The NAC sponsored two 40 U 40 Honorees to take part in this year’s ICAN Women’s Leadership Conference at the Century Link in Omaha. Over 2,000 women attended this event designed to IGNITE our LEGACY. Dr. Tererai Trent, who partners with Oprah to build schools in Zimbabwe, recounted being married off at age 11, having 5 children before 18, and realizing her dream to attend school (girls were not allowed an education). She earned her GED, BS, MS, and PhD degrees while studying in the U.S. To find out more about the conference check out www.icanglobal.net in one week to see speaker videos and highlights.
Beth Beam’s Comments:
I attended two breakout sessions at the ICAN Conference. The first one was “Rejuvenating Your Inner Leader” with Dawn Gelderloos and Kathy Quinn. They did a nice job of reminding us as leaders that we need to take time out for ourselves. They discussed ways to relax (such as Yoga) as well as different ways you can reprogram your mind to let go of the “Fight or Flight” response that leads us all to be more stressed. Making routines and prioritizing your relaxation was a major theme. The other breakout session I attended was “Leading from a Mentoring Perspective” by Karen Baldwin and Laura Roccaforte. This session focused on the work of Margaret Wheatley and the use of Leadership Circles to increase communication that levels the playing field and values the contributions of all members. The session was interactive and the questions really pushed people to get to know strangers in the room…which I think was a great experience. As a nurse educator, I had a chance to interact with women in business that I normally would not…and I realized that the challenges we face are often very similar. Overall, the conference was a great experience. Sometimes we need a kick to go from ordinary to extraordinary…and the stories shared during the conference definitely gave me fuel for my own dreams and plans for the next 20 years.
Tara Whitmire’s Comments:
I was fortunate enough to attend the 20th ICAN Women’s Leadership conference through the Nebraska Action Coalition. The opening session provided much inspiration and motivation to do whatever your dream is. The first break-out session I attended was on sleep and its importance to the workplace. More emphasis is being placed on getting at least 7 hours of sleep per night. Less sleep leads to decreased productivity, illness and overall decreased well-being. ICAN is partnering with the Harvard University Sleep program to promote an initiative about a good night’s sleep similar to the initiative to quit smoking. The second break-out session was entitled Igniting your Dreams. It was a panel of 4 entrepreneurial women who discussed their dreams and how they made them in to a reality. Very inspiring and showed if you put your mind to it, it can be accomplished.
The last general session was a very emotional one for me. It had several speakers who discussed the education they wished to receive and the obstacles they overcame to accomplish their goal. It made me very grateful for the education I have received and for the place I live. There are girls/women all over the world who very much want an education and the sacrifices and troubles they suffer are astonishing. Something ignited in me that there is more I can do to help these girls, whether it’s in my own city or a country across the world. I felt very motivated and thankful when I left the CenturyLinkCenter for what I do have and what I can do for others. I thank NAC for the opportunity to hear such powerful women who have changed their lives and the lives of so many others.