Co-creating the OWIT we would like to see in 2025 – An Internationally Renowned OWIT in 2025

May. 14, 2016

Andrea Ewart

Co-creating the OWIT we would like to see in 2025 – An Internationally Renowned OWIT in 2025


Perspectives of:

·        OWIT VP, Marketing & Communications, Susan Baka

·        OWIT VP, Partnerships, Angela Marshall Hofmann

·        OWIT VP, Information Technology, Sabina Zunguze

A summary of the round table discussion that took place at the April Board meeting follows:

1.    What is the quest behind the goal? (What’s our intention here? What’s the deeper purpose – the big “why” – that is really worthy of our best effort?)

 ·         As an international organization, OWIT will have truly global coverage and be easily accessed from wherever you are. This means a presence in all the big centers and a growth trajectory in numbers of chapters, particularly outside of the U.S.

 ·         OWIT will be a source of insight, relevance, and speakers and perceived as thought leaders so policy makers and media coming to us.

·         OWIT will be a brand requiring no explanation.


 2.    What assumptions or beliefs are underlying this goal?

·         There is a need for OWIT – new trade agreements and more cross border trade means folks need to be educated on trade.

 ·         We will be more visibly connected - on the web, social media, and using all available tools.

 ·         We will have engaged chapters with a strong connection back to HQ so there is a shared vision and goals.

 ·         We have the resources to accomplish the things we need to. We will need a full-time Executive Director – key foundational piece along with financial strength and partners!! Engaged and energetic chapters are only possible if we have someone dedicated to making sure chapters are working well and continue to grow.

 3.    What opportunities can you see related to this goal?

 ·         Increasingly, global organizations are focused on women. Lots of organizations do trade - but we do women AND trade. This is a sweet spot that we can leverage with international organizations as well as corporations that have initiatives to help bring women into the economy. We’re such a natural fit to help them meet their CSR (corporate social responsibility) goals in this area.

·         Achieving this goal can present opportunities to participate on panels and address key international events going beyond our own webinars.

 ·         Achieving this goal presents opportunities to collaborate with other women’s organizations that serve women locally – this will further help us to grow and be the OWIT that we deserve to be in 2025.

 4.    And what challenges can you see related to this goal?

 ·         We would have to be really focused on quality because to get this type of thought leadership means we’re working at our best at all times – which gets us back to the question of resources as well as delivering on what we promise. We will need the resources to allow us to do that – increase in sponsorships, time, money, woman power.

  5.    If our success was completely guaranteed, what bold steps might we choose to take?

 ·         Let’s first recognize the areas in which we are already doing well – the power of our networks that already exist and the access that we already have around the nexus of women and trade.

·         Develop a strong fundraising strategy with outreach to sponsors and grant funding based on our sweet spot – women and trade. It would include a clear schedule on how to get to where we need to – have people working towards it, just as we did with the website.

·         Two areas in which we need full-time people are fundraising and overall organizational management & growth (an Executive Director).