Hong Kong. Sunday, January 25th , 2015.
“How are we supposed to go back home to our regular lives now that we’ve been here?” It is a question I heard probably five or six times during the Global Voices Citizen Media Summit, specially asked among the first time attendees.
I am in awe, completely astonished about how powerful our organisation is and how strong can our friendship bonds get, once we’ve finally met people just like us, volunteer hearts with common goals, a shared passion for telling a story and fighting for noble causes such as freedom of expression and freedom of information.
For me the most important lesson is that we need to work more closely to our fellow GV’ers, especially those in the core team, who have shown us they are beyond qualified gifted professionals, from whom we have a great deal of things to learn. Knowledge is the biggest advantage we can get personally, from our involvement in this unique community.
We heard moving stories about different “corners” of the world, as well as deeply personal insights from colleagues we had never met but somehow opened up their souls to the rest of the team… I can’t elaborate on this matter because some of them said amazing but personal (private) things, rest assured, each remark helped make our bonds and our commitment to the project even stronger.
My favourite moment however was the first day of public meetings, when some of our teammates read a statement in which we demand the immediate release of jailed bloggers around the world. May our words we reach out to those who have illegally imprisoned anyone for exercising freedom of speech.
So, “how are we supposed to just go back” now that we’ve left our teammates behind? I can’t tell for sure but for me it has to do with dealing with this post-summit depression professionally, using all the lessons we learned at the summit to keep working to make the difference. We are nothing if not professionals and we ought to keep proving it to all our readers and all of those whose voice needs to be magnified.
To my fellow GV’ers who might be reading these words, please let me say: it’s been a privilege, you are beautiful, each and every one of you, and I can’t wait to work closely with you to make the blogosphere and the Internet a better place. Hopefully we’ll meet again soon.
I want to specially thank Krzysztof for the work we did on my last night in the Philippines (if anyone is interested they can read all about it here).
Lena, my dear Sayuri, Marianna, Marisa, you girls are great and I already miss you!
Ellery: you’re one of GV’s biggest assets and feel touched by your talent and skills. Let’s keep up the good work!