Recap of the Global Volunteering Leadership Summit

By George Thomson, Co-Director, Networks and Convenings

The Global Volunteering Leadership Summit, just completed in Abu Dhabi, has been an amazing success. The development of the new COVID-19 variant required a serious risk assessment, and the joint decision to proceed by the Emirates Foundation and IAVE was rewarded in a major way by the safety of all, and outcomes that have energised us for years to come.

A massive thank you to our hosts and to the Arab Nations for their wonderful generosity of hospitality, insights and wisdom. We learned an enormous amount from their volunteer development, including their response to COVID-19 alongside the IAVE’s global research.

A spirit of friendship and dedicated teamwork was strongly generated at the summit. The engagement of IAVE’s Board Directors, Global Network of Volunteering Leadership (GNVL) leaders, Emiratis, and event organizers delivered an exceptionally positive experience for all. The event allowed us to strengthen our bond and create lasting relationships we can continue to develop and nurture. The summit also encouraged us to adapt a “can do” mentality against the volunteering leadership challenges ahead.

The event also allowed us to build new bridges, connecting with new networks and cultures. We had the privilege to celebrate International Volunteer Day at the Dubai Expo alongside high-level officials from the United Arab Emirates and the United Nations.

The Summit proved to be an excellent opportunity to bring to the GNVL to life. The illustrations below help represent the positive platform created for the coming year… and of course, a return to the World Volunteer Conference in Abu Dhabi, to be hosted by the Emirates Foundation in October 2022.