This feels surreal to be writing this right now, but it’s true! Connex Leadership Networks is officially one year old. It seems like yesterday when I started this journey and yet, here we are, celebrating one year of existence and one year of impact in the field of social housing and beyond.
It’s been a rollercoaster, to say the least. Starting a business in the midst of a global pandemic is not for the faint of heart, and I have been through it all. As I’ve navigated global lockdowns, economic turmoil, and the mental toll of trying to grow something from scratch, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to build community, a mission, and something that can sustain itself.
The mission of Connex has always been to create spaces for real conversation and connection around topics that are challenging and important for housing leaders in our sector. The team and I worked hard to nurture the sorts of candid conversations missing in the sector – and in so doing, we’ve been able to grow a community that really cares about making a difference in what they do. Even though so many of our events had to be virtual this year, the energy and camaraderie that has been on display has been so encouraging to us, keeping the team going through the long nights and weekends.
This is also an organisation built out of a passion to shape the future leaders of the housing industry to be well-rounded, socially conscious, and empathetic to the needs and desires of our stakeholders – so that we can build a better world for everyone involved. We hope that through our events you’ve been able to gain a new perspective on some of the key topics affecting those that you work with, and that you’ve been able to turn those conversations into real action on the ground.
The most important thing for us is that the conversations are just the beginning. We will continue to push our members to take what they’ve learned and implement it in their organisations so we can nurture sustained change. And we’ve been gratified to see the practical impact that we’ve catalysed in the short time that we’ve been operating. There’s a lot more where that came from!
So, as we celebrate our first birthday, I want to thank everyone who has been a part of our journey over the last year. Thank you to all our wonderful speakers and panellists who have graced us with their wisdom and their experience across all of our events. And thank you to everyone who has participated in our various discussions – we would not have had such rich and nuanced conversations without your valued input.
As we look forward to our second year, we are excited to keep growing and keep pushing the boundaries of what is possible in our community and our industry at large. We’ve gotten out of the starting blocks now, and it’s time to start running.
Raise a glass to one year of Connex, and to many more to come!
Tunde Hinton is the Founder and Managing Director of Connex Leadership Network