Behind the Scenes

By Rosemary Cairns

Change is not easy, even when we agree it’s needed. It means learning new ways of doing things. Things may look different. It can take time to get used to a new look. So it is with our decision to turn to Medium, an online platform, for publishing Winds and Waves issues in the future.

The magazine, preceded by other periodicals such as Network Exchange, Edges and Pacific Waves, is published by the Institute of Cultural Affairs International (ICAI). It aims to be a global forum for sharing stories of achievement by people and communities. Such accounts from the grassroots — where so many people are creating change — often don’t get the attention they deserve. We are deluged instead with news about what isn’t working. So in Winds and Waves, we share and celebrate what is working!

Following our recent readership survey, the editorial team concluded that it was time to approach the publication differently. We wanted a way to publish stories so that they could be shared easily, widely and with less “behind the scenes” work.

In a recent Skype conference (challenging to arrange across our team’s diverse time zones), we discussed the issue and settled on Medium, launched by Twitter co-founder Evan Williams in 2012. We knew it as a blog platform and had questions about using it for Winds and Waves. Given that you may well have similar questions, we thought we would share the key points here.

Besides blogs, Medium supports magazine publication and organizes articles, pictures and videos into an appealing format. So, with this platform, we can accept and showcase videos as well.

We are excited by the possibilities. With videos as part of our “virtual” magazine, we can also publish in languages other than English. Photographic essays will be easier to manage. And “producing” the magazine will require less labour.

We will gain access to a broader audience on Medium. We can share stories about the power of human development more widely and regularly. Medium produces a daily digest of articles that it circulates widely. If one of “our” articles appears in the digest, it will gain a wider circulation. Readers will also find it easier to share our stories on social media platforms, including the ICAI website.

We know many of you will miss the format we have used over the last six years. We are marking this transition — and celebrating it— by profiling 10 articles from previous editions, along with new articles. We thank all the authors who have shared their learning, wisdom, reflections and news over the years, and team members who have laboured to produce Winds and Waves in that format.

We hope that you will join us on the journey to a new way of publishing. Please visit us at for a preview. The articles posted there now are from previous issues but please click on them to familiarise yourself with our new home. Besides reading on this platform, you can also contribute as a writer, photographer or videographer.

We are preparing a short “how to” guide that will lay out the key points of how to submit story drafts, videos, and photographs for review by the editorial team. We would also be delighted if you would be willing to become a “story scout”, helping us identify stories all over the world that are crying out to be told and shared globally. Join us!

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