"Inspiring and Nurturing the Creative Spirit in Myanmar."

Mission

To inspire and nurture the Burmese creative spirit through the power of inclusive creativity workshops, training, interventions, and services.

Ambition

Myanmar—a country where creativity is the go--to competency of current and future generations of citizens who are advancing meaningful change—one school, one organization, and one township at a time.

 

What if Creative Problem-Solving could be made into a crucial ingredient that advances sustainable development goals in Myanmar?

 

IMU sponsors university alumni that return to Myanmar to either sustain their service projects or mentor students through their assignments. IMU finds and places experts from a variety of disciplines with nonprofit, public service and humanitarian organizations in Myanmar.  IMU also supports Burmese refugees desiring to connect with their heritage by partnering them with students, experts, and alumni. IMU projects and assignments focus on the strength of firsthand work experience to empower participants to effect positive social change. Through these experiences, IMU enhances the mission of its community partners by building their competencies to impact the communities they support.

 

Local and International

 

Refugee, Children, Teacher, Adult, and Leadership Development

EIN: 84-3637529

Buffalo, NY

 

Purpose

The Institute for Myanmar United is an independent nonprofit organization. We promote social justice by helping the people of Myanmar to become more confident in their creative problem-solving, creative leadership and creative teaching competencies to address the physical, social and economic challenges facing their country today and in the future, and we do so in collaboration with experts, educators, alumni, and students who mentor and partner with Burmese refugees and their sons and daughters.

Value Proposition

Creative Problem Solving

Nielsen & Thurber (2010) based on the work of Puccio & Miller (2003).

  • The IMU members are experts in the Creative Problem-Solving (CPS) process.  They received their degrees from the Center for Applied Imagination at the State University of New York, Buffalo State, which is known throughout the world for its programs that cultivate competencies in creative, practical thinking, innovative leadership and problem solving skills. Through the CPS method, the IMU develops competencies for the 21st Century.

  • Creative Problem-Solving is an interdisciplinary process.  Therefore, the process is suitable for ill-structured, vexing or novel challenges in any field. Because CPS is a well-organized, deliberate set of methods, a problem solver can call upon it whenever a problem needs an understanding, new ideas, or an action plan to make a workable solution a reality. The IMU empowers people with creative confidence. 

 

  • The IMU benefits from the Executive Director’s close relationships with the State Chancellor, Governors, founders of non profits, and members of Parliament.  The IMU provides a great “in” and the capacity to easily fit any discipline with a community partner in Myanmar. 

Service Offerings

SERVICE OFFERINGS

TEACHING

  • English Language

  • Teaching Creatively

  • Teaching Basics

  • Creative Process

  • Other Disciplines

CONSULTING

  • Leadership Development

  • Creative Problem-Solving Facilitation

  • Education Reform

  • Organizational Development

CIVIC ENGAGEMENT PROJECTS

  • Project Cobra Art Program

  • Inclusive Maker Space

  • Other Creative Processes

  • Fashion for a Cause

  • Counseling Clinic

  • Other Projects

Service Offering Model

Research

Training

Interventions

Economic

Development

Research

Policy Development

Community Partners in Myanmar

Buffalo State              State University of New York            Worldwide

In Myanmar, IMU Makes Things Happen by:

  • Designing and initiating projects that integrate Creative Problem-Solving from start to finish

  • Sponsoring people who travel to Myanmar to lead projects in their areas of expertise

  • Leveraging the Creative Problem-Solving process to address sustainability developmental goals prioritized by the people of Myanmar

  • Developing Creative Problem-Solving competency of the Burmese people

  • Mentoring the new generation of American and Mexican leaders so that they have an impact on societal challenges in their own country from a different perspective shaped by their experiences in Myanmar.

In the US, IMU Makes Things Happen by:

  • Uniting refugees with friends and families in Myanmar.

  • Sponsoring well-known and beloved Burmese figures to North America to speak to Burmese refugee populations.

  • Offering workshops on Creative Problem-Solving, well-being and other topic areas for professional and personal development.

  • Partnering employees and their children with alumni, experts and students that are working on Myanmar--related service projects.

We design and present activities that help refugees contribute to the vitality of their communities and country of heritage.

Accomplishment Reports

2020 

2020 Goals

  1. To initiate a Design Thinking Maker Space program and train others to continue it with our community partners in Yangon such as the Free Funeral Service Society (FFSS), the National League for Democracy Education Network and Yangon University.

  2. To establish a Mental Health Clinic and train others to continue it. 

  3. To continue growing a 5-day art program designed for participants to be open to expression and to train others to continue it in partnership with FFSS.

  4. To train 100 young people in the Creative Problem-Solving model and Creative Leadership at Sky Age Camp in partnership with Sky Age Camp founder Saw.

