Last week I had the pleasure and honor to chair and hosting this year’s AIESEC Alumni International congress. Rather the virtual version.
It was originally slated to be held in Maya Riviera as a 4-day conference followed by a study tour. The plan is to hold it still once the current Pandemic is over.
Instead, we organized a 2-days virtual affair with over half a dozen speakers and 4 hours of programming each day. To top off the first day, the inimitable Christiane Stein hosted a roll-call party over Zoom.
For almost an hour, we had about 100 attendees from literally around the world. Some danced in their chairs while others in their living room to various songs from our time as AIESEC members (in University).
One surprising benefit of a virtual event is enhanced accessibility. There were no Visa issues and costly flights to pay for in order to attend.
Instead of the usual 100-200 attendees, we have 1305 registrants. On Saturday, a total of 565 attendees joined us at one point or another.
That’s simply amazing.
We heard updates from the current members, with Noelle, from AIESEC International. We had updates from the Alumni organization as well as several Alumni Talks. There were insightful thought as well as deeply touching moments.
We also unveiled a fantastic partnership with Ubiquity to support our change-makers with learning and connections.
Mariel Rivera did an outstanding job putting this all together and putting the word out so that all those who wanted could attend.
Given the global nature of our organization, we started at 7 AM my time, which was already very late for members in New Zealand. It was quite interesting to spend the week shifting my sleeping schedule so that I can wake up earlier than I’ve ever done on the weekend. It was well worth it! I’ve been trying to maintain the early schedule since. Who knows? I’ll become a morning person yet.
We may keep our physical distance for the sake of humanity, but it doesn’t mean that we need to cut social ties.
Many of the global issues and challenges remain and are not put on hold by the current Pandemic. This is a critical time where we need to show up from a place of service.
Those blessed with access to technology and who can work from home can still collaborate and find ways, sometimes creatively, to help those in need. Many others have lost their lively hood; Many of the most vulnerable are the highest risk.
I’ve been reaching out to my network, offering them and their network pro-bono coaching to help them work through any challenge during these uncertain times.
I’ve also been supporting local shops and restaurants by buying gift cards and pre-paying the freelancer I work with. These are people and establishments that I appreciate and would be spending my money with anyway. This way, I help stick around so I can continue to do so once the Pandemic over. There are always simple and creative ways to support our community.
Let’s come together and raise our game, raise our impact.
What can you do?
What will you do?