EWB Chapters are getting down to work
400 attendees. 33 chapters represented. 36 breakout sessions organized. 1,000+ sticky notes used. Six awards given out (and 6 standing ovations for the deserving recipients). And that’s just within three days this year.
At EWB’s national community conference this past January, hundreds of members from the chapter network and our international community came together to learn about how to create impact for the future. The aforementioned numbers represent the scale and magnitude of the mental and emotional investment made by young, passionate individuals at xChange to take on tangible, achievable actions in 2018. As a geographically dispersed community, conference is one of few times each year where members can meet, reconnect, and plan how the collective community can have impact in 2018.
Now that we’ve reflected our work in the past and looked the future, it’s time to get down to work. Over the next 332 days, community members will leverage the skills, resources connections and inspiration gained at xChange to take meaningful local actions across the country that ladder up to social change.
EWB presented a new Theory of Change – a logic model of how short and long-term activities advance the organization’s three core strengths and work together to multiply impact – through an interactive workshop. Engaging with the various elements that make up the Theory of Change gave delegates an understanding of how their actions contribute to the bigger picture strategy. An impact investing workshop also gave attendees a way to interact and understand this area of focus for the organization.
Workshops on Systems Change Leadership at conference guided chapter presidents, execs and general members on how to create opportunities for developing leadership skills. Conference delegates engaged in a session on Global Youth Advocacy to better understand how they can use their voice and why it matters in shaping better Canadian and international policies. The “Fundraising in the Fast Lane” session offered attendees strategies and ideas for raising money to support activities, operations and program impact.
In all of these sessions, chapter members left with the clarity to replicate those experiences back at their chapters. They will design activities that will create local and global social impact, through education and awareness as well as action and engagement. Chapter members will create and participate in advocacy campaigns to influence Members of Parliament across the country. Their fundraising efforts will compel members of their communities to support the projects and programs that are creating greater access to opportunities so that people can build thriving livelihoods. Through all of these and more, chapter members will develop and recognize their leadership abilities today to become global leaders championing a more sustainable and inclusive future.
Complementary to the practical elements, conference gave chapter members to connect with some of EWB’s venture leaders, long-term and Kumvana fellows, board members, staff, alumni and many other individuals who have different relationships with the work and the organization. In-person interaction builds empathy and understanding and established friendships and connections grow EWB’s international network to strengthen our global reach and impact. Conversations and ideas that arise at conference turn into actions, business concepts and lifelong relationships that spread the EWB values and fuel champions of social change.
Over the course of 2018, you will experience the driving force and momentum created by the Canadian community as they get down the work this year.