Guest blog by conference attendee Lisa Kleissner

Repinted from Toniic Members Site, www.toniic.com

Every spring, a growing group of impact faithful land at the Grand Hotel in Amsterdam to learn from, inspire and challenge each other at the PYMWYMIC Conference. And every year the on-ramp gets shorter and the engagement and knowledge deepens. Margaret and Frank van Beuningen do a masterful job of curating along with their growing, innovative staff.

This year, Margaret attempted what she called “the big hairy audacious goal” of running an interactive plenary. With 250 participants, she not only made it work, but it worked really well.

Coming up the grand staircase, each participant received a strip of dots to place along continuums of statements glued on foam core board – things like “I will divest my portfolio of fossil fuel”. Once you entered the large hall, and took your seat, three speakers tackled the subject of getting to 100% impact. I was honored to be asked to share our portfolio work along with the 100% IMPACT Network. Triodos shared their impact investment portfolio which is also across asset class. And ABN Amro talked about not only building a sustainability fund but realizing that the company had to integrate this philosophy into the core of their business.

Margaret cleverly shared the results of the “dot” exercise in between speakers and it was interesting to see where the crowd was in their thinking on sustainability, impact and action.

My hope is that she is bold enough next year to do this again. Conferences that “talk to” participants are very yesterday. Conferences that take the initiative to figure out how to turn the audience into the panel, and leverage crowd sourced thinking in real time and bring it to the stage – that is what I call an impactful conference! Bravo Margaret and Frank!