Note from Beth: I’m hosting a small army of guest bloggers, grantmakers, who are attending the GeoFunders National Conference taking place this week in Seattle. The GEO community is united by a common drive to challenge the norm in pursuit of better results. GEO’s 2012 National Conference shares a range of perspectives and new ideas for smarter grantmaking that leads to better results and presents opportunities for participants to learn from the wisdom and experience of their peers. If you’re not attending and curious what funders are learning, you’ll have an opportunity to read some of the ideas and questions being discussed right here on this blog.
What Happens at GEO Doesn’t Stay at GEO (and that’s a good thing) – guest post by Carrie Avery
The last conference session gave me the opportunity to reflect on the immense web of connections that is woven at every GEO conference. At our session on leadership, we were asked to turn to someone at our table and share stories. I spoke with Jennifer from the community foundation in Winnipeg (apologies, Jennifer, for not getting you name and everything exactly right — I’m writing this at the Seattle airport before my plane takes off.)
Jennifer and I just happened to be sitting next to one another, but once we started talking, she told me that her foundation was inspired to start a small leadership renewal program after she had learned from my colleague Claire Peeps about Durfee’s sabbatical program at the Pittsburgh conference in 2010.
If we hadn’t been sitting next to one another, I never would have learned this. How many other inspirations like this have started at GEO conferences? I know that I have been tremendously influenced by what I have learned in Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Atlanta, and now Seattle.
What would it look like if we mapped this web? Like Andy Goodman said in his presentation, it would blow your mind.
Safe travels, everyone!
Carrie Avery is president of the Durfee Foundation, a family foundation in Los Angeles, California.