University Church I had the good fortune of returning to Oxford this spring for the Forum. And what a great week it was! First off, the weather was beautiful. Not necessarily warm, but not cold and it didn’t rain all week! That’s not only a perk for all of us walking to and from events in Oxford and being able to stay dry, but it also meant I saved my running shoes from the typically heavy mud in Port Meadow.
This year’s forum was incredible for several reasons. It wasn’t as emotionally moving and motivating as last year’s was for me, but it was enlightening, exciting, empowering and fun! I loved it! The Awards Ceremony is always my favorite component of the week. This year, in addition to hearing from four new Awardees, Bono received an award. His interview with Jeff on stage was fantastic. Michael Franti was the musical performance for the Award Ceremony and no one could have fit in better. He was so approachable, friendly and exuded the foundation’s values and mission. In fact, on Tuesday night of the Forum he joined our staff and Awardees at dinner at New College and I was lucky enough to be seated near him and his wife. They are really good people. They participated in the forum all week long and even joined our after party on Friday night. They Karaoked with us and Michael even put on a mini private concert. He was the best! I especially appreciate his sincerity and genuine style. I’m definitely a fan.
University Park From a personal perspective I was able to connect with colleagues in ways that I haven’t had the opportunity to in the past. There were serendipitous encounters and discovery of new places (Boat Shed and University Park), dining together at some of our favorite restaurants and even some LATE night dancing after the after party. I felt like after 10 years at the foundation I finally “arrived”.
It was another amazing week in Oxford. I’m grateful for the chance I had to attend and feel close to the work that we do. It’s inspiring and refueling. I love my job!