Every year my oldest sister, mom, and I go to the Philadelphia Women’s Conference held at the Convention Center. It is a day of personal investment, of consuming knowledge for knowledge sake, with the challenge to transform some of that knowledge into action. This year, I’m sharing my shorthand notes on two speakers – Annie Clark and Adam Grant – hopefully providing a snapshot of their full talk and not just the highlights of my favorite part. However before doing so, it’s important to realize this place is buzzing with over 8,000 women hungry for wisdom. In the main room, rows and rows of round tables are lined to face the stage that slightly juts out into the crowd with two suspended TVs on either side. In the morning, we had front row seats to hear the below talks.
Entrance song: Fight Song by Rachel Plattan
Personal Connection: I had no previous knowledge of Annie Clark, the documentary “The Hunting Ground” or her story of getting raped as a freshman at the University of North Carolina and going on to file a Title IX lawsuit against UNC.
2015 Video: Real Time with Bill Maher
- Annie opens by thanking the crowd for giving her the vocabulary to even begin this conversation. Directly tipping her hat to Anita Hill, another keynote speaker.
- She notes that many authorities treat rape as if it’s a football game holding the girl responsible as the quarterback of her own team.
- She asks the crowd if we are aware of Title IX – a law we all need to know about it, especially as women.
- Annie states it’s a radical act to respond to someone who tells you they’ve been sexually assaulted with “I believe you.”
- She closes insisting the responsibility of holding universities accountable for breaking federal laws shouldn’t be placed on the backs of 17, 18 and 19 year old girls.
Personal Reaction: I cried at the vulnerability, bravery and sincerity of Annie Clark. I also felt pride swelling inside of me at her zest and passion to stand up and keep fight back on the behalf of so many.
Entrance Song: Happy by Pharrell Williams
Personal Connection: Adam is a graduate of Wharton, an author, professor and public speaker who also works closely with Reb Rebele – the second reader on my MLA capstone. I’ve learned a lot about Adam’s work through conversations with Reb and through reading his second book, Originals. This was the first time I saw him speak.
2014 Video: Givers, Takers and Matchers
- Adam identifies three types of work styles: Givers, Takers and Matchers.
- Takers are people who always try to get the most out of a person without feeling inclined to give back.
- Givers are people who enjoy helping others and often do so with no strings attached.
- Matchers are people who try to keep the balance, also known as the karma police.
- Identifies 3 lessons to take away from successful givers:
- Redefine your giving; how can add high value to other people’s lives at a low personal cost? (example provided: Adam Rifkin’s 5 minute favors.) Giving should not exhaust you but rather energize you.
- Get the right people on your bus and keep the wrong people off your bus.
- Ask for help. Perhaps even form a reciprocity circle, a group where every person puts forth a request they couldn’t achieve on their own. Remember one bad apple spoils a bunch but one good egg doesn’t make a dozen.
Personal Reactions: He nailed it.
A Warrior Princess