Andre Mroth

By: Julie Thorpe

Dr Andre Mrost

Andre MrothDr Mrost is the Director for Just Solutions in Eastern Europe and the NIS.  He has an unique assembly of knowledge, skills and qualities, attained from a wide variety of different and, sometimes, contrasting working positions and areas of activity, reflecting dramatic change in the life of his home country, Russia.

Andre began his career as an environmental scientist, a member of the international strategic planning team developing a 20-year Master Plan of Water Resources and Economic Development of Iraq in 1977 – 1980; obtaining his PhD in environmental conservation, he took part in several international projects with UN agencies (UNESCO, UNEP and UNDP) and international NGOs like WWW and Friends of the Earth International.  In his own right, he also established and headed environmental NGO, Ecoexistense.

As change began to exert its influence inside Gorbachev Russia, Andre was at the forefront of that change.  Studying applied social science and practical social technologies , Andre participated in the development of organizational activities and training games by scientific societies in the USSR without official sanction by the powers that were.  These training games, such as ODI and TRIZ, are nowadays used by the leading innovative MNCs worldwide to prepare their project teams. Andre was one of the pioneers in introducing those technologies to the West, particularly into the USA, where among his clients/partners were Boeing and Digital; well known political and scientific institutions like Johns Hopkins University (Nitze School of Advanced International Studies), Georgetown University (School of Foreign Service), Harvard University (JFK School of Government); Heritage Foundation/Free Congress Foundation; Smithsonian Institution.

In exchange, Andre studied advanced Western management technologies like organization development, planned social change, collaborative bargaining, cross sectorial partnering, etc. from the most respected sources like NTL Institute (cradle of OD), Tavistock Institute, etc.  His practical application of those technologies covered a wide spectrum: from strategic planning of municipal, regional and even national (Latvia) development; to building capacity for NGOs, political parties and other civil society institutions.

Andre also worked for 3 years as development executive to launch the international stevedoring company, Mangazeya, in St. Petersburg jointly with the Belgian TNS, port Antwerp, and Finnish CONTAINERSHIPS companies; he represented the German company Bankomtech GMBH in Russia, and served as director general of the Moscow branch of the Mobicitipay LTD – a pioneer in spreading mobile payments via ATM and special terminals in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Andre’s vision of the need for democratic change to be supported by the parallel development of well-founded institutions of representation, led to the application of his skills to consulting and political representation of global trade unions.  He became NIS Regional Director of the global trade union federation, ICEM (chemicals, process, energy and mining sectors) and the International Trade Union Confederation, where he dealt with labour standards and work relations, decent work, child labour, HIV/AIDS at the workplace and institutional development.  During this time he also cooperated with several international institutions like World Bank Group (“Extractive Industries Review” project), IMF, ECOSOC, etc.

Andre now operates as an international consultant based in Berlin, Germany.  Personal experience of working in over 20 countries, in frequently unpredictable environments – transfer from the Soviet planned economy to wild Russian capitalism, developing the ability to find innovative solutions, as well personal experience in operating within environmental and applied social science, NGO, civil society, labour and business – gives Andre a truly unique understanding and rationale for merging and blending different methods and approaches from various fields while engineering tailor-made programmes and solutions.

Andre is also a certified auditor on the SA 8000 standard application) and is skilled in problem solving and conflict resolution, dealing with multi-stakeholder disputes (latest reference: successful facilitation of public consultations of the EBRD on Sakhalin 2 oil and gas project: consortium of Shell, Mitsui, Mitsubishi)

He has led projects in corporate governance and development, including strategic planning, organization development and change, building corporate culture, leadership, diversity, developing education programmes, etc ( this most recently included building a partnership culture for Probusinessbank – Financial Group LIFE – banking, Russia).