by Mary Summers
While it may sound like a complex, new dance step, it’s actually our unstoppable story of accomplishment.
Sitting in Career Lab’s Winter 2020 session, I had little idea just how pivotal this training session would be. Having met twice as a group, we’d already grown into a community. Then it hit. An unimagined, unwelcomed global pandemic was about to disrupt our course, our community and our connectivity. Faced with cancellation or continuation, our Career Lab leaders did what the WBGFN community does best. They improvised and innovated. In the space of a week, we pivoted to a completely virtual course delivery and graduated the first hybrid (in-person/online) Career Lab on March 25, 2020. And this was just the beginning.
Twelve months, well over 65 unique events, and nearly 1700 participants later, WBGFN has zoomed past technical limits, time zones, paradigm shifts, logistics and traditional practices to meet the needs of its members – wherever they are – with more than one virtual community programming event per week! And, in the process of navigating through unprecedented global disruption, WBGFN has broken new ground for its members by offering tangible, worldwide connection and support. Our community has invested volunteer and staff talents to identify, plan and implement thriving, sustainable, global community programming – within its evolving virtual media space.
Highlights quickly show the depth and breadth of WBGFN’s virtual impact:
- 37 Worldwide Hangout events providing Country-focus conversations & special topics
- Two full sessions of the new, globally accessible Virtual Career Lab
- Two time-zone offerings of first-ever virtual Children’s Holiday Party
- Seamless transition to virtual Welcoming Sessions, modified to support Families in delayed relocation status
- 4 Expert Parent Empowerment Labs tailored to key pandemic parenting issues facing members
- Wildly popular Creative Kitchen, WBGFN’s first 100% virtually established Interest Group
The dramatic shift to online offerings has been so impactful, that WBGFN’s recently updated strategic plan recognizes virtual events as key bridges for serving our members into the future.
From disruption to innovation, WBGFN volunteers, staff and members have pivoted together to meet unprecedented needs, by developing a more relevant, more diverse and more connected WBGFN community than thought possible just twelve months ago. This is what WBGFN is all about – programs, support and connectivity for our community, by our community.
If pivoting is like a complex dance step, then WBGFN is our most talented dance partner, staying in step with its members – without skipping a beat.