Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

The Future of Global Non-Profits

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Listen to Charles MacCormack talk about the future of NGOs and why he thinks the Institute students are well prepared for working in the non-profit sector.

November 13, 2013

Middlebury Executive-in-Residence and former CEO of Save the Children, Charles MacCormack, lectured on “The Strategic Management of Global Non-Profit Organizations” in November.  He spoke to a rapt audience of MIIS students and faculty who wanted to learn how the non-profit sector has changed over the years and how to prepare for what is to come.

MacCormack says that for most of his fifty year career, the field of international development changed very little—that is, until the past ten years or so. Speaking directly to the students in the room he said: “The things I learned at college served me very well during my entire career. That’s not going to work for you. He encouraged them to keep learning new skills in order to stay effective and relevant in the rapidly changing field.

MacCormack identified six main issues that International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs) are facing according to him:

  1. Advances in technology
  2. Globalization
  3. Inequality within nations as opposed to between nations
  4. Changing global power relations or “Rise of the Rest”
  5. The diminishing role of government aid and increasing role of private resources
  6. Environmental sustainability

He discussed the impact these new variables are having on the effectiveness of INGOs. Finally, MacCormack discussed the implications of all of this for future leaders and managers. He addressed the fact that many INGOs use English as a common language, but brought up the point that, the “fact that everyone is using the same words does not mean we’re all speaking the same language."