Key Information for Delegates

Imagine what you could accomplish if you:

  • Pulled above process, politics and the stresses of your daily routine
  • Surrounded yourself with the best and brightest
  • Got access to best practices, technology, innovations, and resources

What could you do? At the Opportunity Collaboration, it is our goal to help you answer this question.

The entire purpose of the Opportunity Collaboration is to connect you with new people and new ideas. Come prepared to share best practices, illuminate partnership opportunities or reveal a current passion or innovative idea. Engage your fellow Delegates with your mission.


Ways to Engage When You’re There


The Opportunity Collaboration is not only a sought-after annual gathering, but its Delegates, past and present, are an engaged, on-going community of high-powered leaders who are passionate about poverty alleviation. This community is defined by its culture of collaboration. The Guide program was designed to deepen the experience of new Delegates by fostering a more integrated participation across the Opportunity Collaboration, and therefore amplify new Delegates’ personal and professional outcomes, ensuring that every new Delegate arrives onsite aware of our unique culture, ready to listen, learn and succeed in their own agendas by asking fellow Delegates, “What can I do for you?”

Pre-event, Guide’s connect with new Delegates to understand their reasons for attending and discuss best practices for building relationships in the global Opportunity Collaboration network. Guides offer pre-event group conference calls to begin making connections and ensure all new Delegates arrive onsite with allies and resources. While working in Cancun, Guides will answer new Delegate’s questions and make productive introductions, as time permits given their simultaneous engagement as Delegates with their own important missions to accomplish.


Core Activity for All Delegates

The Colloquium for the Common Good is an essential aspect of the Opportunity Collaboration experience. In small groups, all Delegates participate in this core curriculum, creating a common experiential bond and shared set of learning.

The Colloquium is Opportunity Collaboration’s signature seminar on executive leadership, economic justice and the good society. The Colloquium addresses the principles that drive poverty alleviation and asks Delegates to think pragmatically about the nature of their leadership.

Click here for the 2016 Syllabus.


Conversations for Change are two-hour work sessions in which Delegates intensively describe missions, strategies and common challenges around a central question, policy issue or theme. Conversations for Change include a broad range of poverty-alleviation actors: investors, grant-makers, for-profit social enterprises and non-profits.

All participating Delegates are asked to contribute their specific institutional expertise, explain their mission or theory of social change and, most importantly, what problem they are confronting that attracted them to this Conversation session. Delegates reveal specific requirements needed to scale or improve their institutions. Delegates with resources (consultants, grant makers, investors, philanthropists, field experts and others) describe how they can help.

Delegates are asked to investigate, brainstorm and imagine solutions within individual policy sectors, between sectors and across sectors. Institutional boundaries are set aside. Delegates act with generosity of spirit and a maximum amount of institutional cooperation. Lectures, powerpoints, static presentations, speechifying, organizational egos, pitches and filibusters are prohibited.

Conversations for Change are scheduled for two-hour time periods following lunch each day. Delegates enroll on a first-come, first-seated basis.

To Submit Your Conversation for Change Proposal:

Conversations for Change are awarded to Delegates on a first-come, first-served basis. Interested Delegates should submit a proposal (title and a three to four sentence description) to the Opportunity Collaboration COO, Jorian Wilkins (, as soon as possible. Current topics and Delegate-Catalysts are posted on the Agenda.


Capacity-Building Clinics are Delegate-inspired and organized professional development sessions in which Delegates intensively coach each other. Concrete, pragmatic skills for institutions and organizational leadership are taught. Topics include, but are not limited to: media relations; sales and marketing strategies; fund raising and investor-donor relations; evaluating organizational and programmatic effectiveness; financial planning; business plan writing; other topics proposed by Delegates.

Clinics are scheduled for two-hour time periods from 3 to 5pm every day. Delegates enroll on a first-come, first-seated basis.

