Reflections on the Council’s 2015 Summit

A joint post written by Jason Pearson, Executive Director and Christina Macken, Director of Programs.

This year’s Summit has been an incredible success. From SPLC Connect, a buyer-supplier matchmaking event that resulted in hundreds of meetings, to our inaugural class of Leadership Award recipients who exemplify best-in-class members of our community, from our 20+ workshops, to our post-Summit Spend Analysis Course hosted by Vital Metrics that provided attendees guidance for the practical implementation of SA within an organization, there was an opportunity for everyone to learn, be challenged, and share their story. We look forward to bringing attendees these types of opportunities again next year when we host the Summit in Washington, DC.

Here’s just some of what we learned from you while at the Summit.

Whether buyer to buyer, buyer to supplier, supplier to advocate, or something in between, it’s clear that our community wants opportunities to learn from the stories of our diverse membership. As a first step, we look forward to launching our Case Study Database this summer, providing the detailed stories of the Outstanding Case Study and Leadership Award recipients celebrated at the Summit.

Widen the tent
We have all shown up to this movement because – in different ways and for different reasons – we care about what sustainable purchasing means for our collective future. But, there are still many more organizations whose presence and participation would be of mutual benefit to them and the Council’s community. We continuously strive to bridge this gap, and expand our community of practice at this critical time in our evolution.

Make leaders visible
Time and again, we were reminded that organizations need assistance. They need mentors. They need points of reference that are not just baseline points at which to start, but goals they can shoot for. We’ve come together as a community to identify those leaders – to make their stories, challenges, and lessons accessible – and we will continue to identify and celebrate leadership.

Karen Cook, one of our Leadership Award Winners from the County of Alameda, summed up thoughts on our community well during the Leadership Awards Panel:

“The power of the knowledge in this room is outstanding. The value of SPLC is the framework, structure, and stories of learning and success. How did you you did it? What were the challenges? What are the new opportunities? The more people that tell their story, the more we enable this effort to move forward.”

Today, tomorrow, in the coming weeks, months and years, we need all of you, and all of your peers, to help this community to learn from each other, and leverage the power of our collective voice for good.

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