At the BMW Foundation Global Leaders Forum in Beijing, China, Joel Bashevkin, Executive Director of Taproot Foundation Bay Area, shares some of his experiences.
As you may know, the BMW Foundation is investing in partners who share common goals and where the partnership strengthens both organizations. Taproot Foundation was the first to create this relationship and is an example for others. Many of the leaders here are very keen to understand how we are working together to bring pro bono global, which is well represented by Global Pro Bono Fellows from countries including Costa Rica, New Zealand, China, and India.
Before the forum started, Joel spent the day with the entire Huizeren Volunteer Center and Pro Bono Lab France. It was just two years ago that representatives of both organizations were working and learning from our San Francisco offices, as they had just started out on their pro bono journeys. On Thursday, September 19th, these organizations shared all that they have accomplished thus far, what lies ahead, and where they are coming up against challenges. Innovation is contagious, and there are a number of ideas to come away with for Taproot Foundation to explore. In fact, participants of the forum who attended the 2012 Global Pro Bono Summit in New York, said that it provided a huge lift in their strategy and program development. Armin Pialek of BMW Foundation, Aaron Hurst, and Taproot Foundation will explore how to best continue these goals with our next Global Pro Bono Summit in February in San Francisco.
With the Mid-Autumn Festival, Moon Day, just passing, Joel and the other partners were celebrating. One of the stories in China is that for people separated by great distance, they can all look up at the same moon and feel that it brings them all closer together. Knowing that our work has made such a difference in the U.S. and in many countries circling the globe, as people look up at the moon, we can all feel connected to our large, global pro bono family.