Co-creating the future of OWIT Lake Geneva– a lively Action Café (14 May 2013) - by Petra Kummer

24 May 2013 11:25 | Deleted user
What was kicked off during the OWIT World Café in March, was continued in a dynamic and interactive Action Café two months later: 20 enthusiastic women literally rolled up their sleeves and turned their project ideas into concrete action!

“How might we as an association fulfil our highest potential for our members and have a positive impact on the world around us?” Such was the initial question that allowed some challenging projects ideas to take shape while the World Café.

During the Action Café, four OWIT projects were selected and broken down into rolling actions plans. The overall aim of all projects is to provide a platform where women (and men) can share their experiences, exchange their ideas and knowledge, learn from each other – and all this in a relaxed atmosphere!

What an inspiring evening for everyone! Project owners and contributors brainstormed together on how to give life to those projects outlines – and this approach worked incredibly well! Here are the four projects that will be in the centre of interest over the coming months:


1. “Promote women who make a difference!” – that is the core essence of the OWIT Female Leadership project, fully in line with the association’s purpose to foster the advancement of women. OWIT wants to identify “TOP women”, connect to them and have them share their experience and “recipe for success”. And the idea is also to offer them a platform as a speaker where they can present themselves and shine differently! OWIT will define some criteria and will set up an award to value the achievement of an outstanding woman!

2. How can we make OWIT as a sustainable association more attractive to both existing members as well as potential new members? The Membership engagement project puts the focus on the three pillars: talent pool, mentoring and buddying. First step will be identifying and outlining the various skills of our members and setting up a transparent talent pool to interconnect people in a better way. Once identified, those skills will be – in a second step – at the heart of an efficient mentoring system: the mentor will help its mentee to tackle a challenge and will help her grow, certainly a beneficial experience for both! And last but not least, a subtle buddying approach to make newbies feel at ease and get them on board in a smooth way. OWIT is open to everyone and wants to help women to develop.

3. Do OWIT Lake Geneva’s activities need to be limited to Geneva and Lausanne? No, the OWIT Get Together project will explore ways how to bring the association’s spirit to a wider circle by outreaching to smaller cities. It is about connecting members by region or by interest proposing them to organize their own get-togethers: hosting topical parties in your home community, organising some local social or cultural get-togethers, jointly attending a business event in your region … there are no limits apart from the creativity and motivation of our OWIT members. It might also be worthwhile to organize a side event along with an official cultural or sports event in the region, such as the Montreux Jazz Festival, a regional Slow-up or a Bicycle event. Let us use our members as passionate ambassadors who spread the word about OWIT and bring people together!

4. And finally, the Developing your small business project aims at helping women who are interested in self-employment and are facing a huge amount of questions. You are an expat living in Switzerland and cannot see the wood for the trees? Where to start, which regulations to respect, which risks to take into account, which mistakes to avoid – OWIT will gather and provide plenty of useful information and will interconnect experienced business owners and potential company founders. An open door evening will be a start to encourage and give support to women who are about to take this step.

We all look very much forward to the next round of the Action Café to hear about the groups’ progress. This will also bring some visibility on how we can interlink projects and foster an on-going transversal exchange in-between members and groups.

The OWIT project groups are open to everyone who is willing to help driving our association’s aims. Have you been inspired by one particular project? Then don’t hesitate to contact us – - your fresh ideas and motivation are welcome!

Petra Kummer
Communications Team Volunteer

Action Café


  • 24 May 2013 14:18 | Anonymous
    Petra, this is an excellent summary of the Action Café and the various projects that we worked on. I am looking forward to see the projects unfold and grow over the coming months!


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