Hello fellow cranes,
Welcome to our first newsletter of 2017!
From this year, the newsletter will be members-only, providing a platform for exchange on both professional and community issues. Through the newsletter, you will get all the latest updates on the different activities happening within the Cranes Club Europe network.
With the newsletter, we aim to offer membership something both beneficial and interesting! This month you will find an article and opinion piece, updates about ongoing projects, the full report of last years Health Conference, details about what to expect from the Directors, access to the European Cranes Club Constitution, and a little bit of comic relief.
If you like what you read and want to contribute to the newsletter by writing an opinion piece, a factual column, advertise your services, have a funny joke, or simply have a suggestion, we are happy to hear from you: email@example.com
The Cranes Club Directors
European Cranes Club Constitution
As part of this year's AGM, members were able to participate in shaping the European Cranes Club Constitution. The organisation is an Unincorporated Association which, based on UK law, is an organisation set up through an agreement between a group of people who come together for a reason other than to make a profit.
A copy of the constitution is available for all members here.
Health Conference 2016 Report
The report for the first Health Conference, which took place in Seebenstein, Austria, in November 2016, is available.
It has been a busy two months since we last met, as is evidenced by the wealth of updates! At the AGM, membership voted in favor of Cranes Club Europe supporting the organisation of a second Health Conference and a new Education Conference, both of which are already in the works. Furthermore, the project incubators held at the meeting are taking flight too! Here is the latest news and updates about how progress is going.
Second Health Conference
The 1st Cranes Club Health conference 2016 gathered 40 people working, intending to work or interested in the area of healthcare and medicine from around Europe and even beyond. Due to the popularity of the conference, a second event is in planning for this year, with a provisionallocation set in Norway.
We are currently looking for staff to help organise the content and speakers, take care of logistics, etc. A health background is preferred. If you are interested in contributing to the programme or simply have ideas then please send them along to Viola Hara or Sonja Read.
Education is undoubtedly essential for the socialization of human beings and plays a vital role in building a prosperous future. The upcoming Cranes Club Education Conference aims to bring together like-minded individuals to discuss issues in the field of education and exchange innovative ideas that can help change and revolutionize the education system and inspire projects in this field.
Among other topics the schedule will include sessions on homeschooling, character education, traditional and alternative teaching methods and UC-owned schools. The conference is due to take place in Seebenstein, Austria, from the 27th - 29th of October 2017.
For further detail please contact Natalia Ladstätter on behalf of the organising committee.
Feeding the future
Father Moon has on several occasions addressed the problem of hunger and proposed different
strategies and projects to sustainably feed developing countries and future generations. However, to date these strategies have not been systematically appraised and evaluated against existing evidence. Increasing global research into fish-farming as to ensure sustainable feeding in the future highlights the relevance of Father Moon’s efforts.
The main aim of this project is to carry out an appraisal of Father Moon’s words and initiatives on strategies to combat hunger and promote sustainable feeding, and to evaluate these against existing evidence. This will result in recommendations for next steps including possible areas for research or further action (NB this project does not commit to any further actions at this point). The outcome will be a report. Methods include a literature review and potentially key informant interviews and questionnaires.
If you want to know more or are interested in joining, please write to Sonja Read who is leading the project. Collaborators from any background are welcome!
2nd Generation Orchestra
Preparations are underway to have a workshop in the Autumn, during which musicians from across Europe can come together to share their passion and build relationships. The event will include lectures about the Principle in art and music and some distinguished guest speakers have been invited. If you would like to help with the organisation of this project, would like to be a part of a European-wide orchestra or would like to find out more information for yourself or someone you know, please contact Benjamin Lajda.
The Healthy Minds project aims to explore the topic of mental health within the Unificationist community by developing a Principled perspective, improving the education of members, and building a support network for sufferers and carers to improve the overall wellbeing of our European movement.
Due to the lack of in depth knowledge of the state of mental health within our community, 2017-18 will be a foundation year for the project. During this time we plan to collect initial data based on questionnaires and focus groups. Furthermore, it is our intention to publish a review of this topic, including an analysis of Father’s words, best practices of other Faith groups, and how Mental Health may affect our understanding of Principle.
We are open to volunteers and suggestions, and are particularly interested in those with a background in psychology and/or quantitative research. For more information please contact Elisa Brann.
