36 episodes

A podcast for humanitarians who want to work in closer alignment to core values like compassion, accountability, solidarity and equity. Born in 2020 in collaboration with CHS Alliance and Mary Ann Clements, the podcast is now entering its next evolution and is hosted by Melissa Pitotti.

Embodying change: Transforming power, culture and well-being in aid organisations Melissa Pitotti

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 2 Ratings

A podcast for humanitarians who want to work in closer alignment to core values like compassion, accountability, solidarity and equity. Born in 2020 in collaboration with CHS Alliance and Mary Ann Clements, the podcast is now entering its next evolution and is hosted by Melissa Pitotti.

    Identity and belonging with Annemarie Shrouder

    Identity and belonging with Annemarie Shrouder

    Annemarie Shrouder shares her personal journey with identity and discusses her work building inclusive cultures and communities. She and Melissa explore the difference between learning and BEING something (embodying change), the challenges of mixed race identity, creating safe and/or brave spaces, and the importance of representation, belonging and community support.
    Topics Discussed: 
     Identity and embodying change Inclusion and belonging in organizations Leadership, empathy and localization  Diversity in leadership and overcoming barriers Creating inclusive cultures and speaking up against injusticeKey Insights:
     Embodying change means living what you learn, not just talking about it Inclusion alone is not enough without addressing oppressive systems  Self-care and vulnerability are acts of resistance for historically disadvantaged  groups Both safe spaces and brave spaces are needed to have meaningful conversations (and this article by Elise Ahenkorah takes it a step further talking about accountable spaces)Annemarie Shrouder – international best-selling author of Being Brown in a Black and White World: Conversations for Leaders on Race, Racism and Belonging - has spent more than 20 years in the field of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) as a facilitator, consultant, and international speaker. An expert in EDI with a Masters in Bias Awareness, Annemarie assists in the creation of healthy workplace communities through her Signature Methodology and Inclusive Leadership Program. Organizations turn to Annemarie when they are looking to build environments where people can learn and are supported, and where they are acknowledged and valued.  She also delivers presentations and keynotes, and can be booked for speaking engagements that inspire people to notice more, and raise awareness about the importance of inclusion. Annemarie works with diversity broadly and is passionate about healing the racial divide and supporting LGBTQ+ inclusion. 
    To learn more, check out:
    Her website: https://annemarieshrouder.com/Her community for leaders committed to building belonging: https://ediwithheart.wordpress.com/LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/annemarieshrouder/Her book: https://annemarieshrouder.com/book/“Embodying change is the difference between learning something and BEING something.”
    -       Annemarie Shrouder

    • 41 min
    The #1 thing you need to transition, with Nasra Ismail

    The #1 thing you need to transition, with Nasra Ismail

    In this episode, Melissa Pitotti and Nasra Ismail have a candid conversation about navigating transitions, power dynamics, and the principles of localization in the humanitarian sector. They share personal anecdotes and insights into their professional journeys, discussing the challenges and opportunities they encountered along the way. From experiencing shifts in power dynamics to embracing localization as a personal and professional practice, they delve into the complexities of working in the humanitarian field and the importance of aligning personal values with professional endeavors. Join them as they explore the intersection of personal and professional growth, which could be helpful for anyone navigating career transitions or seeking to create meaningful change in their communities.
    Nasra Ismail is Alight's newly appointed U.S. Enterprise Executive Director, where she leads a team to build and expand welcoming communities for newcomers to the United States. With a career spanning two decades, Nasra's journey has taken her across the globe, from leading public policy in Washington D.C. to delivering humanitarian aid in East Africa and shaping social justice movement strategy in philanthropy for the past three years. As a first-generation immigrant, Nasra champions interconnected communities founded on principles of equity and inclusion, all working towards a shared future. Nasra has held leadership roles at organizations including the U.S Millennium Challenge Corporation, Care US, Oxfam International, Co-Impact, and GivingTuesday. Her unique blend of experiences in humanitarian, public, and philanthropic sectors all reflect her core values, which were enriched by her personal displacement journey from Somalia. 

    In this episode, Melissa and Nasra
    reflect on their professional journeys, highlighting the transitions they've experienced and the lessons learneddiscuss the impact of power dynamics on relationships and professional interactions, sharing personal experiences of navigating shifts in powershare insights into the principles of localization and its significance in empowering local communities to drive change and participate fully in humanitarian effortsexplore the intersection of personal and professional values, emphasizing the importance of aligning one's purpose with their workoffer encouragement and advice for individuals navigating career transitions or seeking to create positive change in their communitiesdiscuss the role of community support and collaboration in fostering personal and professional growth, highlighting the value of mutual aid and solidarityMelissa's conclusion
    Community is the #1 thing you need when navigating a values-aligned career transition in the humanitarian sector.
    Resources mentioned
    Nasra Ismail's LinkedIn profile: linkedin.com/in/nasraismailNasra Ismail's X (Twitter) profile: @NAS_ismsNasra is the U.S. Enterprise Executive Director of Alight, and you can learn more about Alight at: https://wearealight.org/ Their previous podcast conversation can be found here: https://changemakingwomen.com/guest-series-embodying-change-4-nasra-ismail-director-of-the-somalia-ngo-consortium/ 

    • 44 min
    Giving Joy with Joy Kolin

    Giving Joy with Joy Kolin

    In this episode Melissa speaks with Joy Kolin, Executive Director and Board President of Giving Joy.
    Joy has 20-years of experience in the field of international development, a career that has taken her to over 60 countries. Throughout her travels, Joy found herself touched by a common trend - the immense ability of women to affect positive change if given the resources and opportunities to do so. In 2018 she established Giving Joy as a way to harness and grow the power and the influence of women-led ventures the world over. Now, women from any country, across any trade or industry, can apply for a one-time grant between $250 to $500 to jump start and/or expand their operations.
    To learn more check out:
    -       Giving Joy: https://givingjoygrants.org 
    -       Email: info@givingjoygrants.org 
    ***Thanks to Ziada Abeid for editing the show.***

