Success at Web of Change 2009
Web of Change 2009 ended last month and everyone we spoke to felt it was a great success. A group of 93 top-notch leaders and do-ers converged to learn, discuss and inquire into the roots of social change and technology and what it means to be leaders in this field. Over 5 days, the group shared stories, best practices and their passions and commitment to envision and create a better world. Hollyhock was abuzz with great conversations and heartfelt exchange.
Here are some of the reasons why:
- 93 fascinating, passionate individuals who work inside social change organizations
- Over 20 sessions and workshops that stimulated discussion, sharing of best practice and ways to engage people in visioning and creating the communities we want to inhabit
- 5 days that did not end at Hollyhock but rather has continued to online conversations, working collaborations and strong friendships
- 5 days of Indian summer, bright blue cloudless skies, amazing views and a stunning abundance of nature & wildlife
After a year off, Web of Change re-emerged as a vital conference on the stage of social media, online tools, campaign engagement and building a community that engages deeply with each other as well as social change work. The feedback from those who attended spoke of the value of fostering strong relationships, learning from peers in the sector, as well as being reenergized for their work in the world.
Don’t take my word for it! Read the words from one of our convener's blog as well as below for some snippets of feedback from this year’s participants:
“The one thing I keep coming back to and sharing with others is what I see as the "new face" of social change: what was once heavy, compromising, and divided is now lighter, direct, and collaborative. The people driving the movements behind environmentalism, social activism, earth economics and advocacy have a lighter touch.
- are high tech
- are enthusiastic and hopeful
- see how everything is connected
- have a "let's get down to business and get things done" attitude
- make these issues cool and smart and that's sexy!
When I say "they" – I'm taking about the Web of Changers!”
“I learned and experienced once again the incredible power and creativity that can come from collaboration. With the magical mix of intelligence, heart, and humility, projects can move leaps and bounds. It is extraordinary to give and receive support in this context.”
“The world of internet programming is no longer the domain of socially challenged nerds.”
“[The value of WoC was] building meaningful relationships with people working across the US and Canada on the issues, strategies, and techniques that will change the world.”
“I experienced renewal; I really needed that time to reconnect with my work and myself. WoC really brought a lot of elements together to help me be better at what I do.”
“[Some highlights were] community building, organizational transformation (paradigm shift: decentralization, experiential social change, community participation model), and the importance of narrative in developing cohesive campaigns”
“[Collaboration] already started - albeit in the early and loose stages. To be honest, for me, the desire to collaborate is not born out of professional ties but rather, friendship.”
“Excellent organization, and the most interesting group of participants I've met at a conference.”
Our extraordinary group of conveners and presenters worked hard to make Web of Change an amazing event. We are so grateful to this team as well as the participant community, who made the event the fun, dynamic and inspiring gathering it was.
Our awareness was also on those who were not present and as a community we spoke of the desire to decrease the challenges and barriers for those underrepresented. There were many attendees who work with minority groups, issues of access and diversity and we had some sessions that specifically focused on the role of technology as an equalizer as well as the barriers that continue to exist.
We were grateful to all our sponsors, who enabled so many individuals and organizations to be present at Web of Change 2009 and want to continue to build opportunities of access to this gathering.
We look forward to organizing next year’s conference with as much energy, commitment to learning, openness and community spirit.
Thank you to all who made Web of Change 2009 the amazing experience it was!!
If you attended this year, please leave a comment with links to your blogs, articles and images, so that we can read more reflections from this year's Web of Change.