Women Who Get Shit Done. Yep I said it so it is true. An un-conference for 120 women just outside of Wellington. An Un-conference you say. What-with-the-what?
The powers that be (and there’s plenty of them around in female form) took it upon themselves to create a weekend away for women who actually get the shit completely done. You know not just a bit, not just some talking about it but actually get some stuff down and then go off and do it. I proceeded to apply for said un-conference (not really knowing what one was yet) as I can get some cereal in a bowl, pour milk on it and eat it and so that was my offering. But I also had lots of ideas that I wanted to share with the women of New Zealand. So I sent my application off and twisted my fingers into a ‘please pick me’.
Heading off into the wilds of Wellington one weekend in June I had absolutely now idea what was about to happen. Would our moons ‘align’ (why do men ask me that?) and we’d spend the rest of the weekend all in synch? Would I learn some of the magical insights into how women are actually getting their shit done? Would I find my soulmate?
An un-conference was a new concept for me as, like many, having sat through one laborious conference after another I was unaware there could be a completely new and dynamic way of working and unearthing information. A timetable of sessions were put infront of us and then left up to us to write down a session we wanted to lead or have input into. Scrabbling for bright pink post-its, I wrote down some ideas around how difficult it is for some of us to say no and whacked it up on the board. Ten minutes later we had a complete set of sessions covering 2 days. A random and interesting selection (and yes I did say “what the hell” at one point when ‘someone stole my kidney’ session looked me in the face) of sessions were there for the choosing. Walk up to the board in the morning, scan what was on, choose one session and head to the right room. Easy. Don’t feel like the session you’re in is doing it for you, leave and join another. No judgement, no worries.
What unfolded was a weekend of new, inspiring ideas about what is happening in this amazing country of ours. Projects I never new existed, companies doing some unbelievable stuff, women charging forward in areas I hadn’t been thought of. Friendships formed, connections and collaborations made. A huge amount of trust, a large dollop of safety, a heart wrenching amount of laughter and some cake to boot and I was sold.
A safe, non judgemental arena for your thoughts, ideas and sometimes (in my case) being completely stuck in what I’m doing next, all were up for debate. I couldn’t fault it. It was the most inspiring thing I’ve been part of in a long time. I’ve been bored I can tell you. Bored in this social media arena that I love with all my heart but nothing speaks volumes to me until I stepped into the void with these women. It didn’t matter if you were someone breaking the atom or talking about your book club. You were in, you were smiled at, you were made to feel welcome.
If you’re thinking about your next move (and come on ladies, we’re all doing that) this is a wonderful place to do it. To talk it through, dance it out (we watched Beyonce’s ‘Lemonade’….spoiler: watch it now), make a poem, lip-synching it all the way. Just do it. Do something. And don’t forget, the women who get shit done got your back.