Derek Johnson wasn’t sure what to expect when he arrived at the Hollyhock Retreat Centre for his first Web of Change conference. “I was out of my comfort zone. I had recently shifted from policy work to a campaign-focused role.” The Executive Director of Global Zero was attending the event based on the glowing recommendations of a couple of colleagues.
Derek met Lauren Zingarelli on the fourth day of the conference. Lauren was also a first-timer at Web of Change, and they bonded over their shared impressions of the event. “I wasn’t working at the time, so it was a little weird to go to Web of Change without an organization under my name on the name tag,” said Lauren. She came to the conference in part to figure out her next career step after leaving her digital communications position at an environmental organization.
Their conversation continued after they left the event. "Our public campaign was really ramping up,” Derek reported, “but for a number of reasons we were pretty short handed when it came to campaign strategy and engagement. I didn’t actively go to Web of Change with the intention of recruiting somebody, but when I got there, I realized it was full of exceptionally-talented people.”
A few weeks later, Lauren became Communications Manager at Global Zero. “She's been essential to a number of big projects right from her first day. She’s been deeply involved in our recent storytelling work and our site redesign. More importantly, she’s expanded our thinking about how we work at a movement level."
Both Lauren and Derek returned for a second Web of Change in 2013. Lauren credits the conference for her new role. "I definitely wouldn't have made the connection with Global Zero if not for Web of Change."