This is a guest post from the 2014 Global Volunteer and Engagement Skillshare by Sanchita Mahajan.

I was 3 days into the Global Volunteer Skillshare and so far, I had learnt so much about what engagement means to each one of us, and the vision to develop global engagement in the coming years. We wanted to be instrumental in ensuring that we can channel people power, into winning campaigns AND saving our planet.

people powered blog pictureWhich brings me to a fundamental question: what is people power? Yes, a billion acts of courage will change the planet, but let’s not forget the power of the collective conscience—a determined group of people working towards a common purpose.

Aptly, I did not want to miss on the session on how to move from a traditional volunteer local group structure to a networking model. We also discussed the various tools available to us for nurturing these groups and facilitating the growth of such a network. These conversations led us to analyze how the volunteer coordination skills and experience from different parts of the world can also be shared with each other.

There was also a “Market Place” session during the day.  The parallel sessions at the market place allowed the show case of some great examples from various countries on specific engagement projects – be it school visits in Switzerland, survey on grass-roots organizing, NVDA trainings to empower everyone, media training for volunteers or my own session on the Indian NRO organizing 100+ events for national Day of Action for Junglistan campaign. It was a great way to have structured, yet informal conversations around the same, and kept up the interest and enthusiasm levels through its variety.

All said and done, I think the highlight of the long day was the No-Talent show. We take our work seriously, but fun can be a serious business too!

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