The Seeds of Change

These amazing students who will not be silenced, gathered in cities throughout the world this past weekend, sharing their collective voices demanding change. I watched as the granddaughter of Martin Luther King, Jr. stood on the Washington D.C. platform and told us of her dream: “enough is enough.” Her words not only echoed through the crowd, but they were streamed, re-tweeted, passed along to others via mobile video. Being able to expand this message beyond the space in which it was shared is what makes events turn into movements.

“Creating something innovative that actually changes people’s lives requires courage, empathy, curiosity, and community,” said Erica Dhawan during an interview with Forbes. “It involves rethinking how we use our networks and employ our resources and data in the smartest way possible.”

Erica, who will be leading one of our Generation W breakout sessions, believes in the power of connectional intelligence, which is the ability to combine knowledge, ambition, and human capital, forging connections on a global scale to create unprecedented value and meaning. She has witnessed this happen firsthand through people like Martha Payne, a schoolgirl in Scotland who launched a website that sparked conversation and created big changes in school meal programs across the UK. “You don’t have to be rich or successful or a business person to use connectional intelligence,” Erica has said. “All you need is the ability to make smart, interesting connections and build off of them. “

Learning how to use connectional intelligence to unleash the breakthrough competitive advantage you need to succeed is what Erica will be discussing during her breakout session. Attendees will experience an in-person assessment of their connectional intelligence and build an action plan to achieve goals and get big things done in their own little corners of the world, becoming the change they would like to see in this world.

During Generation W, we will be sharing even more ideas that may become the seeds of change. Joining Erica will be other change makers like Basma Alawee, an advocate for Florida refugees; JeffriAnne Wilder, an expert on race, gender, and diversity issues; Mark Bustos, the founder of the #BeAwesomeToSomebody movement; Kelly Wallace, CNN correspondent & editor-at-large focusing on family, career, and work/life balance issues; and human rights activist Richard Lapchick. Click here to see all the amazing people who will be sharing with us their wisdom and inspiration.

I have always believed in the power of connections—it is one of the key foundations of Generation W and is why the energy that fills the room during our signature event continues to grow and move long after attendees, speakers and partners have left the University of North Florida campus.

Looking forward to connecting with you in April—be sure to click here for updated conference information and grab your tickets.