Beginning in November, TechWomen 2020-2021 Emerging Leaders transitioned from Professional Interest Groups to action plan teams, working within their country cohorts to brainstorm and develop an action plan that addresses a socioeconomic need in their communities. From creating clean cookstoves powered by sustainable fuel to a mental health network for women facing domestic violence, past Emerging Leader country teams have harnessed the power of technology, innovation and community to create impactful projects that aim to spark change in their communities and beyond. This year, supported by a virtual team of Impact Coaches and a Peer Advisor — a TechWomen fellow who provides in-country, real-time support — Emerging Leader teams spent the month defining their issue statements and collaborating to create a concise action plan statement for their proposed projects.
After a month of the action planning process, it was time for Emerging Leaders, Peer Advisors and Impact Coaches to convene for the 2020 TechWomen Regional Summits to share their progress, workshop their ideas and get inspired by women leaders in the San Francisco Bay Area. At the three regional summits — for country teams in the Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and Central and South Asia — Emerging Leaders had the opportunity to share out their team’s issue statement as well as their draft solution. Country teams met with Impact Coaches and Peer Advisors in three rotations in order to further refine their plans and create projects that spark maximum impact.
After, in their three breakout sessions, Emerging Leaders met with Impact Coaches and Peer Advisors from other country teams to present their issue statements and draft solutions. There, mentors and Peer Advisors gave feedback and provided additional resources, supporting the Emerging Leaders in optimizing their action plans. In their breakout room, team Morocco presented their project to the Impact Coaches and Peer Advisor from Libya, explaining that girls’ boarding homes in rural Morocco face severe sanitation issuesmission is to address the water sanitation challenges while educating girls about waste management; already, they had established a relationship with a home for girls ages 12-18. The Impact Coaches and Peer Advisor followed up with questions, asking the Emerging Leaders how they define success and encouraging them to remain rooted in their mission as the action planning process develops.
Emerging Leaders from the Palestinian Territories presented their initiative that addresses inappropriate media content to the mentors from Lebanon, speaking about harmful media and its effect on children’s mental health. By providing a community-based platform for parents, the team hopes to empower parents and raise awareness on the pervasive issue. Through prompting the Emerging Leaders to work through their barriers to success, the Impact Coaches and Peer Advisor helped the team further iterate, organize and develop their initiative.
Central and South Asia
At the conclusion of each summit, Emerging Leaders reconvened in the main room to share their takeaways moving forward. After gaining an international perspective, accessing new resources and problem-solving their challenges, Emerging Leaders were walking away with increased clarity and energy to further develop their action plan projects.
Next up? Pitching! After submitting their finalized solution and social impact statement — and after a month-long break — Emerging Leaders will reconvene to learn the essential elements of delivering an impactful pitch. And, although the spring program will continue in a virtual setting, the knowledge-sharing and commitment to community on display at the Regional Summits served as a reminder of how impact and change can be created, even if we are not physically together.
Be sure to follow along on Twitter as Emerging Leaders continue their TechWomen journey!