Gabriel Al-Salem Foundation was one of the main organizers of the First International Conference "Consulting Without Borders" and the first ceremony for the winners of Gabriel Al-Salem International Award for Excellence in Consulting. Both activities took place on February 1, 2012 in Almaty, Kazakhstan, at the RIXOS Almaty hotel.
General sponsor of the conference – Kazakhstan BAS Programme of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development supported by the Government of Japan. The organizers also included the Kazakhstan Chamber of Management Consultants “CMC Kazakhstan”, Kazakhstan Association of Professional Researchers of Public Opinion and the Market (KAPIOR), National Public Relations Association of Kazakhstan (NASO), and the Union of Project Managers of the Republic of Kazakhstan (SPM RK). The Information Partner of the Conference was Kazakhstan Press Club.
The day of theconference - February 1 - is the birthday of Gabriel Al-Salem, who in 2001-2010 lead the EBRD BAS Programme in Central Asia, and who tragically died in a paragliding accident in November 2010. Gabriel has had a significant impact on the creation and development of consulting market in Central Asia. He supported the growth of professional associations of consultants, the emergence of the best trainings and the introduction of an international professional certification of consultants. These were the steps towards a big goal - the consolidation of consultants, who, as Gabriel believed, should focus not on competing for the existing small market demand but on making this demand larger.
Workingwith consultants and contributing to the creation and development of consulting associations, Gabriel dreamed about their integration. And it was at the first conference, named after him, that this integration actually took place.
Four consulting and research associations - Kazakhstan Chamber of Management Consultants “CMC Kazakhstan”, National Public Relations Association of Kazakhstan (NASO), Kazakhstan Association of Professional Researchers of Public Opinion and the Market (KAPIOR), and the Union of Project Managers of the Republic of Kazakhstan signed the Agreement establishing the Consortium of Consulting and Research Organizations.
- Consolidation of efforts to solve common problems;
- Improving the image of "Consultant" and "Researcher” professions;
- Facilitation of the development and growth of local consulting and research companies;
- Promotion of international standards and certifications;
- Implementation of higher standard of professional ethics.
Zhanibek Suleimenov, Director of the Kazakhstan BAS Programmeof the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, commented on the creation of the Consortium: "We can already say that this event on the Kazakhstan market of consulting and research services pushed forward the development of the industry and showed that your Consortium is the real force to be recognized by all stakeholders, including the state. The main thing now is not to stop but to continue building on the success with further progressive activities aimed at promoting the professions of “Consultant” and “Researcher.” Many of our colleagues at BAS programs in other countries are impressed with your achievements and would like to learn from your experience. As a result, some interesting prospects for international cooperation open up for you. Preparation for the conference and finding solutions together demonstrated that the Consortium is viable and represents a true unity. Keep on going!”
In addition toprofessional consultants, the conference was attended by Kazakhstan state institutions, international donors, representatives of the International Council of Management Consulting Institutes (ICMCI), international experts, consulting associations from various countries, educational institutions and entrepreneurs. In total, the conference was attended by representatives from 10 countries
Issues raisedand discussed at the conference included the prospects for the development of consulting in Kazakhstan and in the world, the participation of consultants in the implementation of state programs in Kazakhstan, working with international donors, CMC certification(Certified Management Consultant). Master classes for the participants were offered by Calvert Markham (UK), CMC, author of numerous books on consulting, Board member of ICMCI, and Vladimir Chernyavskiy (St. Petersburg, Russia), Head of School for Professional Business Consultants, Director of consulting company "Business Redesign Group."
After the conference,Calvert Markham conducted a two-day training on how to manage a consulting business. The training was organized by the Kazakhstan Chamber of Management Consultants “CMC Kazakhstan”. Three winners of the Gabriel Al-Salemaward participated in this training free of charge.
GabrielAl-Salem Foundation plans to hold the International Conference "Consulting Without Borders" and the award ceremony for the winners of the International Award for Excellence in Consulting in various countries every year in memory of Gabriel and to continue his work on development the consulting industry and the market economy in general. In 2013 it has already been determined that the Conference will take place in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.