We are The International Exchange, but you can call us TIE. Thanks so much for paying us a visit. We believe in the power of the private sector and leadership to solve some of the world’s biggest problems. We place talented professionals to work with social initiatives all around the world. Our goal? To develop the leaders of tomorrow, to shape the future of business and to provide people and companies with an opportunity to feel proud of their profession and the skills they have worked so hard to develop.
We have projects that are based in South America, Africa, India, parts of North America and Europe, and every TIE placement creates beautiful and unique stories, as well as incredible results for every stakeholder that takes part. Come join us, and lets change the world, one brief at a time.
The idea is to unleash the human potential of the sector. And the way we do this is to shake people up a bit. Challenge them. Get them working in far off lands out of their comfort zone, with people they have never worked with before, often in a foreign language, having to draw on skills and knowledge they have developed over time, but don’t use every day. They end up seeing things differently, much more aware of their potential, and they come back a force to be reckoned with back at their company.
We know how important, how valuable, often how crucial, the skills of the private sector can be; and we want to provide professionals within businesses around the world with the opportunity to apply their hard earned skills to make a mark on the planet. On TIE, professionals develop campaigns, strategies, financial plans, business plans or create research pieces for social projects, social enterprises or nonprofits that not only make a tremendous difference to the organisations and local communities alike, but the experience also helps the professionals realize just how powerful their skills are to change the world.
We believe that the private sector is incredibly powerful and that it can change the world, for the better. We want professionals to feel proud of their chosen profession, the skills that they have and realize the power they have to make a positive impact with every single project they work on. Through the TIE experience we hope to inspire the future leaders of the commercial world to think differently, to approach their work differently and more sustainably, and in turn, change the way the sector works, behaves and thinks, from the inside, out.
I was born in South Africa, educated in Canada, worked in the UK, and moved to Brazil in 2006. After gaining an Honours degree at the Richard Ivey School of Business in 2001, Canada’s top business school, and finishing my final term in Thailand, I set off to work in advertising in London. After five exciting years working in marquee agencies such as Leo Burnett and BBH, I left London moving to Brazil to initiate TIE. Having carefully studied the third sector; learned Portuguese and developed relationships with major NGOs, social enterprises, foundations, and global companies and industry leaders, I launched TIE.
While working in the advertising industry in London I discovered that I wasn’t the only one that wanted to use my skills to make an even bigger impact on the world and to feel proud of my profession.
If I really think back to where it all properly started, it was probably inspired from a particular holiday in the UK when sitting with my family around the dining room table.
Doctors, social workers, environmental engineers, public health professionals. You get the idea. Everyone was sharing experiences and talking about their work; helping to roll out an antiretroviral programme in South Africa, implementing a patient safety initiative at 4 hospitals in Canada, working with patients to help them understand how to deal with the problems they have at home, and looking at how to improve water management in developing countries.
On that particular occasion I really struggled to contribute to the conversation (which if you know me, doesn’t happen very often!). I felt, for lack of better words, unworthy, and found myself questioning why I had chosen this profession.
I thought long and hard about what I wanted to do for my profession, and after a lot of soul searching, I chose to be in the industry. It’s full of incredible people; intelligent, passionate and creative people. I found the work fascinating and adored getting to the route of a communications challenge and finding a creative solution to it. I loved the process, the conversations and the energy. I really, truly, didn’t know where else I would find a building full of people who thought and acted like me. I loved it all.
Not just in advertising. But in the private sector as a whole.
I knew just how important, how valuable, often how crucial, the skills of the private sector can be; and I was determined to find a way for the sector to apply it’s power to make a difference.
My goal is to provide professionals with the chance to develop their skills through meaningful volunteer opportunities in emerging markets. You make a difference with your skills, meet people you wouldn’t normally meet, see things you wouldn’t normally see, and learn from the experience.
But it doesn’t stop there. My secondary goal is to get business to stand for more, and be the real force for change the planet needs in order to solve some of the world’s most intractable problems. I want to develop future leaders, help them understand how to bring their learnings back to their work, and help shape the commercial world from the inside out, proving the long-term impact that it can have on the planet.
One that is full of people not only proud of their skills and the work they do, but also see the true potential of their company and their industry and become the driving force to shape it into one that everyone will be proud to work in for years to come.