What They’re Saying About Convening Leaders, Day 2

PCMA attendees dove right into Thursday's sessions and networking activities, participating in chats, engaging with speakers during Q&A, taking part in conversation starters, posting on social media, and listening to great music — from inspiring performances to an upbeat playlist. Check out the buzz from Day 2.

Author: Convene Editors       

DJ Battle of the Eras

Chaka Mpeanaji (left) and Qi Dada (right) tell virtual attendees to give themselves a big hug during the DJ Battle of the Eras on Thursday night. Along with DJ Chorizo Funk (back), they are known as Body Rock ATX, and represented 1980s music. DJ Mel spun 1990s music during the fundraiser for the PCMA Foundation’s Accelerating Reskilling campaign.

Day 2 of PCMA Convening Leaders 2021 picked up right where Day 1 left off, with enlightening sessions that inspired online participants of the hybrid event to share their emotions and compare notes. Convene culled session chats, dedicated Slack channels, and social media posts to get a sense of what engaged them most. Have a look.

The Day’s First Keynote

Attendees were abuzz about host Holly Ransom’s interview with the Hon. Julia Gillard AC, who was the first woman to hold the office of prime minister in Australia. “She’s dropping so many gems!” one commenter wrote about Gillard in the chat. Here are a few.

Julia Gillard

The Hon. Julia Gillard AC inspired many attendees during her keynote session Thursday.

“Science is back, expertise is back.”

“I would never have done any of the things I have done without a sense of purpose. … Go through the exercise of sitting down in front of a blank sheet of paper or blank screen and write [your purpose] down. Then on the toughest of days, look at it again.”

“Resilience is a muscle. You work it and it gets stronger.”

“This is an era that privileges the urgent, but we have to find the thinking time. It is incredibly important to win yourself that time and use it every day.”

Detroit Academy of Arts and Sciences Choir

Detroit Academy of Arts and Sciences Choir returned to Convening Leaders this year, wowing the virtual audience.

Major Music Moments

Gillard’s session opened with two musical performances, one by a group of international musicians performing a customized version of the song “I Will Survive,” and another from the Detroit Academy of Arts and Sciences Choir, who sang Parliament Funkedelic’s “One Nation Under a Groove.” Here’s what attendees had to say about those performances. (If you’ve registered for CL, you can watch the performance again.)


Art makes us feel. Brilliant!”

“YEAH DETROIT! Inspiring!”

“Such an appropriate song for our nation right now.”

“Chair grooving has commenced!”

“LOVE! So happy they are back!”

“I was moved to tears last year! These kids are unbelievable!” 

“Resilience meets brilliance! OMG fangirling so hard right now!” 

“What an incredibly innovative way to market the destination. Awesome!” 

You Want a Playlist?

If you’re looking for the songs played between sessions, heard at the CMO breakfast, or on the Main Stage, check out the Convening Leaders 2021 playlist on Spotify.

As Seen On Social Media

PCMA Convening Leaders 2021 OMG – una sesión con mujeres que representan lo mejor de un destino – gobierno- sector…

Posted by Ana María Viscasillas on Thursday, January 14, 2021

Be Present!! Wherever your feet are planted is where your heart and mind should be at that moment. Words to live by!! #daronroberts #inspiration #pcmacl #pcmacl21

Posted by Nifty Method on Thursday, January 14, 2021

Some Words From Presenters

Torin Perez

Torin Perez

“Allyship is a commitment: Knowing that you will mess up. Knowing that you will try to show up for somebody and they may not want your help. Knowing that you have so much to learn because we did not grow up in a system, whether that’s in education or otherwise, that made it accessible to talk about race, to talk about racism, to talk about systems of white supremacy — the belief systems around it, not just the people who are white supremacists. Those are the kinds of really hard conversations that only now we have been somewhat given the permission to have.” 

Torin Perez, diversity, equity, and inclusion consultant and author of Who Am I to Lead? The World Is Waiting for You, in “Inclusive Leadership, Anti-Racism, and You”

“Together, we break free.”

Karen Calder, mindset and leadership coach, in “Build Resilience and Conquer Adversity with the 5 Rs”

“The power of your mind and the power of your thoughts is everything.”

Amy Downs, survivor of the Oklahoma City bombing, in “The Power of Hope: A Journey of Transformation Despite Impossible Odds”

Chat Chatter

“This day is hitting me so hard emotionally! Wow, these stories today!”

— Comment during the session “Inclusive Leadership, Anti-Racism, and You”

“This is my first PCMA event ever and I am very pleased with the format and content! It is fantastic! Opportunities for networking have been good also — maybe more networking sessions would be good, too!”

— Comment during the session, “Re-design Your Business Model to Prevail in Changing Times”

“Excellent presentation, Barbara [Calderwood, Divisional Director, Associations, MCI United Kingdom]. You’re giving me goosebumps.”

— Comment during the session, “Discovering How to Pivot Exhibitions to Digital”

Amy Downs

Amy Downs

“I’m not crying, you’re crying!”

— Comment during Amy Downs’ presentation, “The Power of Hope: A Journey of Transformation Despite Impossible Odds”

And a Tip on How to Appear on Camera

Convening Leaders

Convening Leaders host Holly Ransom speaks with the Hon. Julia Gillard AC.

“I appreciate the framing of Holly [Ransom]. I was sitting here trying to figure out why this doesn’t feel like a Zoom, it feels more connected. I think it has at least a little to do with it not only being talking heads. I am going to move my camera back and speak to/with my team showing more of me more often now.” 

— Comment during the host’s chat with the Hon. Julia Gillard AC

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