Nick Foster becomes Co-Director General of Initiatives of Change Switzerland

06/02/2021
Nick Foster

 

Nick Foster until now Caux Forum Director, will take over the role of Co-Director of IofC Switzerland, alongside Stephanie Buri. After nine years with Initiatives of Change (IofC) and one year as the Co-Director of IofC Switzerland, Rainer Gude is leaving to become the Executive Coordinator of the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform.

Nick Foster
Nick Foster

‘We are sad to see Rainer go, but wish him all the best and thank him for all he has brought to IofC Switzerland,’ says Christine Beerli, President of IofC Switzerland . ‘We are delighted that Nick is taking on the role of Co-Director, continuing the model of co-leadership which has proven to be the perfect solution in these times of uncertainty and constant change.’

Rainer first worked with IofC International as Chargé de Mission, and then became Partnership Manager of IofC Switzerland and, last year, Co-Director General. ‘One never really leaves IofC,’ he says. ‘The values and work of trying to improve the world around you by starting with yourself are something that you can live in any job. In my new position I will be doing a lot of what I have done over the last few years – trying to connect, equip and, hopefully, inspire people in their work for peace.’

Stephanie and Rainer became Co-Directors at a critical time for the organization, and, as the pandemic took hold, for the world.

Rainer Gude
Rainer Gude

‘2020 was much more complex than I or anyone thought it would be,’ says Rainer. ‘I have learned so much, but above all I am grateful for all the enriching encounters that this job has given me. My heartfelt thanks goes out to our team, who gave their all through this difficult year, to the council of IofC Switzerland, to the wider IofC network and to our partners. Count on seeing me in Caux or at other IofC events. I will continue to be an IofC ambassador wherever I go.’

‘I am thankful for everything we learned together with Rainer in this historical year. Rainer is a born bridge-builder, and I am happy for the opportunity his new appointment will bring not only him but also international Geneva, of which IofC is a part of. I look forward to continuing working with Nick, our team and council in this special year that is IofC Switzerland’s 75th anniversary’ says Stephanie.

Nick has been Caux Forum Director at IofC Switzerland since 2012. After studying arts and psychology education, he has lived in many parts of the world, working in education, manufacturing, business consultancy and the non-profit sector. He became involved with IofC in the 1990s, first through Making Britain a Home and then through Foundations For Freedom in Eastern Europe and Russia. He brings a passion to make the world a better place, a great knowledge of the IofC network and a commitment to embodying IofC’s values in his life and work.

‘I hope to uphold the connection and commitment Rainer, Stephanie and the council have modelled during a difficult year of transition,’ he says. ‘We discovered last year that online activities can be rich, deep and community-building, although we missed the sense of service and informal connection that has long been associated with the Caux experience. There is so much that we can apply from what we continue to learn. Rapid change is here, and we have to respond, not react.’

‘The “Cauxmmunity” has been a tremendous strength to each other and to the foundation during this difficult year. I look forward to continuing to support our network and Caux through the uncertainties that remain, and to strengthening our existing partnerships in the work of building trust across the world’s divides. This year is the 75th anniversary of IofC’s activities in Caux, and I believe that Caux, and the IofC community at large, can offer a beacon of hope and support to the world.’

We wish Nick all the best in his new role and look forward to his co-leadership!

 

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This story is part of our series "75 Years of Stories" about inidividuals who found new direction and inspiration through Caux, one for each year from 1946 to 2021. If you know a story appropriate for this series, please do pass on your ideas by email to John Bond or Yara Zhgeib.