Reflecting on May’s SVP Global Summit in Vancouver, British Columbia, local SVP Partner Amy Maranowicz describes the experience this way: “The conference was an incredible time release of knowledge, insight and reflection. All told, the sessions offered were really about networking, and organizing and mobilizing networks.”
Maranowicz says what was most interesting to her was realizing “the strength of change that comes from the power of the node. That is, the linkages created among nonprofits – Boulder County nonprofits, in particular – and what we’re doing, or what we need to do more of, to build closer ties.”
“For me, the Summit made clear that we need to continue to deepen and leverage our Partners’ experience, building on their connections and areas of knowledge, and providing space for our Boulder County nonprofits to learn from each other,” she adds.
For Maranowicz, another key takeaway from the Summit was discovering the power of storytelling. “Stories help create a learning environment,” she says. “When communities share stories and case studies about their experiences – what works, what doesn’t – it’s an effective way to build awareness, connections and networks.”
Other conference sessions of interest to Maranowicz were focused on issues of equity and ideas of power. “Instead of ‘giving’ power to underrepresented communities, what’s truly meaningful is sharing power and supporting power,” she explains. “It’s a lot more provocative and productive to think in terms of ‘unlocking’ power instead of empowerment – the notion of any person or group ‘giving’ power to another.
“Of course, that means understanding the barriers to sharing power, and overcoming them as we design our workplace cultures, our programs and our initiatives. For example, when we think about desired outcomes along the trajectory of a nonprofit organization, we have to include the recipients of the programs and services provided. We have to intentionally engage the people with the needs we aim to address, thereby sharing power with our constituents toward social change.
“For me, this is an opportunity for us at SVP – engaging our community’s constituencies. I, for one, know I can do better.”
Related, Maranowicz notes another Summit takeaway: “Whether you’re trying to address homelessness, affordable housing or other community inequities, it’s the long-term partnerships – and really engaging with the individuals on the frontlines – that will overcome the habitual barriers that have been institutionalized for so long.”
She concludes, “In talking about equity at the conference – consciously exploring how we, as individuals and as a community, are creating or limiting equity – it was great to confirm that SVP Boulder County is on the right track, even as we have a lot of work to do.”
Photo L-R: Amy Maranowicz, Claire Clurman, Barbara Truan