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Role

Trustee

The Ibn Sina Project is a brand-new unincorporated charitable organisation based in the UK. Our charitable objective is to promote and conserve the cultural heritage of Tajikistan. The project is named after the tenth-century Persian polymath Ibn Sina – better known in the west as Avicenna – and one of the most influential philosophers of the pre-modern era.

The organisation employs no staff and keeps low overheads. For now, this means that our trustees are as responsible for the charity’s operational activity as they are its strategic oversight. But whilst our aims are ambitious, they’re focussed too. We have a clear vision of what we want to achieve, and how we intend to get there. The required commitment is only a single day each month. And we’ll be supported throughout by a range of inspirational overseas partners.   

The current trustees have been brought together by their shared appreciation for the extraordinary cultural heritage of Tajikistan, and their belief in its artistic, social, and economic potential. Our backgrounds are in international development, law, the civil service, and the charity sector, and this is the first experience of trusteeship for all of us.

 

How the project works

The aims of The Ibn Sina Project are twofold. We want to help Tajik students study cultural heritage management at a university in the UK, and we want to facilitate an enduring dialogue between traditional artisans and contemporary artists in Tajikistan.

These are quite different ambitions, but we will achieve them in roughly the same way. The Ibn Sina Project will do the heavy lifting at the design stage of each of these activities. To help Tajik students study in the UK, we’ll select a suitable university, design the evaluation process for candidates, identify complementary development opportunities, and support students into relevant vocations as they return to Tajikistan. For the cultural dialogue, we’ll identify suitable participants, skilled facilitators, workshop venues, studio spaces, and exhibiting opportunities both overseas and in the UK.

For both activities, we’ll be responsible for putting forward the proposal to potential donors. Once successful, we’ll hand over to partners for mobilisation and delivery. Whilst we’ll support the donor-supplier relationship with risk and contract management (and in any other way they find helpful), we won’t be directly involved in implementing these activities in Tajikistan.  

 

About the role

We’re looking for skilled volunteers who recognise the unique nature of our trustees’ joint strategic and operational obligations. As trustees, we are legally responsible for the overall governance and direction of the charity, and we would love to hear from anyone able to bring balance and constructive challenge to our board. But (for now) our trustees also perform the function of the executive team, and we need people prepared to take a hands-on role and push our project forwards.

We’re keen to diversify our trustee membership and we encourage applications from all ages and backgrounds. We’d also particularly like to hear from anyone prepared to act as Treasurer, and with the necessary financial experience and qualifications. But most of all, we want someone with the energy, creativity, and resilience to join us at the very beginning of our unique cultural journey.

 

Time commitment

Our board meets in a central London location once every quarter, but trustees are welcome to dial in remotely. Our meetings also task out different activities to trustees, which require approximately an additional day each month to fulfil.

 

What we’re looking for

Essential

  • An understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities, and liabilities of Trusteeship
  • Demonstrable experience in driving forward projects and/or organisational growth
  • A proven track record of sound judgement and effective decision-making
  • An ability to work effectively as a member of the trustee team
  • Politically impartiality and cultural sensitivity when working with overseas partners
  • Interest in at least some of the following: international development; contemporary art; traditional craft; curatorship; UK Higher Education; Central Asia;

 

Desirable

  • Experience of maintaining an overview of an organisation's financial affairs, ensuring its financial viability and ensuring that proper financial records and procedures are maintained

 

What we can give you:

  • Hands-on experience of delivering a multi-disciplinary international development project
  • Comprehensive overview of the strategic and operational responsibilities of a small charity 
  • Deep insight into one of the world’s most complex but overlooked cultural inheritances
  • The opportunity to work with a committed trustee team and inspiring overseas partners

 

To apply - or just ask further questions - please simply submit a brief resume and your availability for a chat to trustees@theibnsinaproject.org.uk. We're looking forward to hearing from you.