FOCUS on Catalyste+

Catalyste + (Formerly the Canadian Executive Service Overseas – CESO)

The Canadian Executive Service Organization (CESO) was a registered national and international development charity that started in 1967 and provided services for more than five decades. On December 1, 2022—CESO announced the evolution of its brand and the organization’s new name—Catalyste+.

Catalyste+ advisors are Canadian senior-level professionals with extensive expertise from both the private and public sectors. Leveraging an average of 20 years of experience, advisors provide mentorship and advisory services to Catalyste+ partners and clients through a sequence of short-term, strategic assignments.

Unlike other Canadian volunteer agencies such as CUSO and WUSC which traditionally placed individuals on longer 1- or 2-year assignments, CESO now Catalyste +, offers an opportunity to volunteer for a much shorter period.

For example, in-person international assignments typically last from two to four weeks. In-person assignments in Canada typically last from two days to two weeks. Virtual assignments vary from one to two months depending on the program and assignment type. There are some exceptions for mentoring assignments, which could last up to a year with a few site visits.

Another difference is that Catalyst+ attracts and places older and more experienced individuals.

Eligibility Requirements

Typically, a minimum of 15 years working experience is required, with at least ten years of experience in the field or with a role that an advisor is looking to support. In select cases, we work with advisors with less experience, provided they have the right mix of knowledge and expertise to suit the Catalyste+ partner’s needs. Advisors must be:

  • A resident or citizen of Canada, under the age of 79. The prospective Advisor must be under the age of 78 at the time of application.
  • Covered under a Canadian provincial health program.
  • Native or fully professional in either English or French.

Focus Areas

Catalyste+ focuses its work in areas and industries that drive inclusive growth and sustainable development as shown below. It draws on the depth and breadth of experience offered by Catalyste+ advisors to build capacity with businesses, governments and community organizations in Canada and in 30 countries around the world.

AgribusinessEnvironment and Climate ActionGender EqualityGovernanceMicro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and Value ChainsNatural Resources ManagementTourism and Hospitality

Industry Sectors

Catalyste+ advisors offer expertise spanning a variety of other industry sectors and functional disciplines that benefit businesses, governments, and community organizations.

Arts, Recreation and CultureBusiness Support ServicesEconomic Development, Microfinance and FinanceEducational ServicesFood and Beverage ProductionHealth, Nutrition and Social ServicesInformation and Communications Technology (ICT)ManufacturingWholesale and Retail Trade

Other important information

The Catalyst+ website contains all the information you need to explore this option for volunteer development work in Canada and in countries abroad.

In reviewing the website, I particularly appreciated the step-by-step instructions on how to explore the option of becoming an advisor/volunteer, and the clear application process itself.

If you fit the eligibility requirements, match one of its focus areas, are in good health and have the urge to apply your skills in a new and productive way, why not check out Catalyste+.

Author: arthureshears

Passionate about writing, international development and travel

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