Social change is the subject of a unique and ambitious new conference that the American Society of Association Executives and The Center for Association Leadership is debuting later this month.
The Global Summit on Social Responsibility will be held simultaneously at about 20 locations worldwide from April 30 through May 2 with the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md., serving as the headquarters or host site. Participants around the world, connected via the Internet to the host site, will brainstorm ways to improve their associations, their sectors, and society. The overarching goals, ASAE and The Center officials say, is to come up with ideas and strategies on how associations can be agents of change in the world.
About 400 association leaders are expected to convene at the host site, Gaylord National, just outside of Washington, D.C. Meetings going on at the same time in 13 other U.S cities and six international destinations will feed into the host site. Each of the satellite destinations is expecting to attract between 50 and 75 attendees. Also, individuals can participate from their home or office via their computers.
David Cooperrider, director of the Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, will facilitate the meeting employing a methodology he developed called appreciative inquiry Essentially, appreciative inquiry is a concept that maximizes the resources of an organization by enabling and encouraging large groups of people to work together to establish objectives and a course of action.
Accordingly, most of the meeting will be group dialogue and roundtable discussions, but there will be two keynote presenters at the host site. One is economist Jeffrey Sachs, PhD., a Columbia University professor who serves as special adviser to the United Nations. Sachs believes that the strategic involvement of associations, whose memberships surpass 300 million people worldwide, could effectively resolve tough global problems. Sachs will participate in a panel with Frances Hesselbein, chair of the Board of Governors for the Leader to Leader Institute in Washington, D.C., and founding president of The Drucker Foundation.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for summit attendees to interact with arguably the top economic adviser of our generation and an association leadership guru who understands our sector’s idiosyncrasies and huge potential perfectly,” said Susan Sarfati, CAE, president and CEO of The Center for Association Leadership and executive vice president of ASAE in a press release.
Among the likely summit outcomes are preliminary guiding principles around which organizations can build a socially responsible strategy that advances their mission and improves the quality of life for citizens around the globe.
To register online or to learn more about the summit and the initiative, visit www.asaecenter.org/globalsummitsr.