  5. To train 5% of the members of Parliament in CPS and Leadership.

  6. Deliver a professional development workshops in Creative Problem-Solving for one company that employs Burmese refugees. 

  7. Partner three Burmese refugees with students, former students, or experts working on civic engagement projects in Myanmar. 

  8. Formalize a non-profit IMU satellite in Mexico City and Yangon. 

IMU's Principal Community Partner  

F.F.S.S

What started as a non-profit organization that provided free funeral services, the FFSS has grown to offer free healthcare, free ambulatory service, organic food farming, and free education. The FFSS is based in Yangon, Myanmar. It was founded by Burmese film director Kyaw Thu, who was awarded Asia's version of the Nobel Peace Prize for his work supporting the poor. Founded in 2001, the FFSS is headed by many prominent people in the entertainment industry. 

The IMU Inclusive Innovation Process

THE PROCESS

1. Community Partner Provides a

    Challenge Brief

2. Data is Gathered and a Baseline

    Measurement of the Challenge is taken

3. CPS and Design Thinking are Applied to

    Generate Solutions

4. Community Partner Provides

    Iterative Feedback

5. Solutions are Improved

6. A Solution Pitch is made to

    Community Partner

7. Community Partner Implements

8. Solution Effectiveness is Measured

THE CHALLENGES

Education Reform Challenge: 

       How to support creative instruction in

       the classroom?

 

The Health Challenge:

       How to provide better health care?

 

Economic Stabilization:

       How to increase entrepreneurial activity?

 

Basic Infrastructure:

       How to improve transportation,

       communication, sewage, water and

       electric systems?

 

The Leadership Development Challenge:

       How to develop leaders to lead

       inclusively?

 

The Social Justice Challenge:

       How to improve dignity?

United Nations 

Sustainable Development Goals

 
 
 
 
 

Orientation and preparation begin in the Spring 2020 semester as a formal course (class will meet 5 times; dates TBD) and continues into the summer.

Apply:

Scroll down to a list of scholarships

 

Check & Download our informative brochure!

Check & Download Schedule from the 2018 trip to Myanmar

Apply to join us in Myanmar

Application due Monday, 01/14/2020

 

CONTACT US  

PHOTO GALLERY 2019 NEWS

Buffalo State College awards the

2019 Outstanding Graduate Course in Community Engagement to

INE 590 -- Service-Learning in Myanmar

Buffalo State College awards the

2019 Outstanding Graduate Student in Community Engagement  to

Janet Stormes for her work in Myanmar

Join Us !

- Be part of our projects! -

 

"Our fourth trip and counting."

Apply:

Scroll down to a list of scholarships

 

Check & Download our informative brochure!

Check & Download Schedule from the 2018 trip to Myanmar

Apply to join us in Myanmar

Application due Monday, 01/02/2020

 

Notes:
  • Orientation and preparation begin in the Spring 2020 semester as a formal course  (class will meet 5 times; dates TBD) and continues into the summer. We will hold fundraisers to reduce costs. 
  • Alumni and community members are welcome to come as friends of the program director and participate as mentors or as project leads. Friends need to fully cover their own costs including travel to Myanmar. 

Institute for Myanmar United Team Members

Senior Leadership

 

Myo Thant

Executive Director

Dr. John F. Cabra

President

IMU Mexico Director

Dr. Roger L. Firestien 

Vice President

Maureen Bartlett

Secretary

Matthew Burch

Treasurer

Jeremy Brewster

Engagement Phenom

Key Staff in México

Gaby Cortés Higareda

IMU Mexico Public Relations Director

Ana Vera 

IMU Mexico Fundraising Director 

Yubi Fernandez

IMU Mexico Legal

Ángel Grave

IMU Fashion for a Cause Co-Director

Key Staff in Myanmar

Naing Win

Chair

 

Kyaw Min Pyae

Secretary

 

Hnin Susan Kyaw

Treasurer

 

Myo Maw

Auditor

 

Thi Ri Tun

Communication Officer

 

Phyo Paing Oo

Program Manager

Council

Sue McCartney

Business

Rachel Voelkle

Fundraising 

Ignacio Cruz

Talum-Bagan 

Sister City Director

 

Members

 

Sayuri Konomi

IMU Mexico Web and PR Designer 

Malinalli Segura

IMU Mexico Web and PR Designer

Alberto Segura

Technology Specialist

Will Fogherty

Field Researcher

Contact Us

2019 News | Photograph Gallery

Buffalo State College awards the

2019 Outstanding Graduate Course in Community Engagement to

INE 590 -- Service-Learning in Myanmar

Buffalo State College awards the

2019 Outstanding Graduate Student in Community Engagement  to

Janet Stormes for her work in Myanmar

 
 
 

The Cohorts 

Film by Firdaus Hashim