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Request For Proposals: Consultant to facilitate WITNESS’ Global Team Retreat

Introduction & Overview

WITNESS seeks a facilitator and skilled trust builder who has experience in helping cohere teams around strategic and organizational vision, and in facilitating conversations around values and how to understand the human rights framework and complementary approaches. They should have experience in team-building. Experience in imaginative futures work is a plus.

Additionally, they should have expertise in facilitating the planned and spontaneous conversations that need to be fostered within a safe and open space for the team. The ideal candidate will also have experience in facilitating strategic spaces aimed at building capacity within movements fighting for human rights and social change.

The candidate for our Global Team Retreat, must have sectoral expertise or in-depth knowledge of the human rights landscape/field and ability to navigate the nuance surrounding the work performed by activists on the ground, as well as in an organizational setting. The facilitator will engage in co-designing thoughtfully crafted trainings and workshops, and in supporting team members to facilitate particular sessions and lead a number of the culture building sessions – all with the end goal of creating a resilient and cohesive team working towards a more strategic and unified organizational vision.

Our multidisciplinary team is a collective of 40 passionate human rights advocates across five continents with staff, consultants, interns, fellows, and a vast community of partners and collaborators that reflect diverse skills, backgrounds and histories. WITNESS envisions a world where the millions of people turning to video for human rights can do so safely, effectively and ethically.

We prioritize a diverse range of people using video facing human rights violations (from filming, curation, and archiving), as well as human rights groups working closely with them and acting in solidarity with them.

The proposed retreat will take place October 11th -16th 2022 in Cuernavaca, Mexico. October 11th and 16th are the expected arrival and departure dates respectively. Facilitated sessions will take place on October 12th, 13th, and 15th. As of now there are no formal sessions being held on October 14th, but adjustments to the agenda may occur.

WITNESS’ Background

For thirty years, WITNESS has helped people use video and technology to protect and defend human rights. WITNESS pairs grassroots community support with advocacy at a systems level. Our team works holistically on a global scale to understand how communities are using and want to use video and technology for human rights. With a cellphone camera, anyone can become a human rights defender and expose injustice, making it harder for perpetrators to hide or for systems of oppression to remain invisible.

But using video for community organizing, justice and accountability can be dangerous – videos can put defenders (or those they film) at risk, can be used against communities in court or deceitfully discredited by tired old power narratives. Filming is almost never enough – for videos to make a difference they need to work alongside strong advocacy or legal strategies; they also need to be created, preserved and shared in ways that avoid creating more harm or trauma. New threats to human rights are emerging at the intersection of artificial intelligence, misinformation and disinformation and a global wave of rising authoritarianism.

When it comes to systemic challenges we are on the watch for both existing problems – like how large amounts of critical human rights footage are lost because of the arbitrary decisions of platforms – but also emerging threats and opportunities, such as those posed by deepfakes, new ways to manipulate media to make it look like someone said or did something they never did.

Project Contact: Diana Rosa, diana@witness.org

Proposed Timeline

  • Preparation, September – early October 2022: Collaborate with WITNESS’ Retreat Planning Committee, including leadership to co-design an appropriate process and facilitation of certain sessions to take place during the WITNESS Global Team Retreat in October.
  • Global Team Retreat, October 11th-16th: Ensure effective facilitation of an inclusive, globally culture sensitive and cohesive process to include visioning and organizational culture building.

Submission Instructions

Succinct proposals for how you will approach this project should be sent to diana@witness.org. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, but we strongly encourage applicants to submit their proposals as soon as possible. Please include in your proposal:

  • Your approach to the project, which should include specific examples of how you would suggest building culture, resilience and team cohesiveness in a global human rights space; creating alignment on shared values, and shared vision around evolving organizational direction; as well as a holistic approach to addressing an employee’s overall health and well being within the cultural building framework.
  • References to previous work relevant to this project.
  • An articulation of how you intend to ensure a globally inclusive approach.
  • Proposed fee structure.

WITNESS aims to build an inclusive workforce that is reflective of the communities we work with, and actively seeks applications from those who are marginalized and underrepresented. WITNESS is an equal opportunity employer. People of all ages, races, ethnicities, national origins, religions, genders, gender identities and expressions, sexual orientations, and individuals protected by any other statuses under international, federal, state or local laws, including but not limited to, disability, marital, domestic partnership, familial, caregiver, transgender, military or veteran statuses, are encouraged to apply.



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