To Submit Your Capacity-Building Clinic Proposal:

Capacity-Building Clinics are awarded to Delegates on a first-come, first-served basis. Interested Delegates should submit a proposal (title and a three to four sentence description) to the Opportunity Collaboration COO, Jorian Wilkins (, as soon as possible. Current topics and Delegate-Catalysts are posted on the Agenda.


Cluster-Forks are Delegate-led mealtime discussions on a relevant topic of interest. Focused discussions cover a wide range of policy, geographic, organizational, entrepreneurial and poverty-related themes.

Cluster-Forks are scheduled for ninety minutes during lunch and dinner each day. Up to twelve people per conversational table are seated on a first-come, first-served basis. Specific topics and Delegate-leaders are posted on the Agenda at the corresponding lunch or dinner time.

To Submit Your Cluster-Fork Proposal:

Sixty-four Cluster-Fork tables are awarded to Delegates on a first-come, first-served basis. Interested Delegates should submit a proposal (title and a three to four sentence description) to the Opportunity Collaboration COO, Jorian Wilkins (, as soon as possible. Current topics and Delegate-Catalysts are posted on the Agenda.


Engage with leading media innovators and experts! Boehm Media Fellows seek to raise awareness, share knowledge, shift attitudes, diversify platforms, and build skills and capacity through shared participation at the Opportunity Collaboration and beyond. This year at Opportunity Collaboration, the Boehm Media Fellows are offering daily media resources on building and maximizing your Media & Communications Strategy, including:

  • Four capacity building clinics focused on building your storytelling skills, using social media, finding the story in your organization, and honing your pitch
  • Four Media labs to provide hands on support on building your communication plan, designing a media campaign, producing media, and distribution strategies
  • One cluster-forks on media literacy in the age of fake news
  • And three Ask Us Anything times for you to come ask your media questions

Details on 2017 Boehm Media resources will be in every Delegate’s mailbox upon arrival. Click here to learn more about each of the talented 2017 Boehm Media Fellows!


While Opportunity Collaboration intentionally brings together leaders from around the globe working on a diverse array of poverty solutions, crossing sectors, geographies and other working silos so Delegates can learn from each other’s successes and challenges – Delegates always want to meet fellow Delegates who share something in common. Hence, the Affinity Group Program exists so that those who share an affinity for a topic can get to know each other before, during, and potentially after the Opportunity Collaboration to ensure the greatest…dare we say…opportunity for collaboration around the shared topic/theme/geography. Chemistry in these cohorts can lead to connection at the Collaboration and ongoing support beyond. Email Topher Wilkins ~ ~ for the list of current Affinity Groups, as well as with additional common-interest suggestions.


Delegate Mailboxes

In the Communications Center, each Delegate has an individual mailbox. Delegates are encouraged to make active use of mailboxes for conveying messages and setting up private and group meetings, etc. Check the Communications Center daily for schedule changes, useful information and personal messages. Please do not use mailboxes to distribute organizational literature; instead, materials should be left in the Literature Library (see How To Showcase Your Mission below) located in the lobby of the Conference Center.

Delegate Directory

Delegates are provided an onsite Lookbook with Delegate photos, and a post-event Delegate Directory containing full contact information to facilitate communications and follow-up on connections made during the Opportunity Collaboration.


Opportunity Collaboration’s global network of leaders dedicated to solving poverty is over 1700 Delegates strong. Don’t wait to increase your impact – start working together now!

Connection Concierge Service: Confirmed 2017 and prior Delegates may request introductions to each other at any time that is mutually productive. Search the 2017 Delegate Roster for potential allies, and email CEO Topher Wilkins with your reason for requesting a personal introduction. Introductions are always made with Delegate’s advance permission.

Regional Receptions: Throughout the year, Delegates host private regional receptions for fellow Delegates and their colleagues to further exchange ideas and resources and introduce new high-impact leaders to our network. Email CEO Topher Wilkins if you’d like to host an Opportunity Collaboration reception in your city.

