Amplify: An Appreciation
October 1, 2018, aka: the Monday after Dreamforce. Moving forward is so. very. hard. Post-Dreamforce, making progress feels like trudging through mud: sticky; slow; an endless pile of emails to respond to and tasks to complete. It is “catching up” after a full work week of face time. And that doesn’t even account for the weeks of pre-DF prep. DANG! The buildup is intense, and the big week doesn’t disappoint.
October 5, 2018: …..and, now what? How do we build on the momentum? Especially now that I am back at my desk, with a seemingly bottomless to-do list. Dreamforce follow-up was on that list, and then U.S. politics delivered a painful blow to us all….a sharp, calculated prick (pun intended) in the happy balloon of post-Dreamforce optimism. The door slammed on the wishful thinking I was holding on to.
October 6, 2018: I spent Saturday at home, at the lake. Although I am an extrovert, and feed off of interacting with others, I still have a threshold. Dreamforce pushes me over that threshold, and finding some quiet time to recover is critical to moving forward in our intense world of tech. Saturday morning delivered a crisp fall stillness; a pause in the action; an opportunity to reflect and call-in my own strength. In a distracting, tumultuous world, we must rebuild—then draw on—the courage that lies within. And, when our inner reserve has run dry, we cannot hesitate to reach out to our community. Everyone is courageous, and yet we all experience times when our courage, our spirit, our reserve dries out. Especially now, especially when we are being bombarded with oppressive news, it is hard to tend to ourselves. We need community more than ever. And this brings me back to Dreamforce.
Like any good microcosm for life, we all show up with our own agenda, and all each have our own unique experience. For me, in addition to taking care of business, my Dreamforce agenda is to connect with community. And although this might seem exceedingly obvious, ironically, it is not. Like any conference, it is the norm to charge through Dreamforce with your agenda in your right hand and your cell phone in your left, exceeding your business goals, but not feeding your spirit—building your network, but not sowing your community. I digress.
October 8, 2018. After a week of chipping away at the must-do list, and a weekend of solitude, I finally read Megan Himan’s post about Debriefing Dreamforce. Phew! Thank you, Megan, for guiding my process! I immediately (j/k: a few hours later) wrote a stream of consciousness about Dreamforce for three minutes. Several themes jumped out as I re-read my notes. Several of these themes fueled this post:
Follow-up (mild panic sets in). I need to follow-up!!
Celebrate: What we have achieved and our connections with one another.
October 9, 2018: It is time to follow-up with the Amplify Community. Although I couldn’t express this immediately following our breakfast, sessions—and happy hour during Dreamforce week—I am so very, very appreciative of this group of people. WE ARE A COMMUNITY. The thread that weaves us together is the desire to empower underrepresented voices. To rise, and to help rise. And rise we did at Dreamforce! Our event was a beautiful opportunity to give voice to five brave souls who shared their stories. It was also an opportunity to meet and enjoy other members of our community.
And here is where the gratitude comes in. The Amplify@Dreamforce breakfast would not have been possible without ALL of the amazing volunteers who selflessly planned content, posted to social media, booked event space, decorated, and handled a countless number of tasks in order to make the event wildly successful. Our volunteer committee included:
Julia Cannon, Tami Lau, Alexandra Iyer, Lindsey Adams, Aimee Cubbage, Jessica Oh, Vered Meir, Aparna Kothary, Kathy Nugent-Arnold, Makeda Keegan, Alisha Patman, Dar Veverka, Melissa Hill Dees, Irene Nexica, and Munira Majmundar
And, behind the scenes, steadily taking care of all the details that help to bind us together, is the Amplify Board of Directors. Several Board members recently stepped off the Board this year, and they deserve our full hearted thanks. This includes:
Now and forever: thank you, thank you, thank you all for your time and your energy! It has been said, by many people, that the Amplify@Dreamforce event was the best part of Dreamforce. We know that amplifying voices and building community IS meaningful. We can only gain from shining light on our stories and treating the human spirit with care. Highlighting the need for compassion and kindness—even in and arguably *especially* in the midst of a huge, larger than life conference—IS in fact refreshing and appreciated. Let’s continue to be the change we want to see in this world.