For the last decade, living surrounded by Oregon's lush beauty and vibrant communities, I have had a dream of helping Portland seize the mantle of a truly globally-connected city. This is a town of travelers; international academic leaders; nonprofits and foundations serving humanity on distant shores; and corporations who value social justice and sustainable global growth. From this home-base, Half Sky Journeys has been an instrument for engaging women leaders across borders through meaningful travel. From Cambodia to Rwanda and beyond, we've witnessed the beginnings of life-changing relationships between women leaders and supportive advocates.
I have been seeking ways to accelerate global awareness for social change, and I'm thrilled to announce a new role that brings momentum to this dream. In addition to connecting women leaders through Half Sky Journeys, I will now proudly serve the World Affairs Council of Oregon as Marketing & Communications Director. With an energetic staff and a new forward-thinking President (Derrick Olsen), it's an exciting time to help this time-honored organization reach a wider and more diverse audience, both locally and globally. In a period of such deep ideological divisions in our own country, I know that as we look to the women, men, and youth leaders of the world—widening the context in which we see ourselves—the seeds of understanding can grow. World Affairs Council is devoted to providing this kind of connection for Oregonians and our visitors. http://worldoregon.org/
Next week (alongside thousands of leaders from over 150 countries), I travel to the Women Deliver conference in Copenhagen, Denmark http://wd2016.org —the world's largest conference on the health, rights, and wellbeing of girls and women in the last decade. I can't wait to meet these global change-makers and hear their stories, and provide an opportunity for others to learn about how their work and relationships could expand through a customized Half Sky Journey. I will also be seeking fascinating individuals to participate in the International Speaker Series of World Affairs Council (which has hosted global heroes like Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Jane Goodall, Queen Noor of Jordan, the Dalai Lama! and so many more).
My life continues to be an incredible journey surrounded by inspiring people. I welcome your feedback, and would love to hear the stories of what happens to be making YOUR life more wonderful at the moment, whatever that may be.
With enormous gratitude,
Ila R. Asplund, Founder & CEO
Half Sky Journeys LLC
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