In a few days I’ll be boarding a plane from Boston to Bangkok to participate in Plan International’s Global Leadership Conference (GLC), where country, national and regional directors, staff, board members, young people and the CEO will come together to discuss the future of Plan International, reflect on the organization’s accomplishments and challenges and — most importantly — learn from one another.
In today’s age of technology, it’s easy to connect to our global Plan International peers over email and Skype. However, when we replace the internet with live, candid conversations, it gives way to much more meaningful and lasting learning, sharing and doing.
To me, that is what makes this conference so unique. I can already feel the energy of a room pulsing with the creativity, wisdom and passion of such a diverse crowd.
A change is coming
Plan is undergoing many changes, including the development of a new purpose, values and theory of change, which will be topics of discussion at the GLC. Because this will bring new ways of thinking across Plan International, it is very important that discussion, debate and criticism on this topic are welcomed and appreciated.
I believe providing the wide range of GLC participants the space to talk together about the purpose, value and theory of change will help ensure that: a) this work continues to move forward in a direction that well represents and reflects the opinions of all parts of Plan, and b) everyone is clear about that direction and can work together to ensure it is carried out and succeeds.
In discussions around the purpose and values, I hope Plan’s leaders are honest and transparent, that they take questions genuinely and equally appreciate the opinion of each participant.
Thrilled to be part of it
As a member of Plan’s Global Youth Advisory Panel, I am thrilled that young people will be present at the GLC as full delegates for Day One! The GLC agenda involves ideas, decisions and discussions of Plan’s global purpose. These efforts will have a huge impact on the lives of girls, children and young people where Plan works.
Therefore, having the voices of young people contributing to these conversations is imperative. Imagine a conversation around early child marriage between national directors and staff from different regions. Now imagine that conversation when a young person from Bangladesh with firsthand understanding of this issue joins in — how fruitful, meaningful and powerful that discussion becomes.
This is the kind of inspiration and energy in store at next week’s GLC!
That’s all from me. Thanks for reading and look out for more GLC reflections from another GYAP member once the meeting is underway.