This week I had the opportunity to attend the 2019 World Changing Women’s Summit in Scott’s Valley, California. This event is put on by Conscious Company Media, and since Goods Unite Us is still very much a start-up in the social impact space, Conscious Company Media gave us a hefty discount (scholarship) to attend, which was cool! Any event with a focus on social impact, making money, and cultivating a great work culture is an event we want to be a part of! Here’s my download:
The conference was held at 1440 Multiversity, a location that is absolutely stunning. Nestled in among 75 acres of redwood trees, the campus (formerly a bible college) is meticulously designed and maintained. Fire pits flanked with adirondack chairs lit up the grounds every morning and every night; the cafeteria serves food that’s local, healthy and sourced within 50 miles; and the trails are perfect for those of us lacking astute directional skills because they all go in a circle so you literally cannot get lost. It’s also reasonably priced – they offer “pods” to sleep in, single rooms with shared bathrooms, and larger suites (mostly reserved for speakers, I think). I’m told that 1440 stands for the number of minutes per day, each minute is a chance for us to connect with what truly matters. This was all very zen, but I was ready to learn about scaling, making money and overcoming business obstacles.
The panelists and speakers were impressive; you can view the full list here. A few of the most notable ones (for me personally) included Eileen Fisher (of Eileen Fisher obviously), Kim Jordan of New Belgium Brewery, Komal Ahmad of Copia, and Molly Hayward of Cora. Meghan French Dunbar, a founder and the current CEO of Conscious Company Media did an incredible job asking the right questions to tease out the good, bad and ugly of each woman’s story. Jocelyn Macdougall facilitated the event like a true lady-boss. Rajkumari Neogy, who formerly worked at Facebook and now coaches executives in the tech space, is pretty much a genius when it comes to an inclusive workplace culture (and I’m lucky to have a follow up call with her in a week or so).
Something Odd – Kate Spade
One of the event sponsors was Kate Spade. A woman who works for the company got up and talked with us about Kate Spade’s on Purpose initiative, a program that provides 200 plus women in Rwanda with jobs, living wages, access to healthcare and reproductive health, as well as leadership education. We watched this short film, which is well done and inspiring. The program is obviously impressive, but there was one thought I couldn’t seem to shake no matter how much we talked about making an impact, taking care of ourselves and helping others. What about Kate Spade herself? The woman who created the brand, and who, sadly, committed suicide this past June. I couldn’t help but feel that they, someone, should have mentioned her – as a founder, a woman, and a mother.
Overall though, it was a great conference that definitely focused on businesses doing more good – something the world seems to desperately need nowadays. There were plenty of opportunities for connecting, and Conscious Media Company did a great job of creating a space where everyone felt welcome and relevant. I even had some good bathroom conversations (gotta love the adult version of sleepaway camp). My favorite parts were the panel discussions that got into the details of specific issues in business – scaling, human resources and leadership. My least favorite parts were the “get in touch with your emotion” parts, but I guess we can all use a little spirituality sometimes. Plus, I escaped the Polar Vortex we’re having in the Midwest, and ended up stuck in Denver (which doesn’t totally suck).