The Orange Songbook
Started by three British 2nd generation Unificationists, Orange Songbook is a podcast series exploring varying unificationist perspectives. Since their lively session at the Annual Meeting, the Orange Songbook team have been hard at work finishing up their first season on air. The last episode of season 1, that focuses on communication in the Unification Church, will be out very shortly on soundcloud and their website!
In the meantime they are already making preparations for season 2 and are looking for eager volunteers in the following areas:
- Additional Artists
- Researchers to help with topics
- Contributors to topic ideas
- Guest Speakers
- Producer role: help with internal management / enhance productivity
Articles and Opinions
This section includes articles and opinion pieces that offer membership the chance to share their expertise and draw attention to specific issues. Through this, we hope to encourage a culture of open communication amongst our membership, enrich their understanding on key topics, and inspire them to contribute to the enhancement of our wider Unificationist community.
First steps in negotiating - Kenneth Read
Negotiating a compensation package (ie salary and/or benefits) is a notoriously awkward and confusing topic for many people. I have found myself at multiple points thinking ‘can I negotiate here?’, or even ‘should I negotiate here?’. You feel like you don’t want to ruin your chances at a job or make a relationship with an employer difficult; but I want to reassure you, the answer is almost always yes.
I come from a Software Engineering background and I am therefore in the fortunate position to have the market in favour of my line of work, but I want to share just some basics on negotiating and how everyone can benefit by at least trying! After you have settled on a compensation package it is surprisingly lasting and any movement on it can take considerable time (that long promised promotion...) or effort (bringing up your dissatisfaction with the boss...) so you should always try to ensure you get started in a good place.
The first point is realising that negotiation is commonplace and we need to learn to welcome it as part of the norms of taking a job. All employers are used to negotiating and you should be too. Don't get into the mindset that they will think you are ‘being greedy’ or ‘difficult’, remember that this isn't the personal money of the HR person you are talking to! This is their budget for hiring and it’s flexible, and don’t forget, their job is to get you to sign for as little as possible. Another common misconception is the thought that: ‘If I try to negotiate this, the job is going to fall through’. But by the time you’ve got to the point of negotiating, the company will have already invested a lot into you. They have spent time finding you, interviewing you, choosing you over anyone else. They want you. So actually the worst outcome of negotiating is that you will only get the original offer. Negotiating can’t make an offer worse, you can only potentially gain. With this in mind one of the best things to do is to try and negotiate with all offers you receive in your career.
As mentioned above, the time for negotiating should be once they have offered you the job! Talking salary beforehand is usually a bit premature and you should try to deflect such questions by talking about how you are more concerned about fitting into the job/organisation and that salary can be discussed later. You should be aware that many organisations will try to slip in the question ‘what is your current/expected salary?’ quite early on. Keep in mind though that this is one important piece of information you want to hold onto as tightly as possible! Don’t fall for this trap and remember that you have no obligation to answer them. The organisation wants the information as a base for your new salary, regardless of how good you may be. As above, try to deflect by suggesting to discuss it later and try not to give this information away (which is unlikely, but possible). If you can withhold this information until they decide that they want you, it will give you the upper hand once it comes to negotiations.
Just remember, negotiating is not about going into the conversation with the attitude of ‘I want more money’. You need to clearly be able to persuade them and show how you will provide value to the organisation, through your experience, qualifications, enthusiasm etc. You are justifying why you are worth more than what they are offering and you want to offer the idea of a mutually positive outcome.
I’ve had the opportunity to negotiate a number of different times (job offers, contract updates, secondment agreements, end of contracts) and always found that trying is the best option. Using knowledge gained from reading some great articles and from my own negotiations, I’ve never had a negative experience (even though it didn't always work!) and I’ve learned something each time so that I can hopefully do it better in the future. I encourage you to dive in and don’t be afraid! Read more about the topic of negotiations and do your research about your field in particular so you know the ins and outs of what people are looking for and how to approach negotiating.
Best of luck!
Kenneth Read is a software engineer who has been working in the tech industry for 5 years, the last 4 with Criteo, an ad-tech company based in Paris. He has a degree in Creative Computing from Goldsmiths, University of London, where he first learned to code. He enjoys teaching others coding, and has a passion for all forms of storytelling.
