It was incredible for me to experience the annual GlobalWA Goalmakers conference in December 2022 and to witness in one day the best of collective intentions for Humanity and the emotional waves of the challenges faced by the practitioners in the field.

On the one hand, I felt at home, as my whole life, I have had a global perspective and have longed to contribute my talents and abilities to the betterment of humanity. In college, I studied international law and was oriented toward a career in international relations. Born under a dictatorship in Romania and witnessing up close both the trauma of authoritarianism also experienced by my family and the systemic change that followed, I committed to championing and partnering with those who take active responsibility for our world. Peace is my highest value.

On the other hand, I felt like an outsider looking in because I do not work in social impact or sustainable development currently. At least not directly. In my work as a Leadership and Team Coach, in the day-to-day, I work with leaders, whether individual contributors or team managers, to help them develop their leadership and the personal capacity to foster better relationships and cultivate healthy team cultures in complex environments.  At my best, I enable them to improve on the results and impact they want to create.

With this different lens, I was very encouraged by what I heard at the conference and…I wanted to dive deeper!

The theme of co-creation and partnerships peaked my attention, and while many highlighted the importance of co-creating with the beneficiaries of their programs and the behaviors necessary in the act of co-creating (inviting people to the table, better listening, ceding control…), with my well-trained ear, I was seeking to hear something related to the mindset for co-creation.

And then, I heard Ms. Katie Young from Starbucks say…(paraphrasing): we need to co-create with the beneficiaries of the social impact programs, and for that to happen, we need to pay attention to our mindset and ego that can get in the way…

Read the full article about co-creation and partnership by Maria Gerea at Global Washington.