Connecting with people in the places, and for purposes, we didn’t expect

Who here had big plans for this year but didn’t get to see them through? *raises hand* Any folks who were going to travel somewhere to connect with other people, have new experiences, or maybe challenge yourself in new ways? *raises both hands and a foot* Is anyone else finding it more critical now to connect with others, considering what’s going on in the world? *raises both hands and both feet and an eyebrow* And how about this: anyone abruptly displaced due to historic wildfires? *raises both hands, both feet, and eyebrow, and and suitcase*

I hear you. And that’s why I decided to attend the ComNet V (the V stands for virtual) conference in September, and become an ambassador for V+ (it’s like a sweet bonus extension of the event). (Don’t know ComNet? Details about the conference here!)

V and V+ offer opportunities for leaders working in communications for good to connect, gather, and inform one another as we all navigate the weight of the world’s issues. It’s a special chance to discuss problem-solving using the strengths of community, communications, and collaborative thinking that will move society forward. Honestly, it couldn’t have come at a better time, with all the big, bold causes that truly need us to connect and help advance the conversation. And — if you know me, you know I loooove to connect people, so it’s a natural fit.
As an ambassador for their V+ portion , I’ll have the privilege of leading and working with a diverse cohort of colleagues  from September all the way through December! The best part is, we’ll face these issues together as we learn from, challenge, and assist each other. Here’s what that will look like:

  • Virtual breakout sessions: I’m so excited to lead and interact with a group of like-minded professionals to connect on a deeper level. I’ll be helping my small group to workshop ideas, pose questions to each other, and expose them to new ways of thinking — and we’ll do it all online. (Aside: Anyone else throwback to Hollywood Squares every time they’re in a virtual meeting, faces neatly organized in little squares? Just me?)
  • Mind-blowing monthly keynotes: It’s not every day you have an intimate gathering with Dr. Clarence B. Jones, the person responsible for drafting MLK, Jr.’s “Dream” speech. Or Evan Wolfson, the individual who spearheaded a major campaign to change marriage equality laws in the U.S. Every month features a new and impactful speaker, and I’m already feeling inspired.
  • Ongoing collaboration: What I love about this part of V+ is the chance to build a personal network and support system for all involved, so that each of us can collaborate on work that’s important to us and our world. We don’t have to do it alone. We can come together for accountability, guidance, inspiration, and joy in our professional and personal lives.

Now that I’m reflecting on all this, I’m starting to realize maybe these were my big plans all along. I’m still going to connect with inspiring people, have new experiences (it’s my debut as an ambassador of, well, anything), and challenge myself in some unexpected ways.

You can join me at the conference if you like, or you can message me about connecting one-on-one. We can even have a virtual coffee or tea if that’s your jam. Shoot the breeze. Talk shop. Your choice!