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Welcome to the Opportunity Microfinance Conference

By Sonja Egeland Kelly

Welcome to Phoenix. The sun is shining, the hallways of the Scottsdale Resort and Conference Center are filling up, and hopes are high as we begin the Opportunity International Microfinance Conference, hosted by the Opportunity Board of Governors. These next few days promise to be ones brimming with stories. Indeed, the theme of the conference is “Share Her Story: Change Your World.”

We invite you to join us right here at blog.opportunity.org during the conference. Along with speakers and special guests such as Pulitzer Prize nominated journalist Roger Thurow, author and professor Daniel Taylor, and more, we invite you to get inspired in the fight against global poverty.

Over the course of the conference, we will post key highlights here, including some pearls of wisdom from our main speakers, some key learnings that emerge from our break-out sessions, and thoughts and reflections from attendees as they enter into the Opportunity International story. Meet our new CEO, shake hands (virtually) with some of our key leaders and join in the conversation. You will also get the chance to hear from our field staff, who come with reports of successes and challenges from all over the world.

Opportunity International’s Senior Vice President of Global Philanthropy, Mark Lutz, makes the invitation this way: “I’d like you to join me as we visit a community; one with only dirt footpaths criscrossing the terrain, like ivy growing up the side of a building… twenty-five women are seated when we arrive, already engrossed in the business of their Trust Group. I can sense their pride.” The story he tells is the first of many we will hear over the course of the weekend.

Thank you for joining with us on this journey. We look forward to learning along with you. What do you hope to glean from this conference?

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