Posted by Clare Dowd on July 1, 2019
Our Executive Director recently returned from the Women Deliver conference in Vancouver, and is sharing her thoughts and impressions of the conference and how she sees it impacting our work moving forward. You can also check this out in our 2018 Annual Report, set to hit the printer this week!
Listening to stories from around the world at Women Deliver, an international conference on gender equality that took place in Vancouver, left me with a range of big emotions and ideas. Deeply moving stories of hardship, violence and oppression at times ended with uplifting examples of resilience and justice and at other times left us in despair when they ended as they began. I listened to inspiring strategies from organizations, coalitions, grassroots activists and academics. When I left, I held a renewed call to action, and a reminder that I am not alone on this journey; that I am part of a larger web of human connection that is working together to support women and girls and this earth. For a small organization with a big mission, I can assure you that nourishment is critical.
I have often heard similar sentiment from the incredible leaders we are honored to support. At our leadership and advocacy trainings, teacher trainings, or community workshops, individuals come together from many countries and regions with a united goal around gender equality or the environment. While acquiring new skills and knowledge, they undergo transformative processes that establish a bond among participants. It is in that process that they are reminded they are not alone. And it is there that the seeds are sown for long-term connection, support and collaboration.
As I listened to these stories in Vancouver and learned about innovative methods, I felt incredible pride in the work our team and grassroots partners are doing to support gender equality and build a sustainable planet. I was reminded of all the important reasons our world is thirsty for creative leaders who can work together across difference, draw on high emotional intelligence, turn questions on their head and stretch concepts outside of their predetermined limits. I was reminded that we need leaders who can draw on the power of the arts to help people see and feel and hear each others’ reality, if for just a moment. I was reminded that we need leaders who can use interactive, trust-building approaches to allow for important dialogue to take place that opens the channels for meaningful collaboration and solution building. And I was reminded of how essential it is for leaders to have the platform to build these capacities and connect with others who are also striving for social change, which is one place where Creative Action Institute steps in.
Creative Action Institute is proud that in 2018 we supported more locally led solution building than ever before. Hundreds of our trained partners facilitated dynamic processes in their communities that helped to build understanding and resolve challenges that hinder gender equality and a sustainable planet.
Yes, our world is thirsty for creative leaders, and we are so grateful for your partnership in building the capacity of so many. We are honored to be a part of this beautiful web of humankind, with you, working to support our planet and its people.