How Can Humentum Conferences Help You Grow Professionally in 2018?

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January 25, 2018

How Can Humentum Conferences Help You Grow Professionally in 2018?

By Kim Kucinskas

Manager, Program Management

It’s a new year and we have a lot of exciting things in store for 2018. We are responding to our growing global community with a new regional approach to conferences – starting with our first ever conference in East Africa, Capacity for Humanity. This event is part of a broader initiative to create conferences that meet you where you are on the topics you need. Read on for more about how you can use our conferences to tailor your professional development plan for the year.

Did you say conferences? Does that mean there will be more than one?

It does! For many years InsideNGO and LINGOs each provided their communities with a meeting place in the form of an annual conference that sought to be many things to many people trainer, convener, social hub. In 2018, the opportunity to put on a uniquely Humentum conference has spurred our thinking about what a conference canand shouldbe. So, we are adding events to be more accessible and more relevant to our growing global membership.

I am working on my professional development plan for 2018.  Should I be adding a conference or two to that plan?

These days it feels like there are more and more conference opportunities available, all making big promises. Conferences can seem like an efficient way to develop professionallygo to enough over the course of a year and you should know everything you need to know to succeed, right? That is sometimes the case, but not always. You should make sure that the event is relevant to the work that you do and have a plan for what you want to get out of it.

We also attend a lot of conferences, so we are focused on making ours work for you. We are striving to make sure that every Humentum conference in 2018 meets three needs. You will:

  • LEARN: Learn best practices and skills that can be applied at the individual, team, and organizational level, all with the goal of achieving excellence in operations.
  • CONNECT: Mobilize a network of colleagues in the sector, specific regions, and individual practice areas to build a support network that can be used throughout the year to improve performance and grow professionally.
  • CONTRIBUTE: Be a part of something larger by working together with the Humentum membership to move the needle on issues that matter to the sector.

So what is changing?

First, what isn’t changing? The annual conference in Washington, DC is here to stay! Hold the date for July 25-27, 2018!

And, we are changing it up to align with your conference goals. Each year, we hear from you that it’s equally important to meet colleagues like yourself while also meeting and working across operational areas. We agree! So, this year’s conference theme of the Power of Operational Excellence will allow us to come together and share perspectives and expertise in order to create something stronger and more efficient to meet mission. We are planning sessions that will address the key skills we need to operate in a changing sector; the people, talent and learning systems our organizations need to thrive; the ideas and models we need for financial and programmatic sustainability and innovation; and the tools for gathering evidence that the changes we are making are working. Each of our conferences will use this cross-operational model while still ensuring you can easily connect and learn from your operational peers. I’m really hoping to generate some interesting conversations with you about this approach.

What’s next?

We are also going global with our conferences! With Humentum, we now have a larger and growing network of operations professionals from around the world—working with INGOs as well as with national NGOs and community organizations. We are more able to deliver our proven model of bringing people together to learn and to share to regional conferences each year!

Starting in 2018, we will hold two additional regional conferences that seek to create a space for convening and sharing. Each will be a ruthlessly relevant event with local presenters and content. What are the hot topics, challenges, and solutions happening in our sector right now in the many different regions of the world?

First, we are piloting a regional conference in Arusha, Tanzania February 7-8 that will focus specifically on learning and capacity building. Capacity for Humanity will provide a space for capacity builders and thought leaders in East Africa to come together to teach and learn from each other. We will also facilitate an in-depth conversation on local capacity development needs, and share practical best practices about what others are doing that works.

We are also going to be offering a second regional conference in the fall of 2018more to come soon! All I can say is that this particular conference will be modeled after the Washington, DC Annual Conference in terms of format, and will offer a very localized take on the power of operational excellence. I couldn’t be more excited for it.

So what else do I need to know to put together my professional development plan?

Conferences can be a useful part to any professional development plan as long as that learning plan is designed to meet your specific goals. To ensure that true learning takes place, you will need to choose which event(s) are right for you, both in terms of what you learn and how it is delivered. We will strive to offer you events where you can learn, connect, and contribute to wider conversations in the sector. We will coach our presenters so that our sessions are as engaging, practical and relevant as possible.

More importantly, whether you are attending our conferences or others in the sector, go into any event with a plan. Do you want to walk away with general knowledge about a topic? A solution to a specific challenge? New or stronger relationships with colleagues that you can draw upon throughout the year? Go in with a plan, choose the right events, and you will leave as a stronger professional. 

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