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.

people

Ways to Engage When You’re There

AMBASSADORS

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 Ambassador program was designed to ensure 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, Ambassador’s connect one-on-one to new Delegates to understand their reasons for attending and discuss best practices for building relationships in the global Opportunity Collaboration network. Ambassadors offer pre-event group conference calls to begin making connections and ensure all new Delegates arrive onsite with allies and resources. While working in Ixtapa, Ambassadors willingly 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.

COLLOQUIUM FOR THE COMMON GOOD

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.  See the sidebar on this page for links to the colloquium readings.

CONVERSATIONS FOR CHANGE

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 (jwilkins@opportunitycollaboration.net), as soon as possible. Current topics and Delegate-Catalysts are posted on the Agenda.

CAPACITY BUILDING CLINICS

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.

Institutional capacity-building 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.

Executive leadership capacity-building topics include, but are not limited to: leadership development; personnel management and team-building; advocacy skills; training/speaking abilities; organizing skills; strategic thinking and planning, creative problem-solving; work-life balance; other topics proposed by Delegates.

Clinics are scheduled for ninety minute time periods before dinner each 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 (jwilkins@opportunitycollaboration.net), as soon as possible. Current topics and Delegate-Catalysts are posted on the Agenda.

CLUSTER FORKS

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 (jwilkins@opportunitycollaboration.net), as soon as possible. Current topics and Delegate-Catalysts are posted on the Agenda.

AFFINITY GROUPS

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 Delegates who share something in common. During breakfast and the sunset-hour, Affinity Groups are encouraged to convene around working geographies, change priorities, and other binding passions. Chemistry in these cohorts can lead to connection at the Collaboration and ongoing support beyond. See the Agenda for current Affinity Groups and if you are a 2014 Delegate with additional common-interest suggestions, please email COO Jorian Wilkins.

NETWORKING TIPS

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 above) 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.

CONNECT BEFORE (AND AFTER) THE EVENT

Opportunity Collaboration’s global network of leaders dedicated to solving poverty is over 1000 Delegates strong. Don’t wait to increase your impact – start working together now!

 Connection Concierge Service: Confirmed 2014 and prior Delegates may request introductions to each other at any time that is mutually productive. Search the 2014 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.

HOW TO SHOWCASE YOUR MISSION

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 (jwilkins@opportunitycollaboration.net), 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.

Important Technical Notes: all videos must be sent as a DVD, data file on CD or flash memory in Full-resolution VGA size (640 x 480 pixels for a standard full-frame tv display, sometimes shown as 720 x 480) at 30 frames per second, NTSC.  Must be in one of the following formats:

  • Apple: Quicktime movie, include audio and video, and check ‘Make Movie Self-Contained’
  • Windows: export as Quicktime, .mov file, or AVI, full-size (640 x 480 or 720 x 480) high quality, 30 frames per second.

To Submit Your Films: on or before August 31, 2014, Delegates should send a video and/or documentary to Topher Wilkins, Chief Executive Officer. Email hyperlinks to twilkins@opportunitycollaboration.net, or mail to 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

THEMES, TOPICS, ISSUES & YOU

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.

ASK THE BIG QUESTION

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.

RAISE THE BAR, AIM HIGH

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.

TALKING ABOUT MONEY

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.

SUGGESTIONS FOR DYNAMIC SESSIONS

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.

EGO CONTROL

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.

PARTICIPATE TO THE MAX

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.

NO SECOND-CLASS CITIZENSHIP

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.

HEALTH & WELLNESS

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

FLIGHTS

Book Flights NOW. Airline seating capacity in October to Ixtapa, Mexico, is limited, so book air travel immediately. Airfare should be booked to and from Zihuatanejo, Mexico (airport code: ZIH). Regardless of the city of origin, most flight routes will connect through Mexico City. Flight time from Mexico City to Ixtapa is one hour.

Airlines with regular flights to and from Zihuatanejo:

  • Aeroméxico: 1 (800) 800-9999
  • Air Canada: 888-247-2262
  • United Airlines: 800-523-3273
  • Interjet: 866-285-9525
  • Alaska Airlines: 800-252-7522
  • Delta Airlines: 800-221-1212
  • US Airways: 800-428-4322

You can also check directly with the airport (country code 52) 755-554-2070 for flight schedules.

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, 2014. 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 $45.00.

SCHEDULING AND ARRIVAL

Scheduling Travel.

Arrival day for ALL Delegates is October 12, 2014.

The Collaboration commences that evening.

Departure date is October 17, 2014, anytime.

Important Note: Delegates departing before October 17, 2014, 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 30-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 main patio area) 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.

VISA INFORMATION

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.

TRAVELLING COMPANIONS

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

The $350.00 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.

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). See Delegate Room-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 of the local Zihuatanejo and Ixtapa communities. Spa and excursion appointments can be made upon arrival; fees vary by activity. The Opportunity Collaboration does not organize special programs or events for traveling companions.

Children: 17 Years or Younger

An all-inclusive $250.00 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.

Lodging for extended stays before or after the pre-paid 5 nights is $350.00 per night (up to two people per room, including meals). If a child is the third person in the room, an additional $100.00 per child is charged.

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 young children. For families with younger children, high chairs, booster seats and baby food are available.

In addition qualified local nannies are available on a first-come, first-served basis and can be scheduled upon arrival. Child care costs approximately $17.00 per hour (for up to three children) with additional fees for meal-time and after-dinner babysitting.

Kids’ Internship Program

Delegates’ children under the age of seventeen conduct interviews with Delegates throughout the Opportunity Collaboration, culminating in a newsletter written from the children’s perspective highlighting select Delegates’ work and the event in general.  The 2011 OppColl News, for example, is a fun, insightful coverage of the 2011 Opportunity Collaboration, edited and published by Kelly Ayliffe and her editorial team.

Delegate families interested in participating in the internship program should contact Topher Wilkins.

VENUE INFORMATION

Opportunity Collaboration makes all arrangements for hotel accommodations. The leadership campus has 298 rooms; there is no readily available off-site housing. 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 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 37 acre 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) 75-55-55-10-00

Site Fax: (52) 75-55-52-01-42

Site Address: Club Med Ixtapa Pacific, Playa Quiet S/N 40 880, Ixtapa, GRO Mexico 40880.

 

Your Homework: 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. In the Colloquium readings, Delegates will hear the voices of the disenfranchised and also the voices of those who believe they have found a route to empowerment.

See the sidebar on this page for links to the colloquium readings.

 

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 (jwilkins@opportunitycollaboration.net), as soon as possible.

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