So this week, what could we all be talking about but… ‘Global Forum’??
Before us fellows even arrived in the office on our first day in July, our names were already up on the wall assigned to Global Forum teams. So after 15 weeks of talk talk talk – it was good to see it all in action.
As fellows, we got to listen to nearly all of the content on stage, and follow the journey of the forum through from ‘Reality Check’, to ‘Abolitionists of 2021’. For those of you who were not watching the ‘live stream’, here are a couple of my favourite quotes from the conference:
“Strategies change minds. Stories change hearts.”
To end modern day slavery, there needs to be tangible change – we need to create solutions to the economic, political and social problems which make people vulnerable to trafficking, and to provide futures for those that have been rescued. We need to engage both people’s minds, as well as their hearts, in the movement for those individuals to be most effective.
“There is a difference between what you are able to do, and what you are born to do”
This reminds me of the phrase, ‘don’t confuse activity with productivity’. I do believe that there is a place for everyone in the abolitionist movement, but the roles vary greatly. Just because we are busy working away does not automatically mean that we are being effective to the movement. Equally, you may contribute comparatively little time, but your influence could have great impact. Just because you are able or available to do something does not mean that it is necessarily what you were born to do.
“Talent is fairly evenly distributed throughout the world. The realisation of that potential is grossly unevenly distributed.”
This reinforced in me the fact that people are so similar the world over. The constant reminder in the media that there is a divide between ‘developing’ and ‘developed’ nations, I think, subtly promotes an ‘us’ and ‘them’ mentality. But beneath the surface, there is the same talent that catapulted developed nations, when economic etc. opportunities allowed for that potential to be realised. The presentations by the NFS social enterprise team demonstrated how the groundwork can be done to help people realise and utilise their talents in areas of economic deprivation – developing communities, and not allowing the business of human trafficking to thrive.
In closing, I will leave you with a couple of fun Global Forum memories:
1) Making a ‘quick trip’ with Jill to the hotel to pick up some t-shirts, and running out of gas a mere 1k from the venue. We could pretty much see both the venue and the hotel, but had to recruit a further 3 people and 2 vehicles to coordinate a rescue – ridiculous.
2) Running with Jill between the hotel and the venue (why do all these stories involve Jill?!) A brisk morning jog led out with Jill’s marching drills – priceless.
3) Stocking up on snacks with Christy at Safeway. I was trying to get to grips with the hot food scenario and whether they charged by size of take-out box, or by lb. I asked Christy how it worked and her more than tired reply was, “Oh, um, I think you ask them and then they give it to you.” – Genius.