Collaborating for
a better world

Helping CMI’s conflict resolution professionals perform on mission

The Crisis Management Initiative (CMI) is an independent organisation that works to prevent and resolve violent conflicts through informal dialogue and mediation. Nobel Peace laureate and former President of Finland Martti Ahtisaari founded CMI in 2000. Since then, CMI has grown to become one of the leaders in its field. How can CMI’s conflict resolution professionals take care of their own wellbeing and performance when the international crises require their ongoing attention?
Starting point

Under constant pressure

Have you ever wondered what conflict resolution professionals’ job looks like? Experts working on CMI projects are constantly confronted with challenges to their own wellbeing. Traveling and rapidly changing situations pose challenges in creating healthy routines. Experts working on projects might travel several times a month and travel days can amount to dozens a year. Some experts also live in areas of varying stability.

Work can put pressure not only on one’s wellbeing but also on private and family life. Controlling one’s own life becomes challenging in a complex environment. CMI was looking for a way to help their professionals cope with the pressure and perform sustainably on mission.


Optimising personal wellbeing and performance

2019 marked the beginning of a unique collaboration between Hintsa and CMI. As the first step, CMI launched their own wellbeing programme with Hintsa. The programme started with Hintsa’s Better Life survey, which was used to assess the current state of CMI professionals’ health and wellbeing. This was followed by three workshops focusing on different aspects of Hintsa’s signature Circle of Better Life model. The workshops in particular focused on practical situations and tips to optimise one’s personal wellbeing and performance under changing circumstances. Towards the end of the programme, a follow-up survey will be conducted to allow CMI staff to see the impact and change in their wellbeing and performance.

The ongoing collaboration will mean joint activities to raise awareness towards sustainable peace and sustainable performance. The first joint event Building Bridges was held at Hotel St. George on 19.11.2019


Small steps towards big goals

The CMI professionals who participated in the workshops have found Hintsa’s approach a success. You can’t make your whole life new all at once. However, small everyday actions and choices are always possible: it can be a bit more sleep, adding a few steps to the day or developing your own travel and recovery routines. CMI found it especially important to understand the different seasons in life – when to work harder and when to focus on recovery and rest. Understanding the latter is particularly important for CMI professionals as finding time for sufficient recovery can be challenging due to changing situations in conflict areas.

Even those who aspire to a long career in the field should consider their own wellbeing and performance as a long-distance runner. In addition to the first kilometers, the energy must be sufficient for the next ten kilometers. To quote Dr Aki Hintsa’s words, the cornerstone for sustainable high performance is to “optimise, not maximise.”

CMI in numbers 2018


requests for CMI’s engagement


projects worldwide


meetings with conflict stakeholders

”Conflict resolution is not a sprint, but a marathon. In most cases, the results of the work will not be visible until years later. Hintsa's support helped us to reflect upon the topics of wellbeing and the importance of recovery.”

— Maija Sura, Crisis Management Initiative's HR Manager

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