Funda-mental health - Elisa Brann
Mental health affects everyone. Whether it’s you, someone you love, or just someone who sits in the crowd of your local congregation. 1 in 4 people will experience mental health problems in this year alone. Our Unificationist community is not immune to this (no matter how many prayers we make or bows we do) and it is therefore in our interest to start asking ourselves: how do we confront the issue of mental health within our community?
Here’s a story that puts things into context. A long-time friend of mine suffered a psychotic manic episode and was subsequently diagnosed with bi-polar disorder. Following a series of chaotic events, I found myself in my friend’s home, with their parents, the pastor and the mental health nurse. Within this circle of carers there was scarce common ground about how to understand, let alone deal with this person’s situation. The dividing lines were numerous: a generation gap, different cultural backgrounds, varying levels of education, and opposing attitudes towards the legitimacy of mental health versus explanations of spiritual possession. This latter point is perhaps the most poignant as it penetrates deep into how we interpret True Father’s teachings and ultimately our understanding of the human condition.
How can we as a faith community begin to support our most vulnerable members if we do not have consensus over what the problem is? Working as a researcher in Cognitive Neuroscience has only verified to me that the relationship between our mind and body is deeply complicated and I would argue that ‘spiritualising’ mental health only serves to muddy the process of identifying genuine conditions and supporting the sufferer’s recovery. I have known blessed families that have prevented their loved one from seeking appropriate counselling or taking medication and have instead put them on the first flight to Korea to endure 40 days of Cheong Pyeong. Others, who have chosen not to ignore medical advice have been met with judgment from their local communities and are left with conflicting and corrosive guilt.
In his lifetime, True Father made relatively little reference to mental health. Most inferences made based on his words about this topic are precisely that, inferences, and we should not allow them to prevent us from deepening our understanding of how the world works (something Father always encouraged) and offering the best possible care to members of our community.
The extent to which spirituality is a factor in mental health is not known or is highly debatable and we therefore cannot depend on such interpretations to effectively help support the wellbeing of our most isolated members. The way our mind works, how our brain is wired, how this affects our thoughts, feelings and behaviour is exponentially complex. Depression, schizophrenia, addiction, anorexia, gender dysphoria, to name but a few, are each distinctive conditions that manifest themselves in different ways. When a member gets cancer, most reasonable people would not react by saying ‘their ancestors must have done something terrible’. When a member gets severe back pain, An-Su is not likely to be their most effective treatment. When a person is in the throes of a mental episode, these are symptoms that are not the result of being merely spiritually open and should not be treated so. Our tendency to apply simple and convenient explanations alienates us from society and from help.
Evidence suggests that those who have a religious belief recover quicker than others from mental ill health. I believe that at the core of our Unificationist belief, living a life of service to others, means we should and have every potential to create an environment that aids the health of its members, but we should not allow ignorance to stand in our way. For me, and surely for many others affected, the opinion is clear: it’s time to start confronting the issue of mental health within our community and we need to start from a position of intellectual humility.
Elisa Brann is a researcher in Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London, and will be starting her PhD in Psychosis at King’s College London later this year. She is currently leading the project ‘Healthy Minds’ which aims to address the issue of Mental Health in the Unificationist community and its teachings.
What to expect from the Directors during 2017-18
Accordingly, the directors have increased their focus on the long-term development of Cranes Club Europe. In order for CC to not just remain a momentary hype but to become a movement that grows, makes an increasing positive impact and gets ever more exciting, we need a strong foundation and a clear direction. Hence, the five directors have so far worked on creating a clear and efficient organizational structure that allows us to move forward with all our might and enthusiasm from now on.
Members of CC Europe can expect the following from the directors this year:
- The setting up of a professional website and a database of skills that enables increased networking amongst cranes
- The development of a CV clinic as part of a broader mentorship program
- Support for the Education Conference in October and the Health Conference at the end of this year
- Empowering and supporting different initiatives generated from Cranes Club project incubators
- Exploration of funding possibilities
- The initiation of collaboration with other Cranes Club chapters (US, Japan, Korea) which may lead to e.g. joint webinars, conferences and knowledge sharing
- Exploring the possibility of acting as an advisory body to FFWPU Europe