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Mar 15, 2021
Posted Under: President's letter

Onward. That was my word intention for 2021. We are doing it. You and me. We are finding our strength day-by-day. We are finding our grace and our gratitude to support ourselves and each other. Very little of it is easy. But day-by-day – you and me – it is happening.

We see so much every day to be thankful for and to draw strength from, even as we know we are not yet through the storm. As I testified recently on the need for an emergency declaration bridge to carry us safely to a new normal, I reflected that this time is like being prescribed a seven-day course of penicillin but stopping on day three because we feel better. There is no science to support this act and the dangers that it poses are real. So we must remember that we are not yet at day seven. We must continue onward and find ways to fill our energy stores.

Refilling our energy cup will look different for all of us, and what I hope it includes for you is a few extra doses of inspiration and connection. Lucky for all of us that experience is within our reach. Right now we are pulling together the single largest gathering of nonprofit board and staff in our state for a one-of-a-kind experience we call the Leadership Summit. Our conference is so big and so fun and so much of so many things we only do it every two years, and we were not going to let a global pandemic stop us now.

Whether you are new or a seasoned summit attendee, get ready for a highly interactive, deeply engaging, and immediately applicable experience. Summits are the one time we bring some of the best thought leaders to you and ask them to explore, engage, and connect with us.

The summit is a deep dive into a theme. We wrestle with it, play with it, share it, and put it to work. This year the theme is Leadership Agility: Moving Forward with Strength. 2020 was a year when our eyes and minds opened widely. We saw things we never expected to see and adapted our work in ways we never conceived possible. Putting it in VUCA terms – a concept we explored in previous summits – we met Volatility with Vision, Uncertainty with Understanding, Complexity with Clarity, and Ambiguity with Agility. The new VUCA reality, along with our insights on how to move forward from 2020 with strength, is the compass for our journey. We’re going to explore what that means for us as leaders, for our missions, and for our communities. We will share ideas for digging more deeply into adaptive leadership, creating inclusive workplaces, getting support and fighting burnout, finding new ways to collaborate, and reframing how we talk about our work.

If you are a little skeptical of another day of video conferencing, let me assure you that this is more than just a virtual meeting. For those who have been to a summit, I am sure what you likely remember most is the energy you get from being around your peers. Maybe you even remember a thought or an idea that shifted your whole way of thinking about your work or your life. Without hyperbole, this is the kind of feedback we get from these summits. For that reason, we’ll have lots of ways to connect: coffee chats, interactive sessions, conversation sparks, affinity hangouts, meditation space, dance moves, and so much more.

We also have an amazing lineup of facilitators to travel with you in your summit journey. Notice I didn’t say “keynote speakers” because this is not a place for talking heads. We are still securing the lineup but check out who is joining us so far.

Worried you can’t afford it during these challenging times? Living our commitment to keep equity in the center of our decisions, we are dropping the barrier of partnership to access scholarships and offering whole team pricing so that everyone in your organization can attend. Additionally, we dropped the overall price from our in-person event. Don’t let money be a barrier to your full participation.

Of course, none of this would be possible without all our funding partners, especially Rasmuson Foundation and Mat-Su Health Foundation who are our signature sponsors of this three-day connection. Special thanks to them and to all of our summit investors including: Serve Alaska, GCI, Providence Health Services, Alaska Children’s Trust, and Denali Daniels and Associates.

Will you join us? Will you refill your cup with inspiration and connection? Sign up today.

With gratitude,