On March 1, 2022 we streamed our 1st live episode of the series "Consulting Without Borders - Perspectives," which feature prominent international consultants and experts doing work related to global challenges.

We were delighted to have Ron Finch (Canada) as our guest for a conversation about environmental consulting.

Ron has worked as an environmental engineer and consultant for over 18 years on industrial, commercial, residential and local authority projects, contaminated sites, marine and foreshore construction and restoration and many other projects.

Since 2018, Ron has been working in Kazakhstan supporting a major capital project with the environment, labour and community management and compliance assurance in alignment with the IFC lender obligations.

In addition to sharing insights about his own career, Ron also talked about:

  1. Opportunities for environmental professionals;
  2. Consulting to governments and other clients;
  3. How to evolve to adapt to clients' needs;
  4. The need for continued professional development.

Watch the replay here:

One of the goals of the Gabriel Al-Salem Foundation is to promote sustainability, which we see as a balance between the environment, social justice, and the economy. This year we decided to discuss alternative concepts for sustainability, which dig deeper into ways to optimize human and planetary wellbeing by minimizing inequality, poverty, and environmental harm.

The keynote presentation on Degrowth will answer the following questions:

  1. What is degrowth and why is it important for sustainability?
  2. What is the history and the main principles of degrowth thinking?
  3. What are some examples of degrowth policies and actions in the global North and South alike?

Keynote Speaker:

Martin Calisto Esquetini-Friant (the Netherlands)

PhD Researcher, Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University

Martin has an interdisciplinary academic background in international development studies, political ecology and urban planning from McGill University, the University of Melbourne, and University College London. He has over seven years of experience as a sustainability researcher and practitioner working on several projects in Africa, Europe, Oceania and North and South America. His current research focuses on circular economy, environmental governance, post-development, and degrowth.

The 10th Anniversary conference “Consulting Without Borders” was delivered as a digital event, which was live streamed to all Gabriel Al-Salem Foundation’s social media networks and watched in over 20 countries. The Conference featured four main dialogues: One World (on Environmental Sustainability), Happiness - The Ultimate Goal, Diversity, and Partnerships and Cooperation for Success. Speakers from 11 countries joined us live to provide expertise, share experiences and respond to questions and comments from the viewers.

According to our participants, we succeeded in creating the same valuable and engaging experience that we have been known for. The audience could participate in the discussions by asking questions and receiving real time answers from the speakers. We also held our traditional ceremony for the winners of the International Award for Excellence in Consulting 2020.

"This was a wonderful event and truly international! It was amazing to have an opportunity to witness world-class consultants discussing the most urgent and fundamental global issues. While effective international partnerships, education on climate change and global happiness might not be on consultants’ daily agenda, events like this remind us what our efforts should be focused on. I will be following closely all of Gabriel Al-Salem Foundation’s upcoming events, and I invite everyone to join this growing community in their contribution to sustainable development.

As an Award winner this year, I am very grateful that social problems we tried to highlight and resolve in our project were noticed and appreciated by the Committee. It gives us a strong motivation and drive to continue growing as a socially responsible consultant."

/Dinara Yessenova, Kazakhstan, Best Consulting Project 2020 in the “Social Reform” category/


The 7th International Conference “Consulting Without Borders” was organized by the Gabriel Al-Salem Foundation together with the Business & Export Development Organization (BEDO-Bali,

Business & Export Development Organization (BEDO) enables sustainable economic growth for Indonesian SMEs and entrepreneurs with social and environmental responsibility in mind.

Two days of the Conference for consulting professionals featured:

  • Open space discussions led by experts on how consultants and businesses can help growth by promoting sustainability and how sustainability issues impact international trade, redefine export and promote circular economy;
  • Networking - with participants from many different markets as well as local consultants and businesses;
  • Our legendary Gala dinner and celebration to present the Gabriel Al-Salem Foundation’s International Award for Excellence in Consulting.

Event participants included international and local management consultants, experts on sustainability, entrepreneurs, government representatives, non-profit and professional organizations.


Speaker and Moderators

Winners of the International Award for Excellence in Consulting 2019

Post Conference Activities and Tour around Bali



7-я Международная Конференция
“Консалтинг без границ: Устойчивое развитие”

1-2 февраля 2020 г., остров Бали


7-я Международная конференция для профессиональных консультантов «Консалтинг без границ» была подготовлена и проведена совместно с Организацией по развитию бизнеса и экспорта (BEDO –, которая работает на Бали и по всей Индонезии с МСБ и предпринимателями, для которых важны вопросы социальной и экологической ответственности.

Два для конференции для профессиональным консультантов и бизнесменов включили:

  • Дискуссии под руководством опытных модераторов на темы:
  • Как бизнес-консультанты и предприниматели могут использовать задачи устойчивого развития для роста и инновации, и
  • Как цели устойчивого развития влияют на международную торговлю и экспорт и способствуют внедрению экономики замкнутого цикла.
  • Нетворкинг с участниками из разных стран, а также местными консультантами и бизнесом;
  • Участие в легендарном праздничном Гала-ужине, на котором вручались награды Фонда Габриэля Аль-Салем «За выдающиеся достижения в консалтинге» 2019.

