Last week, from July 25th to 27th, I was at the high-level Humentum Annual Conference for international relive organizations and development professionals as a volunteer. The conference was a power-packed two and a half day event with the theme: The Power of Operational Excellence, centered on four pathways of Foundation, People, Impact, and Sustainability.

Foundation track was on the essentials development practitioners needed to excel.

People track was focused on how organizations can attract and retain employees by keeping a positive and productive workplace.

The impact track was on how organizations can demonstrate, measure and communicate change.

Sustainability track was about how organizations can thrive in the changing, funding and operating environment.

The conference started on a very high note with the welcome plenary led by Humentum CEO. There were many breakout sessions, including a well-tailored global learning lap.

As a Volunteer, I had the privilege to pre-select sessions that I was interested in. That gave me the opportunity to choose topics across the 4 pathways. Throughout the many sessions, there was the moment of awakening for me; what I will describe as powerful excellent A-ha moments. These sessions made me appreciate the conference on a deeper level.

First was the session on People. Subject Discussed: Training the next generation of humanitarian Leaders: The Pitfalls and the potential of Blended learning. This session reminded me that it is not enough to access information or to be well grounded with capacity. Paying forward was important and that I could do it in my own little way, to build the capacities of local organizations who needed specific skills for sustainable impact.

The second session was on Impact. The subject discussed was Implementing A Knowledge Management framework for strategic impact. The session on Knowledge management reminded me that people needed to be connected to people. People needed to be connected to Knowledge, and people need to be connected to the resources that they need. Hence an organization’s knowledge management framework was very important for strategic impact.

And the last session was the closing session. The activity of the closing was very powerful, phenomenal and all-around engaging.
It forced me to think deeply about the actions I will take after the Conference. One of the activities helped me to connect to a leader that will be my accountability partner, going forward.

Everything in the conference happened so fast, but it made sense and my volunteering was awesome.
Because the sessions especially, my a-ha moments resonated so much with me, it was an awakening to some deeply seated ideas. Most importantly, they were subtle reminders that taking action is important and valid.

Indeed, there is no better way to international development than the world thinking in a direction of sustainable development through building an individual and organizational foundation, creating channels and connecting people for greater measurable impact.

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