Sunday, January 14, 2018

United Federation of SEALA


Cultural Exchange Evening!

The India team demonstrates the diverse colors of the subcontinent.

Pakistani friends prepare to showcase the rich culture of their nation...

... but the Sri Lankans have got a trick or two up their sleeve as well.

Your MC for the evening is holding the starter flag and is ready to get this show on the road!

The Facilitator Nation strut their stuff.

Sonny and Cher (aka Clark Plexico and Meade Sutterfield) are in the house!

Your SEALA facilitators as you've never seen them before.

The dances of Pakistan never fail to set feet tapping and hearts racing.

Umar and Azmady treat us to a selection of Malaysian poetry, a mini-fashion show, and a Malay language lesson. 

Terry thrills the room with the elegance and philosophical depth of Chinese calligraphy.

A cookery show! - hosted by Jye and celebrity chef Vanessa. We are introduced to the tasty delights of Indonesia's favorite noodles – Indo Mie. 

Monisha spins and flutters, sparkles and shines in an amazing solo performance of Indian dance.

The Indian team rocks!

Air hostess Su-Mae welcomes us aboard SQ 005 for a wild trip (no seatbelts or safety protocols!) around the newly United Federation of Singapore, Kazakhstan, Vietnam and Myanmar. 

Yen tests our knowledge of Vietnam with a pop-quiz.

The citizens of Singkazvietmyan.

Sri Lanka is celebrated through its sports, with wonderful color, humor and good fellowship.

 Rohan demonstrates the chicken dance.

Anu Sharma shows off her dance moves.

Everybody shows off their dance moves!

Time for the MC to retire our wonderful evening is over.

But our memories of learning and playing together, and the bonds of mutual admiration we forged tonight, will carry us to the end of the program  and far beyond!

The Temperature Rises


Another beautiful, hot, tropical day has dawned in Kalutara...

... not that anybody could ever guess it from the freezing temperatures in the ballroom. Notwithstanding the physical climate, however, the spiritual climate of SEALA remains warm and toasty.

The Participant Forum continues with organizational stories and audience feedback. Hands up, Rashad! He has surrendered to Farzana's charisma and eloquence.

Karna describes challenges and opportunities he faces staffing his organization with Generation Y (Millennials). He reaches out to other leaders with similar experiences.

Never undervalue the head of an electricity company! Umar reminds the room of the power he wields, and the responsibility he bears, by turning off the ballroom lights: literally! (And crucially then by turning them on again.)

Paulette Pidcock is looking forward to today's guest speaker.

SEALA staff have thoughtfully provided Michael Kouly with a comfortable, puffy leather chair.

Chandika Wickramatillake takes the microphone and the initiative. Chandika has something to say – unlike certain other people in the room.

Yen advances the group conversation with fresh thoughts of his own.

Asif injects some characteristic humor into the proceedings...

Amit has perked up!

Kumudini holds her head up high.

We all need our quiet time sometimes. But really, does no one have anything else to say?

When in doubt what to do next, there is always the default option of getting together to perform the hokey cokey: You put your right hand in, you take your right hand out... and you shake it all about...

In the subsequent debrief of the session, Gayani takes Michael to task for his poor behavior towards his audience. Michael has certainly cranked up the heat in the room. He is restructuring our perceptions and twisting our minds 

Bolat can't take it any more!

Coming up this evening: The SEALA 5 Cultural Exchange!

Saturday, January 13, 2018



This morning's participant forum is a chance to practice and expand our value-based story-telling skills, under Rashad Bayramov's tutelage. Leaders need to communicate what they do, and the help and resources they need, with punch and conviction.

The forum also proves to be an opportunity for Rashad to be reunited with his long-lost twin Samad. Clearly brothers separated at birth.

Kumudini waits for her entrance as the conductor rouses the orchestra con brio. She has three minutes to sing the song of her life.

Gayani Ranasinghe appeals powerfully to her shared experiences with the audience to make an instant connection.

Rashad tweaks Prasad Arunachalam's pitch with a subtle application of the Star Trek Vulcan shoulder grip.

Appropriately for an islander, Rohan describes himself as a lighthouse, helping ships navigate safely to harbor.

 Paper, scissors, stone... Azmady Abdul Aziz wins! Well played!

Understanding human nature: Bill demonstrates that people can anchor their thoughts in arbitrary ways, which can degrade the accuracy of their decision-making. Here, two SEALA groups produce radically divergent estimates of the population of Spain...

Asif Malik and Ali are stumped. Maheeka, however, employs the ancient Sri Lankan art of pencil massage to stimulate her forehead chakra ("Third Eye") and penetrate the truths of existence including the correct figure for the population of Spain: 46.56 million.

The Leadership Lifeline Exercise allows us to review themes and default behaviors from our life experiences. Omar Razzaq musters his thoughts and memories.

Vivek Deshpande explores life trajectories with his learning group.

Devika has an insight.

Now sometimes you’re up and sometimes you’re down,
When you find that you’re down well just look around:
You still got a body, good legs and fine feet,
Get your head in the right place and hey, you’re complete!

– "Boundin'," Pixar Films (2003)