Sustainable Development












Taylor Woodrow

Texas Instruments


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CAPRESE helped the UNDP in Geneva to redefine itself and develop a corporate identity at a time when its mere existence was being called into question.

Client Context

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Geneva Liaison office is the official interface between UNDP in New York and humanitarian organisations (UN and other) based in Geneva, such as UNHCR, ILO, WHO. The Geneva office also provides centralised support services to national entities throughout Europe, e.g. Public Relations and Communications. Historically, the various units within the office have had little need or use to communicate, let alone collaborate with each other, but mounting pressure on the UN in general to operate in a more coherent manner, with its “Delivery as One” programme, brought the realisation the to various teams in UNDP’s Geneva office that tighter coordination and collaboration would be necessary in future. In December 2009, the genuine threat existed that the Geneva office would be closed down and its various activities would be run out of New York. UNDP Geneva established a briefing document for their “Strategy Retreat” which outlined its objectives, a proposed agenda and preparatory work for participants. The structure was described as being typical of UN-style workshops, where each team would contribute a presentation on its own achievements and future activities, after which there would be time for an “open floor” discussion.

CAPRESE Approach

After initial meetings with the sponsor and UNDP senior management in Geneva, CAPRESE suggested a more holistic approach to designing the event, focussing on the objectives and asking participants to work together interactively towards achieving those objectives. CAPRESE recommended using a blend of techniques that would allow management to explain the challenges that the organisation faced, as well as creating a fun, creative environment in which participants could openly share the concerns and ideas for solutions.


For the first time in 40 years, the UNDP Geneva Liaison office established a Vision and Mission Statement. Each unit developed work plans that all contributed to implementing the Vision and Mission of the office. These work plans were sufficiently tangible and pragmatic that each member of staff was able to develop individual work plans for the coming year. The degree of client satisfaction was such that, within a week, CAPRESE was receiving requests from other UN organisations.


The key learning from this mandate was to review a terms of reference with a client and do what makes sense, rather than blindly executing what has been requested.

Key words

World Café; LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®; LSP; strategy; planning; visioning; delivering as one; retreat; development; United Nations