Today, we had an important workshop with our client, Fondation Tanger Al Madina (FTAM). To recap, we are building a business design for a non profit foundation whose vision, mission and long-term goals we just clarified in 3 hours. I am very proud of the vision as it fits perfectly what the founders are looking to build: Medina is a prosperous and attractive place where every family is proud to live. Unfortunately today, it is not – the safety and crime are high, there is incivility and illiteracy, lots of rubbish and anarchic urbanism. Not many folks want to live there or spend time in there – except tourists who find it “historically and geographically unique” for the 30 minutes they get off the boat from Spain. But they wouldn’t spend much time in here otherwise. Here is us working and facilitating – please notice the great Swan Lake performance by Lavinia and I – we were explaining that vision is on the top and Ryo, our photographer and videographer, was very quick to take pictures.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Over the next week, we will be building the business design, including organizational and governance model, resources and partnership approach, marketing, branding, communication and fundraising strategy so they can achieve those goals. So a busy week ahead!

So while we were the queens of Swan Lake – there is a real royal family of Morocco. They are quite the mysterious topic here – you are not supposed to talk about the family much – but it is hard to escape given that the king’s pictures (a variety of!) are absolutely everywhere – from bathrooms to foreign exchange desk to reception. I have to point out – in various positions and costumes. See for yourself.

King Mohammed VI is the first king who has committed to one wife only and also the first king to introduce the wife publicly and have a wedding announced. Before him, all was secret and not public. She is actually a computer engineer from Fez so applaud for women in technology – you can be a princess and a tech geek at the same time! The king has been introducing many reforms and bringing investment into Morocco. The political system is a little unclear to me as while it is a constitutional monarchy, apparently whatever king proposes, happens.  He is a secular political leader and the Commander of the Faithful, as a direct descendant of the Prophet Mohammed. The royals are one of the richest royal families in the world – reportedly operating at $960,000 a day budget – mostly for clothes and car repairs. So would you want to be a Moroccan princess who could really impact change through money, political and religious power, close to absolute decision making and authority? Ah, we will just stick to being the queens of Swan Lake.  #ibmcsc

A small shout out to the other CSC Morocco 4 sub-team who also had a workshop today with the women in cooperatives by the Tanger port, great story and very creative approach in learning – read more here.