Our global Board
ICAI Vice-President, the Americas – Gerd Luders
My member ICA & role
Founding member of the ICA Chile, 1983.
Santiago, Chile, southern stretch of the Andes Mountains
About my ICAI Board role
Promote friendly relationships, collaboration and learning with regional ICAs and members
Strengthen our economic base, methodological depth and relevancy to society
I have lived and worked with a diversity of people in Chile, USA, South America and Germany.
As a Civil Electrical Engineer from Universidad de Chile, my first job was at Endesa, where I learned about building earthquake-proof electrical power systems…, “focused” by experienced professional engineers.
In the 1970’s I earned a PhD in Information Sciences at Yale University, and worked at TASC, in Boston, to build models for Space Shuttle navigation, environmental impacts on marine life, and safe disposal of radioactive wastes “for millennia”. Our “people focus” were weekly one-hour presentations by anyone on anything. At one time, a colleague tried to show us how a 1983 Apple IIe (he had bought) was superior to an IBM 360 mainframe all of us worked with…, we all (proud engineers) looked at him with big eyes. At another time, while environmentalists were concerned with potential impacts on marine life by power plant cooling effluents…, we confirmed that lobsters “grow faster” in warmer waters.
Back in Chile, in 1980, where the military government had enacted free trade laws, to open up global export and import markets and induce companies to compete worldwide. My task was to create the Planning Department of Copec, Chile’s largest company, then an oligopoly with Esso and Shell in the fuel distribution market. For our “people focus”, we initiated weekly one-hour get-togethers, for one department to explain to all others, what they do, and how they interact with each other. (I wish I had known ORID by then.)
Since 1983, I have been Country / Area manager at The Berlitz Schools of Languages, an organization which, like the ICA, has developed Transformative Teaching-Learning methods and materials.
That same year, I attended a weekend training of the Consensus Workshop and the Art-Form Method, facilitated by Raul and Angelica Rodríguez.., which we soon added on to Berlitz administration.
The urgent needs to learn, to apply and to grow in our own work and life, soon evolved into an ICA practice in Chile, with occasional strategic support from ICA Peru and other ICAs.
When we combined the participative Berlitz Direct Method® (inside the classroom), with the ICA “Image Change” tools (outside the classroom), we soon achieved high levels of teaching quality and volume growth. Over time, we discovered that we were also earning our students’ gratitude and loyalty, and we gradually fine-tuned both the Berlitz Way and the ICA way, for systematically achieving student learning and self-confidence, for life.
A shift, in myself, came when doing a Timeline of my own life (another ICA Spirit Method), to discover a “new meaning” for my journey, which I had, occasionally, perceived as haphazard or unfocused.
The extensive use of ToP™ methods, led us to new models of Business Sustainability: like replacing traditional sales approaches with “building relationships” based on earning customers’ trust and loyalty; and that a “brief reflection”, at the end of every meeting, greatly enhances internal learning and team spirit.
In summary, the “people focus” features of ICA’s Imaginal Education are unique; and largely unknown in the corporate world. Thus, “forgetting the human factor” is a major “Contradiction” to look after, for the benefit of all:
My hopes and aspirations for the role
Learn about capabilities and experiences present in our ICAs & members, countries & clients
Bridge language and other gaps in our region, via kind and transformative ways
Empower our combined experience and tools, to enhance ICA´s Mission and Sustainability
Find and focus on Cultural Root Causes to enhance Corporate and Social Sustainabi|lity in our countries