Social Media: join the continued discussion, give feedback, provide help, or just keep networking. You are invited to visit our Facebook page and participate any way (and as often) as you like.


Host a session

You can apply to host a Conversations for Change, Cluster-Fork and/or Capacity-Building Clinic session. Hosting opportunities are awarded to Delegates on a first-come, first-served basis. Interested Delegates should submit a proposal (title and a three to four sentence description) to the Opportunity Collaboration COO, Jorian Wilkins (, as soon as possible.

Submit a video for in-room news channel (Collaboration Network News)

Collaboration Network News (CNN) is the Opportunity Collaboration’s two on-site television channels. Both channels broadcast 24/7 via into each Delegate’s Leadership Village room during the Opportunity Collaboration, as well as in the theatre in the evenings. All Delegates are encouraged to include at least one video clip for each CNN channel. One CNN broadcasts a video montage of 2-5 minute educational videos introducing the unique work Opportunity Collaboration Delegates and their organizations are accomplishing to combat poverty. The second CNN channel features longer (up to 2 hour) documentary-style films by or about Delegates and their organizations, showcasing their work in richer detail.

To Submit Your Films: on or before August 31, 2017, Delegates should ideally send a H.264(.MOV) via a Drop Box link to Rebecca Anglin ( and Paul Lynch ( to ensure that we receive the best quality video.  We can also accept YouTube links, Vimeo links, etc.  For snail mail, addresses packages to Topher Wilkins at U.S. Postal Service Address: P.O. Box 757, Santa Cruz, California 95061, USA. FedEx / UPS / DHL Delivery Address: 850 Front Street #757, Santa Cruz, California 95061, USA.

Distribute printed materials via our literature library

Tables for Delegate organizational displays and literature are available everyday in the Conference Center. Delegates are encouraged to bring modest amounts of materials for distribution. Based on prior years experience, 25 copies of handouts are usually sufficient, as these materials are mainly for fellow Delegates to peruse on-site during the event.


Guidelines for Success


Don’t hold back. The best sessions and captivating private conversations will be about what is important to you and your work.

• As an agent of social change, what are your most significant institutional goals and challenges?

• What is your organization’s theory of change and how do you measure results?

• What is your current strategy or business plan for financial sustainability and/or accountable impact?

• What emerging and promising opportunities to reduce poverty do you see in the marketplace?

• What types of partners or expertise do you require or seek to achieve your objectives(s)?

• How are you currently realizing new opportunities for global connections and new alliances?

• Do you have a collaborative or hybrid social change model that other Delegates can replicate or join in partnership?

To continue productive conversations after the Opportunity Collaboration, all Delegates receive a complete Delegate Roster with full contact information. You don’t need to exchange or carry business cards.


We are a diverse group of change-makers from different countries with different racial, ethnic, cultural, religious, class, sexual, and gender backgrounds and orientations coming together to do what we can to make this world a better place for all.

We acknowledge working in a world with numerous divisions, and can’t pretend that all who come to this gathering are perceived as equal in social status in the world as it presently exists.

Absolutely all are welcome here.  But by welcoming all we don’t in any way wish to disavow or diminish the very real differences each of us embodies.

Like the potent, self-aware people we aim to be we intentionally foreground those differences. We name them clearly in order to recognize the very real historical power differentials that have resulted from those differences.

Our aim is not to hide, repress, or deny those differences, but to go through them to realize our personal and collective aims.

~ from a text submitted by OC 2016 collaborator Frederick Marx of Warrior Films


Ask every Delegate: What is your mission? How can I help you advance it?

Be Yourself. Be Authentic. Be Evocative.

Share your passion with personal stories – the highs and the lows of your work. Make it personal. Make it real.

Be tangible. Provide other Delegates with the information needed to consider collaborating with you. If you were considering partnering or backing your organization, what would you want to know about it?

Honor the opinions of other Delegates by respecting the Opportunity Collaboration’s non-partisanship, confidentiality and informality.


Every Delegate shares your commitment to economic justice. All are seasoned veterans and distinguished leaders in the anti-poverty movement. Delegates appreciate comments and presentations that are demanding, challenging and sophisticated.

• Avoid generalities. Employ concrete examples, explain business models and provide clear theories of social change.

• Keep it simple and straightforward. Avoid jargon.

• Don’t talk about “me” and what you have achieved. It’s a given that all Opportunity Collaboration delegates are accomplished people.

• Don’t hesitate to discuss failures. Some of the best learning comes from what doesn’t work.


Some of us have money, some do not.  We meet at an all-inclusive resort in order to help minimize those class differences.  But some of us are donors and some of us seek donations. That’s real too.

Class, race, gender, etc. privileges all exist.  Some have more privileges, some less, but we most of us embody some combination of both.

We aim to acknowledge all our power differentials with each other up front so that each of us can refine her/his awareness and work with them, not in spite of them.

We also acknowledge how privileged all of us are simply to be able to attend this gathering.

So let us be the change we seek to make in the world.  Let us be leaders not only in our work outside Opportunity Collaboration, but in our work collaboratively as well.

Let us each bring our full awareness and most skillful means to acknowledging our differences and working with them during our time together, for our own benefit and for the benefit of all.

~ from a text submitted by OC 2016 collaborator Frederick Marx of Warrior Films

Whether you have money or want money, a few tips about framing intelligent conversations:

• Be candid. Funders can’t fund everything that is worthy and no anti-poverty program is the panacea. Save yourself and everyone else time by stating your agenda and focus.

• Failure never fails. Put forth what is working, what has failed and what you’ve learned. Your candor will be appreciated, and you will win converts to your cause.

• Keep it short. Be concise and get to the point. Don’t preach.

Your fellow Delegates, especially funders, are thought leaders and much more than the sum of their bank accounts. Avoid performing wallet biopsies on other Delegates. It disrespects the spirit of the Opportunity Collaboration to monetize every conversation.


All sessions are conversational discussions, not lectures, formal presentations or panels. Powerpoint and other electronic aids are not available.

• Introductions should be the first order of business.

• Start with a question, rather than your own presentation to stimulate participation

• Be concrete rather than theoretical.

• Follow the conversation; don’t force it to go in a predetermined direction

• Don’t step on other speakers.


Collaboration is not just a matter of playing nicely with others. It is an element of structural reform which can reduce organizational dysfunction. Institutional silos (such as entrepreneurs vs. nonprofits, governments vs. foundations, funders vs. grantees) block pragmatic problem-solving. Pack your ideas and solutions, but leave your institutional baggage (and your ego) behind.


The Opportunity Collaboration forms an extraordinary community of life-time allies and personal friendships. Leave even one day early (yes, we know, the home office can’t live without you, but neither can we) and you will miss the final moments when handshakes and hugs form the foundation for future collaboration.


All the paid and pro bono staff members are, like you, full Delegates of the Opportunity Collaboration. There is no hierarchy, and no levels of membership. Everyone you meet is equally committed to poverty reduction and is attending the Opportunity Collaboration to learn and share.


Collaborate yourself! Drink water and get some rest; you are in the tropics. You are not expected to attend every seminar, every round table and every stimulating program. Take a nap, take a walk, take care of yourself.  Have fun!


Getting There


Book Flights NOW because airline capacity in October to/from Zihuatanejo, Mexico is limited. Airfare should be booked to and from Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo International Airport (airport code: ZIH).

Airlines with regular flights to and from Zihuatanejo:

  • Aeroméxico: 800- 800-9999
  • United Airlines: 800-523-3273
  • Interjet: 866-285-9525
  • Alaska Airlines: 800-252-7522
  • Delta Airlines: 800-221-1212

Submit Flight Itinerary. Important Note: Flight information must be submitted in advance to reserve complimentary airport shuttle service. Delegates must finalize and submit an air travel itinerary on or before September 30, 2017. Send your itinerary information as soon as you book your flight to: Tracie Hudgins.

For Delegates without prior shuttle service reservations, the one-way taxi fare from the airport is approximately $60.00.


Scheduling Travel.

Arrival day for ALL Delegates is October 15, 2017.

The Collaboration commences that evening.

Departure date is October 20, 2017, anytime.

Important Note: Delegates departing before October 20, 2017, miss critical program and networking elements of the Opportunity Collaboration.

Attire and Packing. For information on packing, attire, weather, etc., see Venue Information below.

Mexican Customs. Baggage is searched randomly. After securing your luggage, Mexican customs officials will ask you to push a button. If the light flashes green, you have cleared customs without a luggage search. If a red light flashes, your bags will be searched.

After Customs. After exiting Mexican customs, Opportunity Collaboration and resort staff with signs will greet you and take you to buses for the 20-minute trip to the leadership village. Bottled water will be available. During your trip, pre-assigned room keys will be issued and leadership village logistics explained.

Upon Arrival. At the leadership village, you and your luggage will be escorted directly to your room via the Communications Center (near the central patio) where you will check your mailbox for messages and receive your welcome packet with a personalized agenda and village map. Plan to visit the Conference Center where you can deliver organizational literature to the Literature Library. Dinner with open seating is 6:30pm to 8:30pm followed by the Welcome Reception.


Passports for US Citizens Required. U.S. citizens must present a U.S. passport valid for 6 months after departure from Mexico. This is Mexican law. 

Visas for Non-U.S. Citizens Required. Most non-U.S. citizens traveling to Mexico will require a visa. Secure your visa immediately. The process for obtaining a visa can be lengthy.


The Opportunity Collaboration is family friendly and welcomes family members and significant others to accompany Delegates.

The $450.00 Traveling Companion all-inclusive registration fee includes 5 nights lodging (standard hotel double occupancy), three meals per day, airport shuttle and gratuities. Airfare and other personal expenses not included. To bring a Traveling Companion, the primary Delegate must be registered for a private room. Delegates should register their Traveling Companion early, because the Traveling Companion fee will increase when the Collaboration is sold out. Register here or to add your Traveling Companion to your existing registration, contact Registrar Tracie Hudgins.

Non-Delegate Traveling Companions may attend all networking receptions and events, all recreational programs and all evening activities. However, the Colloquium for the Common Good, Conversations for Change and Capacity-Building Clinics are reserved for full Delegates only. Companions who wish to participate in these programs should register as full Delegates ($2500.00, standard hotel double occupancy until Dec. 31st). See Delegate Suite-Sharing.

While Delegates are in the daily Colloquium, Conversations for Change and Capacity-Building Clinic sessions, Traveling Companions may at their own expense use the spa services or arrange offsite excursions ranging from golf, snorkeling and swimming with dolphins to cultural explorations. Spa and excursion appointments can be made upon arrival; fees vary by activity.

Children: 17 Years or Younger

An all-inclusive $350.00 registration fee is required for children 17 years of age or younger and includes all lodging, meals, airport shuttles and gratuities. Eighteen years of age and older are considered adult traveling companions. To bring a traveling companion or child, the primary Delegate must be registered for a private room. Register here or to make changes to your existing registration, contact Registrar Tracie Hudgins.

Family accommodations are equipped with strollers, cribs, baby bathtubs, bottle warmers and sanitizers, white noise players and changing areas. Family-friendly dining, beach and pool areas are designated for Delegates with children. For families with younger children, high chairs, booster seats and baby food are available.

Children must be accompanied by an adult caregiver at all times during the Opportunity Collaboration. A supervised recreational program for 4-13 year olds is complementary from 9am to 5pm, including OC Just Kids Workshops for 6-12 year olds. OC TEENS: Launch Generation encourages older students to design their own social enterprise projects, conduct Delegate interviews, and produce culminating media. For children under 4, childcare at the onsite nursery costs approximately $10.00 per hour.Qualified local nannies can also be scheduled upon arrival for approximately $17.00 per hour for up to three children, with additional fees for meal times and after hours care.

Sangster Young Fellowships support the attendance of children from nations around the globe at Opportunity Collaboration by providing registration fees for children and their accompanying Delegate parents from developing countries. The purpose of the Sangster Young Fellowship program is to foster lifelong connections between children around the world, so they may someday engage in world-changing work together as true peers, bonded by childhood friendship. Parents of awardees lead OC Just Kids Workshops to engage children in stories and cultural activities from their home countries. To inquire about Sangster Young Fellowships, please email COO Jorian Wilkins.


Opportunity Collaboration makes all arrangements for hotel accommodations. The leadership campus has 298 rooms. For extended stays or special requirements, contact the Opportunity Collaboration Registrar Tracie Hudgins.

Room Features & Cuisine. All rooms are equipped with king-size beds, air conditioning, safes, hairdryer, iron & ironing board, mini-bar, television and standard North American electrical outlets. Complimentary, but sometimes patchy, internet service is available. The leadership village serves three healthy buffets daily. All meals, snacks, non-alcoholic beverages, wine, and beer are included in the all-inclusive Delegate fee.

Health, Fitness & Safety. The leadership campus is a guarded enclave restricted to Delegates and hotel staff. Water is safe to drink. A nurse is on duty in the infirmary every day, around the clock. The all-inclusive Delegate fee includes complimentary use of all health and wellness facilities, including the gymnasium, tennis courts, kayaking, windsurfing and sailing equipment, yoga and trapeze instruction, basketball, softball, ping pong, volleyball, archery and more.

Attire. The Collaboration atmosphere is relaxed, unhurried, informal and conducive to quiet conversation and dialogue. For daytime sessions and meals, Delegates should consider shorts, t-shirts and sandals suitable to tropical weather. For evenings, dressy resort attire is appropriate.

Weather. Ixtapa in October is tropical, balmy and hot with temperatures ranging from 70 to 90 degrees F. Expect some humidity and light afternoon rain showers.

Special Items to Pack. Sunglasses, sun block, mosquito repellant and a hat are desirable. Comfortable shoes are advised. For sports, bring swimsuits, suitable sportswear and gear. For evening jam sessions, bring your musical instruments.

Emergency Contact Information. The Collaboration’s leadership village is rented from the Club Méditerranée corporation. Please remember to contact Opportunity Collaboration for all hotel arrangements.

Site Emergency Phone: (52) 755 555 1000

Site Address: Club Med Ixtapa Pacific, Playa Quiet S/N, Zona Hotelera Segunda, IxtapaZihuatanejo 40880 Mexico.


Your Homework and the Colloquium for the Common Good

The Colloquium for the Common Good is the Opportunity Collaboration’s signature seminar on executive leadership, economic justice and the good of society. The Colloquium addresses the principles that drive poverty alleviation and asks Delegates to think pragmatically about the nature of their leadership.

All Delegates participate in this core curriculum, creating a common experiential bond and shared set of learnings. The Colloquium refines executive judgment and sets the collaborative stage for sustainable social change.

Review the syllabus in advance. 2017 Syllabus coming soon.


Want to Host a Session?

• Enroll to host a Conversations for Change, Cluster-Fork and/or Capacity-Building Clinic.
• Nominate other Delegates. As a fellow Delegate, your nominations are seriously considered

To Submit Your Proposal:
All sessions are awarded to Delegates on a first-come, first-served basis. Interested Delegates should submit a proposal (title and a three to four sentence description) to the Opportunity Collaboration COO, Jorian Wilkins (, as soon as possible.

Current topics and Delegate-Catalysts are posted on the Agenda.