Weeknotes 41

Special Edition: Transformative spaces and tackling inequalities

  • Knowledge exchange and networking with and among all grantees and selected network partners
  • Joint learning on systemic approaches to reducing inequalities
  • Gather energy for further work and return home strengthened

What I did


  • Telling stories about the future is the first step towards getting to the furure.
  • We were told to learn more about Marshall Ganz He is the Rita T. Hauser Senior Lecturer in Leadership, Organizing, and Civil Society at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He came up with thethe successful grassroots organizing model and training for Barack Obama’s winning 2008 presidential campaign. He has a
  • This speech by James Croft was given as a powerful example of how to tell stories and how to “bring a value into the room”. This phrase is something I’m going ponder on more.
  • Talk about scars but not about wounds. Scars show strength, wounds show vulnerabilities.
  • Organise your speech into: challenge — what we are going through together; choice — what we will do about it; outcome — what will that achieve.
  • To move people into action, they need to think there is a point in getting involved. “String their emotions” (not sure about the word string here).
  • I also realised through the exercise that I don’t focus on anger and urgency enough. I do focus on hope a lot so I fixed it when I wrote that into a draft:

The first time a man touched me without my consent was when I was 6 years old. I was walking down a street, holding my mother’s hands. Every day I speak to women who experience violence in the home, schools, universities, workplaces, places of worship, halls of power and the streets. You’ve probably experienced it yourself or heard about it from someone close to you. Gender-based violence stops women and other marganlised genders from living fulfilling lives. The problems is patriarchy and rape culture. Boys grow up with toxic masculinity and feeling liek they must always be tough and that their self-esteem and honur is depending on the women (or lack thereof) in their life. Broken hearts. Broken homes. Broken spirit. Broken society. But it does not need to be this way. We can change it now. Together. We can call in and out misogyny. We can teach children and model what respect, equalityand love in relationships can look like. We can hold adults and powerful people accountable when they abuse those with less power around them. Patriarchy does not need to be forever. We can end it. Together.

What I learned

The power of places

The power of why

Decolonisation is messy

Future scaping

Once a facilitator, always a facilitator

Beautiful 5 min friendships

What not to do at a multi-cultural gathering

  • make people who don’t know each other that well sing together;
  • and hold hands!

“No one knows you”

Something else



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Hera Hussain

Building communities. Feminist. Pakistani. Founder @chaynHQ & CEO fighting gender-based violence with tech. Championing openness. Forbes & MIT Under 30/35.