Harvesting 2015

The overall goal of Harvesting is to discover what works well in our daily work, what gives strength to SOS co-workers and what we can build on within SOS Children’s Villages.

photo: © SOS archives
Furthermore, sharing of knowledge on the organisational level of the worldwide federation is a central aim of the Harvesting workshops. Harvesting is about mobilising and spreading the fire of enthusiasm and strengthening the feeling of belonging through getting to know the many faces of the organisation. For each workshop we invite a group of 22 long-standing co-workers from different hierarchical levels and functions, from various backgrounds and countries.

This year 21 participants came together to discover the treasures of their rich work experience and knowledge through a particular process explained in this year’s brochure. SOS co-workers tell stories that deal with issues that are of particular importance to our vision: Every child belongs to a family and grows with love, respect and security.


photo: © W. Gstrein

Focus on what works well

Systems and human beings grow in the direction of their focus. In HARVESTING we focus on what works well in achieving our mission: We build families for children in need, we help them shape their own futures and we share in the development of their communities.

What happens during Harvesting workshops?

The Harvesting workshop programme comprise the following parts.
  • Generating and sharing knowledge (see “What inspires us in our work”)
  • Networking
    Building enduring, mutually beneficial relationships that are the catalyst for success. We foster continually connecting new people by linking yearly emerging Harvesting networks with one another. We cultivate evolving relations and leverage the network.
  • Incentive
    Harvesting allows participants to share their experiences with others and reinforces the reward and the behaviour that led to the giving of the reward. The workshops are one way to increase employee motivation, to reduce turnover, boost morale and loyalty, improve employee wellness and increase retention.
  • Capacity building
    We foster a process of equipping Harvesting participants with the understanding, skills and access to knowledge that strengthens them in effective performance. During Harvesting we usually visit the first SOS Children's Village located in the town of Imst and enjoy a topic-guided city tour through the old town of Innsbruck related to the roots of SOS Children’s Villages.


photo: © W. Gstrein

Generating and sharing knowledge

Knowledge sharing takes place within and beyond the workshop participants group. Harvesting participants tell their stories in a variety of settings. In the workshop process we aim at extracting the tacit knowledge[1] of participants embedded in their individual experiences.

“People carry knowledge within them that involves such intangible factors as personal beliefs, perspective, instinct and values (…) It is more of an ‘unspoken understanding’ about something, knowledge that is more difficult to write down in a database.” (Roumiana Iordanova, Knowledge Management Toolkit, 2014)

Find out how we do this. Are you curious about what it is, that works well? Find it out here. Please have a look at the story trailers first and realize which story you want to start with.

Participants of the 2015 Workshop and the Harvesting Team wish you a happy reading experience.

For detailed information please contact:
Irene Gleirscher