#19 Be. Alumni - The beginning of the next beginning

By Annie Inwood and Sharon Davies

May and June saw the Be. Leadership Alumni meet formally for the first time, with participants from 2011, 2012 and 2013 coming together in Auckland and then Wellington. Seventeen Be. Leaders met to reconnect, share achievements and begin to answer the question, "Where to next?"

Annie Inwood and Sharon (Shaz) Davies from 2013 attended both sessions. Annie shares her reflections on the Auckland session and Shaz fills us in on Wellington.

Auckland session 10 May 2014

Our theme for the very first Be. Alumni session held in Auckland was one of discovery and renewal! The renewal was of the deep bonds with our fellow alumni from the three years the Be. Leadership programme has been running — not only re-engaging with those whanau from our own year but also starting the new bonding with the alumni from the other years.

Minnie took us through the origins of Be., how it has grown and the big aspirations for the organisation. As a social change movement, a lot has happened in a short space of time and Be. is looking to its Be. Alumni to take a step forward into its own future.

Our afternoon was one of discovery, discussing where we each personally were going and what we had to offer the Be. Accessible movement. These are big questions and there were a lot of ideas and challenges to ponder. We were all in agreement that the indisputable opportunity is for us to create our own legacy.

Anything is possible and that is what we will be working on in the coming months as we formulate what we want Be. Alumni to be in the social change arena. A wonderful voyage of discovery is unfolding. Stay tuned!

Wellington session 7 June 2014

Fellow 2013 Alumni Annie and I agreed we had so much fun at the Auckland session in May we decided to attend the Wellington session a month later. Some might have wondered why we would want to do it all again so soon, but we were up for anything! We grabbed a cheap fare, packed an overnight bag and before we knew it, we were on a plane to Wellington. It was great to re-connect with four others from our year and meet a couple from the 2012 year.

The morning started with a quick get together with the 2014 leaders, most of whom we had previously met, the infamous Be. Leadership Team and John Allen, Be. Institute's Chairperson. Following this, we were treated to a rendition of this year’s Be. waiata.

We then moved into our first session with John. He gave us an update on Be. Accessible including how far they've come, where Be. is now and how far will it go. He challenged us to think about where we all are in this picture. This was followed by a Q&A session and a reflection session from his workshop.

The afternoon was in two parts; firstly looking at where we are going from a personal and professional prospective followed by an Alumni perspective. We were asked to think about what is it we have to offer the Be. Movement. We were seriously challenged to think about what each of us will commit to as part of the Alumni. We talked a lot about the importance of commitment and for anything to stay alive and relative we need to be part of that process and do our bit towards it.

Both sessions, albeit with similar conversations, were a great chance to re-connect. We also managed to have a bit of down time with the wider group afterwards. Annie and I treated ourselves to an overnight stay, flying back to Auckland the following morning, full of enthusiasm and ready for the next round, whenever that is. I guess that's up to us all, individually and collectively!