NSD-S HUB NEWSLETTER
This month the Director's corner will be short in order to welcome the first non-NATO Entity to make the introductory address. Three Stones International has been very helpful as the Hub finds new ways to engage and learn new perspectives; especially from Civil Society.
"Three Stones International" Introduction
It is a privilege for Three Stones International to be the first non-NATO organization to contribute an introduction to the NSD-S Hub Newsletter. Clearly, this is an example of the Hub's embrace of 3C's.
During July, the Hub had several other firsts. A Twitter Townhall and Webinar were held; a study day on demographic impacts in Africa was convened. Also, an online discussion event called #GrassrootsVirtuality occurred—a first in an ongoing series of dialogues which will bring together community voices and civil society to provide additional and more personal context and perspectives.
Three Stones, as an international research, management and development firm, is committed to continued engagement as NSD-S Hub expands operational capacity and refines its mandate. As an "outsider," it has been impressive to see the drive and tempo on both fronts. And, the willingness to collaborate with non-NATO organizations. Coming from the international development perspective, it is inspiring to see how NATO leadership, from Admiral Foggo down, is working to break down perceptions of NATO being considered only a kinetic power. Engaging with civil society actors; and collecting and synthesizing their views, experiences, networks, and recommendations; will be critical to achieve this.
During #GrassrootsVirtuality, the question: "Who funds Instability in Africa?" was posed. Combining our networks, NSD-S Hub and Three Stones rapidly assembled community and civil society leaders from 12 African countries, many who work on the front lines in conflict and post-conflict settings. Regional and technical experts from INGOs, multilateral organizations and think tanks from an additional five countries also participated.
The lively exchange of ideas demonstrated a new collective power possibility and this platform could be utilized by NATO as a tool to better understand drivers of instability and enhance collaboration with civil society. The event also showcased the willingness from NATO and civil society to build relationships that can ultimately lead to improved peace and stability—NATO Soft Power.
Connecting with participants in the online event, enabled NSD-S Hub to consult and coordinate with local leaders and global experts. This will make NSD-S more approachable, allowing relationships and trust to be build. As a valued partner, Three Stones will continue to collaborate with NSD-S Hub to provide local voices and contextual situational analysis; enable entry points for community leaders and local organizations to provide on the ground commentary regarding instability in their countries; develop strategies on how to navigate the delicate balance between military interventions and development/humanitarian space; and promote the NSD-S Hub brand and comparative advantages of NSD-S Hub as NATO's Article 2 organization.