Участниками конференции стали международные и местные консультанты по управлению, специалисты по устойчивому развитию, экспорту и международной торговле, предприниматели, представители гос. органов Индонезии, некоммерческие и профессиональные организации.


Спикеры и модераторы

Победители Международной премии за выдающиеся достижения в консалтинге 2019 года

Дополнительные мероприятия и тур по Бали



Building on our previous “Consulting Without Borders” events, which attracted more than 1000 consultants and entrepreneurs from over 20 countries, we embarked on a daring new adventure to help consultants discover their greater purpose, master their market, grow their practices and make a change in their communities.

In that spirit, we redesigned “Consulting without Borders” to create an Open Space, which allowed the participants to interact in a simple, productive, organized way to create valuable dialogs that addressed their most important issues.  The emphasis was on a discussion instead of listening to eyes-forward presentations.

We aligned our Open Space with the United Nations 2030 Global Goals, a multi-country initiative committed to ending poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda. We believe that business consultants, as change-makers, can boldly lead the way for the world we all hope for, both in their own countries and internationally.


During our discussions we touched upon the following topics, which went in line with our new sustainability agenda:

  • Set your practice apart: Wow your clients with your commitment to social causes;
  • Time for Add-Ons: Redesigning TOR to gain competitive advantage;
  • The Marketing Guru: Grow your business by focusing on others;
  • Leveraging Partnerships to build capacity, ensure effectiveness and enhance efficiency.

We invited recognized international experts in development and corporate consulting, who helped prompting discussions by sharing their own experience and revealing exclusive know-how.

True magic happened when consultants came together with the purpose of delivering a greater value to their clients.  In Bali, this powerful interaction manifested itself in exponential energy, inspired implementation, precious business connections and lifelong friendships. 

We offered exclusive Add-Ons to make our Bali Open Space truly unforgettable:

  • Eat:
    Our participants explored the great variety of local and Asian fusion cuisine;
  • Pray:
    We visited the sacred Balinese temples;
  • Love:
    We organized yoga and meditations classes.



After the Open Space all our participants joined us for our exclusive 4 day/3-night tour to Ubud, the heart of Bali.  The tour included:

  • Staying at the unique Swasti Eco Cottages ( with organic restaurant and organic spa;
  • Visiting local enterprises focusing on innovation and sustainability (Hub EcoSmart, Bamboo Indah factory, Green School, etc.);
  • Sightseeing (Monkey Forest in Ubud, Jatiluwih rice fields, etc.);
  • Tasting food from different Indonesian islands;
  • Unlimited fresh coconuts throughout the stay;
  • Extreme White Water rafting;
  • Tibetian Bowl meditation.

Bali Open Space Highlights

Bali Open Space Participants

6-я Международная конференция "Консалтинг без границ: Устойчивое развитие и консалтинговый бизнес: путь от How до Wow," Бали 2018. 

Основываясь на опыте наших предыдущих конференций «Консалтинг без границ», в которых приняли участие более 1000 консультантов и предпринимателей из 20 стран мира, мы задались целью еще больше раздвинуть наши границы и раскрыть перед консультантами новые возможности, которые помогли бы им более широко увидеть свои задачи, лучше понять свой рынок, расширить свой консалтинговый бизнес и внести позитивные изменения в общество.

Задавшись такими целями мы переработали наши мероприятия «Консалтинг без границ», и создали НЕконференцию, которая предлагает участникам простой и продуктивный способ общения, обмен опытом, который затрагивают их наиболее важные проблемы.  Акцент делается на живом обсуждении конкретных проблем, а не на общих презентациях.

Мы согласовали задачи нашего мероприятия с Глобальными целями Организации Объединенных Наций 2030 -- многострановой инициативой, направленной на прекращение нищеты, защиту планеты и обеспечение процветания для всех в рамках концепции устойчивого развития. Мы считаем, что бизнес-консультанты, как катализаторы изменений, должны возглавить движение для создания общества, в котором мы все хотим жить, как в своих странах, так и на международном уровне.

В рамках НЕконференции на Бали обсуждались темы, соответствующие задачам устойчивого развития:

  • Как сделать свой консалтинговый бизнес отличным от других: удиви своих клиентов приверженностью социальным вопросам;
  • Важность «добавок»: что добавить в TOR, чтобы усилить свое конкурентное преимущество;
  • Гуру маркетинга: помоги себе и своему бизнесу, уделяя внимание другим;
  • Используй партнерства для создания потенциала, обеспечения эффективности и повышения результативности.

Мы пригласили признанных экспертов в области международного развития и корпоративного консалтинга, которые приняли участие в дискуссиях,  поделились личным опытом и раскрыли эксклюзивные ноу-хау.

Когда консультанты совместно ищут решение проблем, они находят потрясающие решения.  Коллективная работа на Бали создала мощную энергетику, вдохновение, ценные деловые связи, которые переросли в искреннюю дружбу.

