Path Less Followed By

This weekend World Moms Blog editors met in person and on Skype to work on our organization’s strategic plan.  Senior Editor, Elizabeth Atalay of Documama, hosted Kyla P’an of Growing Muses and myself in Rhode Island, USA, where we had a packed agenda full of brainstorming, organizing, meetings and calls with our international counterparts around the world.

Before we had even put the pedal to the metal and got started, we received news from India that our site had been featured in the Times of India on Mother’s Day and topped the list of online resources for mothers. That was the perfect morning rally we needed going into a full day of strategic planing and global meetings!

First, Kudos to Senior Editor, Kyla P’an, who made us peg down a weekend for the planning session. Kyla joined World Moms Blog as an editor in 2011 when I went on “maternity leave” with my, now, 3-year old.  Like Senior Editors, Eva Fannon, Kirsten Doyle and Purnima Ramakrishnan, she’s been editing weekly with us ever since. To have such a rock solid, committed team behind our site has been critical for our survival…and our sanity. 🙂

We started off our retreat on Friday night with a bonding dinner at an amazing vegetarian restaurant in Providence Rhode Island, The Grange, and toasted to our well-planned agenda for the next day!

In the morning, we got an exciting, motivational phone call in to fellow editor, Nicole Melancon in Minnesota, USA.  And then, Elizabeth and her beautiful golden lab, led us on a hike in the woods. After our blood was flowing, we headed back (ok, rushed to make our 10 o’clock!) to Elizabeth’s house for the first of our planned meetings and vision boarding.

World Moms Skype!

Coming out of the weekend with clear objectives seemed to unleash a whole new upper level of excitement we have for running this organization.  And being able to share our ideas with the editing team and getting all the contributors involved in our planning felt very democratic, a reminder of how much of a global movement World Moms Blog is.

In the late afternoon, we took a break in between calls for an inspiring walk near the Atlantic and then out for an early dinner. Then back to work on our evening calls with our editors in Asia, who had already begun their Sunday morning.  The energy that all of the women around the world have brought to this strategic planning effort has humbled me. If things couldn’t get even more global, Kyla, Elizabeth and I ended the evening by watching “Baraka”, a wordless documentary on culture around the world from the 1990s.

Before we parted ways on Sunday morning, we glued the final pieces on our vision board and had an in-person meeting with Meg Wirth from Maternova, a company that helps get the products mothers need to increase maternal health worldwide. Online, we know Meg well from her support of our 8 month #Moms4MDGs campaign, and it was great to be able to sit down with her over a cup of coffee and hear more about her life, her passion and how Maternova came to be. Did you know they’ve made an impact in the lives of over 115,000 mothers in over 35 countries? (Interview with Meg to come!)

World Moms Editor Retreat

Alas, I boarded my train back to New Jersey with our vision board in tow. Now that we’ve set our goals and objectives, we certainly have our work cut out for us.  And, without revealing any specific, amazing plans until they’re ready to be unveiled to the world, there will be some exciting changes and projects in the pipelines, so do keep up to date with World Moms Blog!

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This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Founder, Jennifer Burden of New Jersey, USA. 

Photo credits to World Moms Blog. 

Jennifer Burden

Jennifer Burden is the Founder and CEO of World Moms Network, an award winning website on global motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. World Moms Network writes from over 30 countries, has over 70 contributors and was listed by Forbes as one of the “Best 100 Websites for Women”, named a “must read” by The New York Times, and was recommended by The Times of India. She was also invited to Uganda to view UNICEF’s family health programs with Shot@Life and was previously named a “Global Influencer Fellow” and “Social Media Fellow” by the UN Foundation. Jennifer was invited to the White House twice, including as a nominated "Changemaker" for the State of the World Women Summit. She also participated in the One Campaign’s first AYA Summit on the topic of women and girl empowerment and organized and spoke on an international panel at the World Bank in Washington, DC on the importance of a universal education for all girls. Her writing has been featured by Baby Center, Huffington Post, ONE.org, the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life, and The Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists.” She is currently a candidate in Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs in the Executive Masters of Public Affairs program, where she hopes to further her study of global policies affecting women and girls. Jennifer can be found on Twitter @JenniferBurden.

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