If we spent yesterday talking about community, today’s #FIGT17NL was a tangible demonstration of how that community works.
It started off with a treat for me – two of my favorite bloggers sharing their experiences of building their online tribe through their blogs. And is typical of both Mariam Ottimoiore and Terry Anne Wilson, they generously provided a wealth of resources and support that will enable others far beyond today’s workshop.
While I loved the practical information in this presentation, it also challenged me to get serious about my blogging again and to think more deeply about its voice and purpose. No easy answers yet but at least now, thanks to Mariam and Terry Anne, I have a new ‘tribe’ to talk to about these questions. I look forward to having a group of fellow bloggers with whome to share ideas and struggles
The theme continued into a fantastic Ignite session – for those of you who aren’t familiar with the Ignite concept, its 6 minutes 40 seconds with 20 slides changing every 20 seconds! It was an hour of great storytelling, and sharing of experiences which were uplifting, sobering, jubilant and inspirational. All of the presenters added another dimension to my understanding of expat life.
This theme continued into the afternoon with an inspirational presentation by the team behind www.whatexpatscando.com, a project inspired by a presentation at last year’s conference. Their presentation was a powerful reminder of the ‘treasures’ that expats have to offer the world, particularly our empathetic approach to others, born from our experience of moving between cultures.
Finally, my day finished with a dynamic and utterly practical Kitchen Table session from Stephanie Ward, equipping us to help build the strategic alliances expat entrepreneurs, non-profits and others might need to grow. It was another great example of specialist expertise being generously shared and of a group pooling resources and ideas – a recurrent theme throughout this conference.
For me, today was all about community in action, demonstrating that, whatever the challenges, we are stronger when we stand together.
The challenge I’m taking home is working out how I best contribute to building this community…..