Мы предлoжили нашим участникам эксклюзивные «добавки», которые сделали Open Space на Бали незабываемым:

  • Ешь:
    Познакомили с разнообразной кухней индонезийского архипелага;
  • Молись:
    Посетили знаменитые храмы;
  • Люби:
    Приняли участие в классах йоги и медитации.


После окончания основной части НЕконференции все участники присоединились к нашему эксклюзивному туру (4 дня / 3 ночи) в местечке Убуд – в сердце Бали.  Тур включал:

  • Проживание в уникальных эко-коттеджах Swasti ( с органик- рестораном и органик-спа;
  • Посещение местных эко-предприятий, всемирно известных своими инновациями и устойчивым производством (Hub Eco Smart, Бамбуковая фабрика, Green School, и т.д.);
  • Осмотр окрестностей (Лес обезьян, живописные рисовые поля Джетилуи);
  • Дегустирование кухни с разных островов Индонезийского архипелага, а также Asian Fusion, New Age, и т.д.;
  • Безлимитные свежие кокосы на протяжение всего тура;
  • Увлекательнейший рафтинг по священной реке Аюнг;
  • Знаменитая медитация с тибетскими чашками (Tibetan Bowl meditation).

Краткая презентация НЕконференции на Бали

Информация об участниках

The Gabriel Al-Salem Foundation's International Award Committee has selected the winners of the 5th International Award “Consulting Without Borders."  The Committee has also chosen the prize-holders of the EBRD Business Advice Best Practice Award, a special internal award organized by the Foundation for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.  The winners were announced and honored at the award ceremony on November 3, which became part of the EBRD International Conference: Competitive consulting: agility, innovation and internationalization.
Please find the information about the award winners and their projects here.

School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures (SLLC) is a new School at the University of Kansas, where Gabriel Al-Salem learned Russian and received his BA in 1989.      

On September 1, 2015, Viktoria Olskaia attended the SLLC’s Inaugural Convocation and spoke about developing partnership between Gabriel Al-Salem Foundation and the SLLC. Margarete Dorsch, Gabriel’s mother, was also present.

In summer 2015 the Foundation helped the SLLC make logistical arrangements and company placements of KU students as part of the SLLC’s 8-week Russophone Experiential Learning Program in Almaty, Kazakhstan. 

On September 1, 2015, Viktoria Olskaia and professor Marc Greenberg, SLLC Director, held a recognition ceremony for two of the outstanding returnees of the first iteration of the program: Garrett Farlow, a double major in Journalism and Slavic (Russian), and Michael Hemphill, Russian language major. Both students studied Russian at KIMEP University in Almaty, Kazakhstan and worked as interns.

Garrett assisted the Kazakhstan Press Club with a number of important projects, including helping Kazakhstan journalists break away from government censorship. Michael worked at Key Partners Consulting making significant contributions to cross-cultural communication by assisting with translations and external electronic communications. He also did excellent work for Gabriel Al-Salem Foundation preparing summaries of the winning cases for the Foundation's Annual International Award for Excellence in Consulting “Consulting without Borders - 2015.” Both students received certificates, commendation letters and $250 checks from Gabriel Al-Salem Foundation.



  1. Slavic Department participates in the Inaugural Convocation of KU’s new School of Languages, Literatures & Cultures (Lawrencían Chronicle Fall 2015, p.p. 7-8)
  2. First Russophone Experiential Learning Program in Almaty, Kazakhstan (Lawrencían Chronicle Fall 2015m p.p. 9-10)
  3. From the Kazakhstan Press Desk: A Summer Internship Abroad

Organised by:

Funded by:

European Bank
for Reconstruction and Development

Gabriel Al-Salem Foundation Turkish Management
Consultants Association
This project is funded by
the European Union

16-17 April 2015, Istanbul, Turkey

The conference brought together professional consultants from across Turkey and the region, as well as Turkish and international business owners, top managers and international organizations active in private sector development.

The theme of the conference in 2015 was Turning knowledge into value. It provided a forum for discussion of best practice in business and consulting from around the world and how to apply these for real-world impact and business growth.

The overall agenda included:

  • A half-day conference with three international key note speakers and cases presented by last year’s winners of the International Award for Excellence in Consulting
  • A networking dinner & award ceremony for the International Award for Excellence in Consulting 2014
  • A full day workshop on Management Consulting Tools, delivered by Brian Ing, from the International Council of Managing Consulting Institutes.


At the gala dinner / award ceremony, which traditionally took place after the conference, Viktoria Olskaia, President of Gabriel Al-Salem Foundation, announced 10 prize holders from 7 countries. This year the Award International Committee received the total of 50 applications from 18 countries. The gala dinner participants not only cheered on the award winners but also enjoyed their artistic performances.


1 February 2014 Kyiv, Ukraine: 3rd Gabriel Al-Salem International Conference «Consulting without Borders» and the Ceremony for the winners of the International Award for Excellence in Consulting 2013

Viktoria Olskaia, President of Gabriel Al-Salem Foundation, will meet with management consultant in Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia