You know when friends tell you how amazing something is but you don’t really get it until you experience it? Well that is what happened to me with HIVE, I had so many people tell me what a world changing experience it was, but I didn’t have a full realisation of what they meant.
That was until I attended myself in June this year, now I am one of those people telling everyone how much they need to go too!
120 people attended the HIVE Global Leaders Program, held at Harvard Medical School. Hailing from 49 different countries I was blown away with the diversity.
What really inspired me though was the stories of the attendees, these stories which we heard on the first day were so powerful and I will carry them with me always. Like the participant who was so passionate about the cause he was there to support that he risked his life to get there by travelling to Baghdad to apply for his visa. It was a dangerous decision but it made the difference between him being able to attend or missing out like some of his fellow Iraqis.
HIVE is for purpose driven leaders and change makers who are making an impact in the world.
And whilst everyone there fits that description, their area of impact is incredibly diverse and unique. As I sat listening to all the different causes people felt inspired to contribute to, it occurred to me that there is someone in the world passionate about everything from the seemingly bland to the alarming. And it is the fact that as a community of passionate individuals there is someone that is working towards every little aspect of making our world a better place that really enables us to make a big impact.
Hearing the personal stories of what and why they wanted to make a change was so much more real than reading it on social media or in a newspaper. You could see the emotions and the tangibility of what they are striving to do on a very real level every day. We were all there playing our part in our own, unique way.
The program itself was structured into a couple of different sections. We began with discussing the global challenges we are facing as humanity, like how 11.6% of the world population do not have access to clean water. That’s 760 million people! (Source: UNICEF)
The second part of the program was something I think is so vital yet probably the thing we most neglect. Caring for ourselves in this journey and how that impacts on our ability to living ON purpose. I got tremendous benefit from the Designing Your Life workshop, where we got to do a deep dive into the core of who we are.
In addition to this deep dive, one of the most impactful things I experienced during HIVE was the needs & gives wall. We were asked to put out there what we really needed to help us live in our purpose and what we were willing to give to others to help in their journey.
It was amazing to see how it didn’t matter what your skill set is, there was always someone who could do with your help. This exercise helped to create our own supportive community and allow us to take huge strides towards achieving our goals.
For me, my network has grown far beyond what I would have expected and this is opening lots of doors that will assist me in my ventures to help women become financially empowered. I was also able to connect with like-minded individuals like a teacher from America. She is committed to running financial literacy and entrepreneurship classes in THE poorest congressional district in America, you can imagine that we had a lot to talk about!
As the program came to an end we focussed on the future and set some goals for going forward. And when I say goals, I mean everything from a 90 day plan, 1 year, 10 years as well as life goals! There is a lot of power in putting down those goals as well as writing down what you want your legacy to be.
At the completion of HIVE we didn’t just go back to our daily lives and forget about everything, there is an accountability system to continue to support us. I can tell you that continuing the connections not just of my cohort but of the 1,500 global alums has really ensured I’m able to continue the momentum of the program.
Coming back to Australia, I have been able to really solidify my purpose of equipping women (and the greater community) with skills to enable them to be financially literate, independent and economically sustainable and move forward in a very proactive way. It is powerful to know that I can concentrate on my part in bettering our world and that there is a web of others each playing their own part. Together we are striving towards a world that is going to benefit not only us but many generations after us.