A farmer with his flock, Darvoz,Tajiikistan, 2007, David Trilling A farmer with his flock, Darvoz,Tajiikistan, 2007, David Trilling

In principle we have no red lines. In practice, however, we decide who and what to engage with on a case by case exploration of four key questions:

  • Through this engagement, can we make a meaningful difference to communities in conflict, our planet and/or the global peace and security landscape?
  • Can this engagement be designed and implemented without causing harm?
  • Are the partners demonstrating strategic commitment (i.e. alignment of political will and resources) to make this engagement a success?
  • Do the actors involved appear willing to go outside their comfort zone?

Principled pragmatism

When deciding who we work with and what we work on we begin by exploring two key issues: first, the extent to which the engagement can make a constructive, meaningful and sustainable difference to communities in conflict, our planet and/or the global peace and security landscape; and, second, whether the engagement can be implemented without doing harm - to the context in question, to the stakeholders and partners we work with and to our social enterprise.

Courageous partnerships

What motivates us is to work with entities that do bold work and/or are ready and willing to go outside their comfort zone and enter into new partnerships – including difficult ones – in order to resolve big problems on the ground – and help local communities and our planet to thrive.

Strategic commitment

We ask for a strategic commitment on the part of the partners that we work with; this means making sure there is an alignment of leadership support and political will, requisite financial and human resources, and acceptance that there will be set-backs but that together we can keep on looking for creative solutions because we all care about the end result.

Social enterprise for social good

Our business model gives us the freedom to design, fund and implement initiatives which – with the skill-set, knowledge and experiences we collectively bring to the table – we believe are most likely make a difference. The majority of our profit therefore is re-invested to allow us to pursue initiatives at the heart of our mandate as a team.

Meaningful social impact

We are excited about bringing together partners that may not have a history of working together, and for whom it might be difficult to partner; we believe that without those partnerships the issues we care about – ending conflict, peace for communities and the fate of our planet – won’t be addressed. We follow the well-established principles of do no harm, conflict sensitivity and sustainability; therefore, for us, it does matter, from design to follow through that we abide by these principles in a responsible and accountable manner.

Sustainable, long-term relationships

The issues we care about are not easy to resolve, so what we are interested in are sustainable relationships over time, where everyone is interested in seeing results on the ground.

Day-to-day interactions matter

We don't believe the end justifies the means; how we engage with one another matters. We value and look for mutual respect, listening, being accountable to one another for deadlines, for deliverables and for our own ethical compass. In line with the principles of feminist leadership, we communicate transparently and honestly, about our ideas, about what we can and can’t do, and what we won’t do.