This is a guest post from the 2014 Global Volunteer and Engagement Skillshare by Aswini Sivaraman.

Greenpeace is trying to become a people-power organization. Us volunteer coordinators are building that people power.

Thus started the final day of what had been an educational and eye-opening week. Following 4 days of networking, interacting and attending some great sessions on volunteer communities, the gathering on the last day was filled with mixed emotions – sadness at parting, excitement at taking home and applying the newly acquired knowledge.

blog friday 2Speaking of people power, Friday was the day of holding sessions the community democratically had voted for the previous day. Between Greenspeaking, local groups, Greenwire and GP in the movements, the first session of the day covered wide ground. For me especially, our follow-up meeting for Greenwire especially was useful, because it touched a lot of topics we had been unable to discuss on Greenwire Monday earlier in the week. It was a great way to introduce concerns, both of new and launched NROs, talk about challenges and problems we faced, and the future of Greenwire and online communities. Seeing that Greenwire aims to connect volunteers all over the world someday, it was crucial to talk about the role Greenwire would play in the days to come.

The second set of sessions was again a mixed bag and included topics from the popular Yes Lab, ladder of engagement, volunteer tracking and measuring and more. Many of the sessions were continuations of previously held workshops or reloaded sessions that were repeats of what had been conducted earlier in the week. The fact that we were leaving in a couple of hours didn’t deter the community – ideas and questions still flowed fast and freely.

No matter what lessons we take back home with us (and there are plenty!), I think we can all agree on one thing – people power is essential to move mountains, and us volunteer coordinators especially enjoy the pride of making it happen. With great power there is great responsibility, but then, with great responsibility comes great power!

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