Monthly Archives: July 2014

Activate Talks Team!

© Christine Nesbitt Hills

Innovation, innovation, innovation - the buzz word at a recent J Marshall event rang true for everyone. The “Innovative Approaches to Advocate for Child Rights,” an installment of the UNICEF Activate Talks series, was truly inspiring and aimed to encourage youth creativity. The event took place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.

Panelists included Saba Ismail (Executive Director of Aware Girls), Erik Martin (University of Maryland student and game designer), Sofia Garcia-Garcia (facilitator of the “children working group” within the Major Group of Children and Youth), and Chernor Bah (former Sierra Leone refugee, youth advocate, and girl champion). They were each given five minutes to present their organizations and passions for the rights of the world’s youngest generations in an elevator style pitch. Moderator Femi Oke used her spunky personality to keep the session moving at an exhilarating pace. After the panelists had given their presentations, Femi facilitated a question and answer session from the live audience as well as from the online Twitter audience. The in-house and Twitter audiences helped spread the panelists’ messages around the world and further accentuated the talk’s focus on using innovation to find new ways to solve old problems.

United Nations Conference RoomDuring the Q&A portion of the event, panelists were asked where and how innovation develops. Sofia described innovation as a way to make things that don’t work, work. She stressed the importance of “unlearn[ing] the way we do things.” Erik proposed that innovation comes from “remixing” existing ideas and embracing failure as a learning tool. His last words to the audience were, “Fail a lot…failure is how you get somewhere.” Now that is advice everyone can appreciate! Keep following on twitter @UNICEF and @UNICEFTalk.

Exhibition Hall An exhibition hall, arena seating 5000 people, 128 Workshops, speakers Bill McKibben and Hillary Clinton, film screenings, live music and dance, book signings, and almost 7000 attendees - it was a huge conference!

Every four years, the United Methodist Women hold a General Assembly. For 2014's conference, I was asked to join the staff as Production Manager for their meeting that took place at the Kentucky International Convention Center - KICC, in Louisville, Kentucky.

Arena Stage

The theme for 2014 was “Women Make it Happen,” and some of the focal points of their workshops were environmental justice and maternal health. Bill McKibben, founder of the global climate change movement, gave a riveting speech recognizing the importance of climate conditions. The key-note speaker was former First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton! This was not the first time Clinton has spoken to the UMW members. You can watch her speech in its entirety on YouTube.

Production GalsThe assembly was committed to empowering women to become leaders and promoters of social responsibility. As an all women team here at J Marshall Events, we were excited to have contributed to the success of this assembly!

For more info about the 2014 Assembly, check this link!