On April of each year, The American Express holds the Leadership Academy Global Alumni Summit. This summit is an opportunity for all the participants of the academies to come together in New York, network, hold discussions and share ideas about the different social issues they are working on.
The summit is always designed to create an environment to share knowledge and get the chance to listen to great speakers. This year’s summit’s theme was about leadership in the times of transition, a very timely discussion that can be tied to our everyday life. We had the chance to hear this topic discussed by amazing speakers such as Angela Fernandez, Esq. Executive Director at the Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights & Dan Parks, Managing Editor and Chronicle of Philanthropy.
Everyone in the room had stepped out of their very busy schedule and committed to contributing to these two days including Tim McClimon, President of the American Express Foundation. Many sessions were prepared and moderated by the delegates themselves. One of the sessions that had a great impact on me was a session by Monica Kang, Founder & CEO of InnovatorsBox. A part of the discussion in that session was around the amount of time we all spend worrying about a challenge in comparison to the short moments we spend celebrating our success overcoming that challenge. I loved the idea of dedicating intentional effort to pat ourselves and each other on the back for more than a brief moment when we figure our way out of a problem.
The value of the community that the summit brings together is very important. It is truly a chance for all of us to stop for a minute and a safe space where we can be vulnerable in a room filled with a lot of people who will give you that pat on the back, hug, and advice or help that you need after you share your concerns.
I am very hopeful that this community of change makers will continue to grow because such groups are the foundation of strong healthy societies. This is why the American Express invests in creating the space and environment for such cooperation, innovation and ideas to spark and be transformed into social impact. I am grateful that my service as an Atlas Corps fellow was with The American Express. Throughout my fellowship, I had the opportunity to grow ten times faster as a social change leader.