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Playing Big: Beyond the Borders

In Landmark Education’s Team Management Leadership Program, Jorge Flores-Wells’ created a project to empower the relationship between Mexico and the United States.

The name of Jorge Flores-Wells’ game in the world is “Playing Big.” The possibility of the game is leadership, love and sharing. The intention is to “create an empowering context and a bridge among people to take a stand for Mexico´s image around the world.”

Jorge recently spoke to Tecnológico de Monterrey students at a conference in Monterrey, Mexico. Tecnológico de Monterrey has 31 university campuses and 90,173 students. Three days prior to the conference two post-graduate students were shot and killed in a cross fire between police and criminal organizations.

Jorge stated that the conference provided an opportunity for the grieving students to see that even in tough times their commitment to themselves and their culture gives them power to go beyond grief and take action to make a difference in the world.

Jorge has created a website, www.catalist.org, which provides people with a place to share the extraordinary aspects of the Mexican culture. Jorge said “the genesis of creating the website occurred during a Self-Expression and Leadership Program (SELP) workday. It was the first SELP course to be held in Mexico City”. A group of coaches travelled from San Jose and Newport Beach, California to participate in the program. Jorge was moved and inspired by the team of people from two countries working together to create extraordinary results. Jorge said, “At the time there was a lot of negative press around Mexico. And I was struck by the idea that there is good news about Mexico that needs to be shared.”

The website states that the word “Catalist is not a spelling mistake.” The introduction to the website states, “Our name is the result of the combination of two other words that define the essence of this blog: catalyst and optimist.”

“The definition of a catalyst is 1) a substance which causes or assists a chemical change in another substance without itself undergoing any permanent chemical change; 2) someone or something that helps bring about a change.

The definition of an optimist is 1) a person who usually expects a favorable outcome; 2) a person disposed to take a favorable view of things.”

The website’s intention states, “We believe that there is a major flaw in the way Mexico and the United States of America have been communicating in the last few years; not only at the level of the policymakers on both sides of the border but also at the citizens’ level.”

In September Jorge will return to the campus of Tecnológico de Monterrey to present projects that can be implemented to move the students from their grief into action that will make a difference in the world. Jorge is building a team to create and implement the different projects. The team will include a mix of people and organizations such as: members of the media, academia, corporate and social responsibility professionals, and entrepreneurs. The team will also include ordinary people who are achieving extraordinary results.

This team is scheduled to produce a large conference for the weekend of October 8, 2010 in Mexico City. The attendees of the conference will include graduate students, media and anchor news personalities, social entrepreneurs, corporate social responsibility professionals and representatives from academia as well as from PEPSICO Foundations and COCA-COLA Company.

The conference will present the testimonies of ordinary people who have achieved results by taking personal responsibility. Jorge said he will be presenting a website that was created “to sponsor empowering social entrepreneurial projects and help leaders find the resources needed to implement their projects.” He added, “another outcome of the conference will be the creation of a bridge among current similar initiatives that are taking a stand for Mexico and creating a team to create powerful results with ease and liberty. No more work in isolation, teaming up and aiming for a single objective: Mexico.”

Jorge is writing a book entitled, A Possibility Conversation for Mexico. The book will focus on how the citizens of Mexico can create a powerful conversation about themselves and their culture.

However, Jorge is playing bigger than expanding the conversation among the citizens of Mexico. The ultimate outcome of the game is to alter the context of the conversation between the citizens of Mexico and the United States through sharing and working together, standing inside a powerful background of relatedness working together to impact their economies, opportunities, and celebrate the differences in their cultures.

Jorge said, “By communicating through the distinctions of the New Model of Communication, the two countries can be a resource for leadership and creativity that is not currently available.

Jorge said one of his biggest accomplishments since creating the game in the world as a participant in The Team Management and Leadership Program, has been getting attention from national and local media. He has appeared on TV through the Latino Dish Network and has had several radio interviews as well as a national newspaper interview.** “This is a huge breakthrough for me,” Jorge said.

Jorge said he sees the possibility of having the project alive in the world, with neighboring countries powerfully related and working together to contribute to each other and having a positive impact on the lives of people in those countries.

**The link http://elcatalista.org/elcatalista-en-los-medios/ (available only in Spanish) provides the media examples.

Written by Belinda Cogburn, and edited by Mary Kay Christophersen.

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