September 25, 2012 by Deborah Gillis
It’s the nature of Catalyst’s business that we spend a lot of time in meetings, demonstrating our values with words. Words are important, and our daily currency. But those values—connect, engage, inspire, and impact—are also verbs.
So it was especially fitting to demonstrate those values with actions when the Catalyst Canada staff joined our colleagues in New York for Values Day. There, we broke out into teams and engaged in a scavenger hunt involving items inspired by great women in history and business, like the Ursula Burns (Xerox) copy machine. Nothing motivates Catalystas/os more than a little friendly competition, so part of the fun was our determination to complete the tasks ahead of other teams while we connect, engage, inspire and impact!
Armed with clues inspired by diversity and inclusion, teams had to find landmarks around the financial district, then complete a task. At the Statue of Liberty, we had to take a photo that included at least five nationalities. The task of convincing three strangers to join us Canadians and Americans in the photograph led to some fascinating conversations about Catalyst and diversity.
The New Yorkers and tourists were happy to cooperate, if a little puzzled by our requests. One couple from Sweden cheerfully chatted with two Catalyst teams in Battery Park, while the Statue of Liberty looked on from across the water. And a group of seven who had participated in a “strangers hugging” photo were so delighted by the concept that they insisted on having photos of their own.
For me, it was especially fun to be part of a global team—with representatives from Toronto, New York, and Zurich, we called ourselves “Affecting Diversity by Movement Abroad.” And while we didn’t win the race, my teammates will understand what I mean when I say that we found all the clues we looked for.