Having experienced Cambodia in 1970 before the Khmer Rouge years, Ian MacDonald had the opportunity of revisiting there in recent years for some community work building houses with Tabitha Cambodia. Ian’s career had been in leadership development in Lend Lease and then as IBM’s Leadership Executive for Asia Pacific. He saw a unique opportunity to combine the physical and moral challenges of building houses for the underprivileged in Cambodia with a program that examines values and explores tools for ethical decision making
In today’s fast paced and bottom-line focused corporations, making even the simplest of decisions can involve explicit and hidden conflicts. Many business leaders have received little input on how to structure these sorts of decisions. Ian has worked with Ann Whyte and Tony McGarn to devise a 12 day leadership program that addresses these issues and is being conducted in conjunction with Tabitha Cambodia. Tabitha was founded in 1994 to work exclusively to improve the lives of the poorest of the poor. As of July 2005, Tabitha has helped more than 500,000 Cambodians (approximately 1 in 20 members of the entire population).
Ian is leading a group of participants on a 2 week trip from 13th October until 1st November, with the aim of building up to 5 houses per day over 4 building days. This will bring participants into close contact with the locals and the communities where the group builds. Visits to the Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng Torture Museum will also confront the group with political and ethical realities and provide unique learning opportunities regarding individual decision making and responsibility. The group will travel to different and contrasting areas of Cambodia, including the capital of Phnom Pen and the Khmer empire ruins at Angkor, as well as the southern province of Kompong Som for building.