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Guts, Collaboration, and Diversity Generate a Powerful Creative Force at SwitchPoint 2017


April 27 and 28 is the sixth annual SwitchPoint conference, a global gathering of humanitarians. Here's what to expect.

We've called it intentional serendipity, alchemy, partnership. The magic that happens at our annual SwitchPoint conference goes by a lot of names, but it’s conjured by the people, ideas, creativity, and guts that come together there from across multiple disciplines, countries, cultures, and challenges.  

This week, April 27 and 28, is the sixth annual SwitchPoint conference. It’s a global gathering of the humanitarian-minded, be they inventors, entrepreneurs, policy-setters, hackers, makers, or corporate or nonprofit leaders. We get together every April in Saxapahaw, North Carolina, a retreat-like getaway where attendees report on and generate out-of-the-box (sometimes way out-of-the-box) ideas and initiatives for good.

In its highest form, a switchpoint can be a measurable, trackable, scalable change for good in the lives of real people. At its most intangible—but still critically important—state, it can be a lever that reminds us of our vast global potential for greater health, happiness, imagination, and well-being.

We know that engaging people across boundaries makes change happen.

The diversity of programming, speakers, and activities at the SwitchPoint conference (or is it a festival?) continually pushes the boundaries of what a building full of creative humanitarians can accomplish while also having an awesome time. You will likely find yourself in a kayak, at the riverside, tasting microbrews, or dancing to live music.

But I'm not going to lie to you. You will be exposed to an overwhelming number of ideas and information. Some of the things you will learn at SwitchPoint will be upsetting. Some will move you to tears.

Our goal is to get you personally motivated to get involved, to find incredible people to work with, to share your ideas, and to soak in all the information you can from people on the front lines of international development.

You will have the chance to meet the speakers and work with many of them in small groups during hands-on challenges and activities we call microlabs. You will experience the delicious, locally grown and raised food of foodie-famous Saxapahaw.  Your setting will be a three-story converted cotton mill dye house/riverside music venue. If you want a local hotel, it's going to be the village Airbnb bus, mill cottage, or yurt. There will be music, interactive biodiesel bus rides, and the latest data, technology, and research.

IntraHealth International, a global health organization based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, puts on this three-ring circus of collaboration and creativity because we know that engaging people across boundaries makes change happen. And it’s our own organization's global scan for the best and the brightest—the people we most want to work with and learn from.

There have been over 300 presenters featured at Switchpoint over the years, 70 of them this year alone. We are building an alumni team that includes the whole community of people who attend, as well as those on stage.

Imagine the challenges that could be solved when these minds come together.

So get your tickets today. The more the merrier.

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