process
Student recruitment and marketing strategy;
Sourcing and supervising procurement of equipment;
Recruiting, supervising, supporting and evaluating the Head of School (the “Head”);
Assisting the Client to ensure that the School:
meets the requirements of the legislation applicable for the opening of the School; and
is able to provide an education to students which meets the requirements of the local governmental jurisdiction;

Call or email to discuss your vision for a new school. info@ispginc.com 1-800-884-0989