Cleanup World Conference, Bursa, Turkey

Cleanup World Conference, Bursa, Turkey

On the road to Istanbul, sounds like something straight out of a Bob Hope, and Bing Crosby movie.  I know, only us baby boomers, and older generation might recall these glorious movie ventures, unless of course you happen to catch them on the Turner classic movie channel.

 

Just a few weeks after tragedy struck in the heart of Turkey, and despite the trepidation of friends and family, I embarked on by Let’s Do It! journey to attend the world Cleanup Conference in Bursa Turkey.

 

Close to 10 hours by plane, and multiple buses and ferry, I arrived at the conference destination.

 

Over the course of the next 12 hours, some 100+ participants from x countries gathered for three days of networking, brainstorming and bonding.

 

Unlike myself, most had already either been at the helm of such a campaign in their respective countries, served in some kind of capacity, as coordinator, IT specialist, or volunteer, or as the support organ of all the world cleanups.

 

The event beginning with opening remarks from our host country coordinators and local Bursa city representatives, and then one after another with the rainmakers from Estonia, and the visionary, Rainer Nolvak, whose dream to clean up his country of Estonia, grew to a global movement.

 

The focus of this years CleanWorld Conference, to announce the Let’s Do It! World Cleanup 2018, and map out the challenges that face us all in challenging the countries of the world, and engaging 380,000,000 volunteers around the global in a single day cleanup, as well as creating a longterm sustainability plan.

 

Over the course of two days, I had the opportunities to hear from my new colleagues about Finances and Partnerships, a role that I will play here in the U.S., and how they went about engaging corporations, local municipalities over the years, and hear extraordinary success stories.

 

In addition, we took the Let’s Do It! movement to heart, in our social media workshop, where we took a hard look at ourselves as a group.  Literally hundreds of paper cups were scattered inside our building, on tables throughout as well as outside.  Then we tweeted out the campaign to our group, to remind us that it starts with us, if we don’t do it, who else will.

 

There were other workshops about mapping waste, defining a leader, and conducting a one-day cleanup.

 

We also had various team exercises to help us verbalize both the goals we hope to articulate and promote through the World Cleanup campaign, but also the scary side, the fears that prevent us from attaining these goals.  My young colleague, less than half my age, said Krista, you are supposed to be afraid of this scary thing we are trying to accomplish, because it is so huge.

 

The goal this year is to identify leaders in each country who will build the teams that will lead us forward in this effort.  In years to come, (2017), to map the actual waste to be cleaned up, and then in (2018), the massive world cleanup on Sept. 8th, along with the plan for creating a clean world.

 

I invite you to join me in this journey.  Let’s Do It!

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