Building the Beloved Community: Making Web of Change 2015

Written by Sabrina Hersi Issa, Board Member and 2015 Event Chair

Sabrina Hersi Issa, 2015 Event Chair

Sabrina Hersi Issa, 2015 Event Chair

To those I haven't met yet, I'm Sabrina, a proud Web of Change board member and this year's Event Chair for Web of Change at the Esalen Institute in California in October. My intention is to help steward a Web of Change that elevates and embeds this community's excellence throughout the entire WOC experience. My further intention is to amplify dopeness.

The first step in doing so is reporting back to the wider WOC world on the truly excellent 45+ person Leadership Team meeting we held in San Francisco in March with a HUGE added bonus of Web of Changers joining in from two satellite locations, six different cities and two countries via audio/video conference simulcast! The amount of work we got underway in one day was awe-inspiring. Lucky me (lucky you? lucky us?), it's only just the beginning! 

How We Do It

In the past, Web of Change was organized in a pretty closed-off fashion. When I first came to WOC it was a mystery to me how it was put together. That has shifted over the years and now the process has transformed to one of open co-creation. Instead of a few volunteers lifting the load, there's a small army. In previous years, the squad of supporters was called Advisors (and before that Fellows, and before that Anchors). Today, to reflect the accessible, actionable, community stewards who are putting their fingerprints all over the Web of Change experience, we're calling this group of dope volunteers the Leadership Team.

Photo: Eugene Chan. Leadership Team in action.

Photo: Eugene Chan. Leadership Team in action.

Watching the Leadership Team work has been observing generosity in action. They're volunteering to help Web of Change Local; they're pitching in on outreach and recruitment; and they're re-imagining some of the ways we can take risks with the agenda. Not every Leadership Team member will even make it to Web of Change this year, but they're still pouring heart and soul into stewarding excellence and serving this community. And for that we are so lucky! 

What's Next?

It's about to go down. We are off to the races! Applications for Web of Change 2015 will open next week, on April 15th. 

We're committed, just like last year, to make Web of Change accessible for all and to ensure that no one who's accepted is unable to attend for financial reasons. For an organization  powered by a beloved Managing Director and a squad of volunteers who accept dance-breaks in lieu of pay, this is an aggressive goal but one we're not shying away from. Inclusivity and access are essential to the WOC magic and we won't comprise that. To support our critical sponsorship efforts, please reach out to myself or Managing Director, Julie Szabo. Several in the community have already raised their hands to sponsor Web of Change (thank you!) but we're still far from our financial goal and will be working hard until it's met. 

We are going to climb the big mountain (together), and the view will be fabulous! 


Special Shout-out for those who joined us for the Leadership Team meeting, either in person or remotely: Joe Baker (in spirit!), Darren Barefoot, Katie Bethell, Matt Browner-Hamlin, Nicole Cairns, Eugene Chan, Leda Dederich, Shauna Dillavou, Tom Elko, Ted Fickes, Matt Fitzgerald, Jaime-Alexis Fowler, Jen Frazier, Emily Jacobi, Amanda Johnson, Matt Kelley, Theodora Lamb, Nicole Lampe, Austen Levihn-Coon, Harmony Leanna Eichsteadt, Nick Magel, Firuzeh Mahmoudi, Jeff Mann, Alia McKee, Joanna Miles, Jed Miller, Harold Moore, JheniferPabillano, Dan Pollock, Mariana Ruiz, Gabriela Schneider, Jessica Shearer, Ben Simon, Jenn Sturm, Julie Szabo, Maya Trabin, Ghazal Vaghedi, Jonathan Warnow, Rachel Weidinger.