On December 17 the international World Federalist Movement – Institute for Global Policy (WFM) announced the appointment of Sandra Coyle as the organization’s Consulting Executive Director, working with the organization from January through May 2021 to realign the organization’s strategy, structure and financing.
Ms Coyle’s area of expertise lies in strategic communications and strategic planning. She has worked with a number of international organizations and associations, most recently serving as Chief Communications Officer for the African Economic Research Consortium, which fosters economic research, training and capacity-building in Sub-Saharan Africa. She is currently based in Nairobi, Kenya.
Following are her answers to a few questions from Mondial.
What was it about the World Federalists that attracted you to the organization?
The concept of global solutions to global problems attracted me the most. We all learned a very valuable lesson in 2020 with the onset of a global pandemic, that lack of a strong global, coordinated response left many countries in economic and social tatters. Strong international institutions, that are held accountable, can help all of us navigate issues that affect all of us. Operating as individual nation-states is leading to more pain and chaos for individual citizens and a stronger, global body is needed.
How do you assess the WFM organization’s inherent assets and potential value-added? What role do you see the organization playing in the years ahead?
My background is in communications, with a specialization in branding. I have had the opportunity to rebrand organizations and industries over the years. I analyse organizations through that lens and look at three key areas to determine value and future sustainability – brand heritage, mission relevance, potential impact. WFM – IGP in its entirety has all three characteristics to help the organization not only be fit for purpose in this decade, but to shape the future of governance.
My hope is that WFM – IGP becomes more public, providing guidance at the national, regional and global level on creating a federalist approach to governance. At the same time, to actively reach out and mobilize young people, including in Africa, Asia and South America, where most populations are young, to embrace the concept of World Federalism. And lastly, to ensure the organization is sustainable over the long-term to ensure our efforts live on and can be as broadly impactful as possible.
As you begin this work, what are some of the immediate challenges you seek to address?
The immediate challenge is to determine the current and future relevancy of our work to young people across the world. Does the young generation believe in the concept of federalism? By young, mainly Generation Z. Would they support a federalist movement in its current concept. In branding terms, determining what level of engagement they would be willing to have. Without young people involved, globally, we would not have the momentum to continue.
Secondly, looking at the alignment of our work in terms of the needs of national and regional government bodies. Are there other ways we can help make an impact? Is there expertise we can offer?
Thirdly, is seeking efficiencies in how we operate internally and opening the doors of the organization to build consensus and community among our supporters and stakeholders. Together we are strong and can make World Federalism a reality, divided we cannot.
Is there anything else you would like to say to an audience of Canadian and US world federalists?
Both Canada and the US are of interest to me as both are federations. Growing up in the US,
I was required to Pledge Allegiance to the Republic every school morning as a child so federalism is a concept I am familiar with and one that I have benefitted from. The question is what’s next? How can we expand an understanding of what it means to be a federation to other countries and regional bodies? Do we have expertise to provide others? Can we improve both current federations? The US in particular appears to be in a dynamic stage of its evolution – will it continue to hold as a leading example of a Federalist Republic or will the internal pressure for change cause it to amend its foundations?
My message to World Federalists in Canada and the US is to seek out new ways to educate on the federalist system – both the advantages and disadvantages – and to actively seek out young people to explain the concept to them. By passing on our knowledge to them, they will be able to take on the idea and advance it for the future world they will soon inherit.