    • 45 min
    Life-centric work with Wouter Smeets

    Life-centric work with Wouter Smeets

    How can we better manage our workload, as per Commitment 8 of the Core Humanitarian Standard?* 
    In this episode Melissa speaks with Wouter Smeets, a design-thinker, about how to re-shape our work in a way that gives us energy, rather than drains it.  He gives us some good questions to ask ourselves, like: How do we design our morning routine? What makes a break a good break? What task can we do first that will put us on good footing for the rest of the day? What are some life-centric strategies for managing our calendar? He also reveals a free, work-enhancing drug that has zero side effects. And he talks about a ground-breaking process he’s involved with to create a safe space for exchanging ideas that is also a brave space for experimenting with putting these ideas into practice to make our work more life-enriching.
    Wouter Smeets co-founded Prototype You, a community lab for explorers who challenge accepted norms about work, to co-create ways of working where people and organisations thrive. It’s a community lab with workshops, conversations, and experiments to cultivate work that enriches people’s lives. When he’s not working he’s usually visiting the sea, hiking, or running on the athletics track.
    To learn more check out:
    -       Wouter on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/wouter-smeets/
    -       Prototype You at https://www.prototypeyou.nl/community 
    -       Wouter’s newsletter where he shares gems from the lab here: https://prototypeyou.ck.page/newsletter 
    -       Wouter’s email is: wouter@prototypeyou.nl 
    ***Thanks to Ziada Abeid for editing the show.***
    *Core Humanitarian Standard Commitment 8: Communities and people affected by crisis receive the assistance they require from competent and well-managed staff and volunteers. 

    • 51 min
    A victim/ survivor perspective with Sabrina Prioli

    A victim/ survivor perspective with Sabrina Prioli

    In this conversation, Melissa speaks with Sabrina Prioli, the author of a memoir called “Rise up, phoenix” and one of the victim/survivors of the 2016 Terrain Compound Attacks in Juba, South Sudan. Sabrina shares her insights into how to better support victim/survivors and hold perpetrators accountable for their actions. She also explains the nuances of the words “victim” vs. “survivor” and how to cope when hearing about traumatic incidents like hers. 
    *Note: This conversation includes references to rape and may be triggering for some listeners.*
    Sabrina Prioli is currently a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, Mental Fitness Coach and Mental Health First Aid (MHFA). She is an independent consultant and she supports organisations in raising awareness, prevention and preparation on the issue of sexual abuse, violence and rape. She worked for years as an aid worker and consultant for humanitarian projects. Sabrina helped develop the planning, monitoring and evaluation (PM&E) plans for her own and different partner implementing projects. She has worked as a researcher and PM&E consultant for universities, NGOs and governments in Latin America, Africa and Europe. She has experience and knowledge in the thematic areas of protection, education, economic empowerment and gender equality which allow her to develop the appropriate indicators and PM&E tools. In 2011 she created a foundation “Fundacion Hilo Sagrado”, dedicated to the conservation of culture and tradition of the indigenous peoples of Guajira, in Colombia, to strengthen the identity and social role of women. In 2021, for her civil commitment in favour of women victims of violence and abuse, she won the "Woman Award 2021" and the award “Il Paese delle Donne Award 2021." In 2022 she won solidarity award, “Premio Solidarietà” Premio Nazionale Pratola 2022. Sabrina has a degree in Sociology, a Masters in Project Management for International Organisations, and Certification in Monitoring & Evaluation & Facilitation.
    Sabrina's website: https://en.sabrinaprioli.com/Sabrina's 2020 memoir "Rise up, phoenix": https://en.sabrinaprioli.com/il-mio-libroTo learn more about the CHS Alliance work on organisational culture and well-being, see:
    ***Thanks to Ziada Abeid for editing the show.***

    • 53 min
    “Mental health at work” with Dr. Aiysha Malik of the WHO

    “Mental health at work” with Dr. Aiysha Malik of the WHO

    In this episode Melissa speaks with Dr. Aiysha Malik, a mental health specialist at the World Health Organization working for a world that supports, improves, and does not harm mental health. They discuss the WHO guidelines on mental health and work and accompanying WHO-ILO policy brief. What do the guidelines say and what can you do with them?
    Check out the WHO guidelines on mental health at work here: https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789240053052 
    And the WHO-ILO mental health at work policy brief here: https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789240057944
    To learn more about the CHS Alliance work on organisational culture and well-being, see:
    ***Thanks to Ziada Abeid for editing the show.***
    Please leave a review by scrolling down the show page, selecting a star rating, and tapping “Write a review.”

    • 34 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
2 Ratings

2 Ratings

SimplyMindful ,

Incredibly important, useful, and relevant…

For anyone interested, and who is supporting wellbeing, in the humanitarian sector, these series of podcasts are a genuinely useful and accessible way to understand and keep up to date with the latest thinking, ideas, and innovations on wellbeing. There is ample food for thought here, and it’s a wonderful way to hear from a diverse set of global voices and learn about how this important discourse on humanitarian wellbeing is unfolding. Incredibly important, useful, and relevant…. And I have found it to be a place that sets off a wave of creative thinking and advancing ideas also… Thank you for creating this truly helpful service and resource…. Hitendra Solanki - Simply Mindful

Goosy weasle ,


These podcasts are timely, relevant and interesting. I’ve learnt new perspectives on how to improve health and well-being in the Aid sector. Thank you for all your inputs and effort, and keep the podcasts coming!

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