Julia first attended the Social Change Institute in 2012 with a colleague from Leadnow.ca, where she was working at the time. The first deep leadership sessions, a hallmark of SCI, were transformational for Julia. Her intention in attending the conference was to find strategic allies and to connect other people in the social change space, but the real impact she left with went much deeper. She, says, “That was all there, but what really impacted me was experiencing the beginning of a deep personal transformation that continued for many years, in which I began to dismantle my unhealthy overidentification with my work.”
At SCI, Julia found a community of people who became lifelong friends, not just because of common interest in social change and service work in the world, but because of a shared interest in growing as people, and in supporting each other. “I look back at that first conference as being one of the most life-changing experiences I’ve had because it led to some of the most cherished friendships in my life. And, without question, that experience led to the deepest personal growth journeys I have taken. Hollyhock changed who I am for the better, and that’s why I keep coming back.”
In her capacity with Hylo, a communication platform for groups that share a purpose, Julia presented a case study at SCI 2016. She says that “one of the strangest things we’ve seen with the evolution of social media is the way that human attention has been aggressively monetized – in many ways we can look at the last 10 years of social media as the most intense, well financed experiment in how to distract human beings ever conducted.” Her take away from the case study? “How do we create a product that delivers powerful results for communities without relying on addiction and monetizing user’s private data or compromising their privacy?” She says they have really embraced that question as the company moves forward.
Of the case study experience she says, “There are not that many rooms in this world that are that supportive, that caring and willing to offer advice to help make you stronger. The generosity and love that that room will offer you will exceed your wildest expectations…There is something about the exercise of the case study, how time bounded and precise it is, that really forces a person to think through the most efficient way to describe the organization, its potential and its core challenges.”
Julia Pope, is now the Cofounder and Chief Strategist at Hylo, and is also an Executive Producer with the Social Change Institute.
Hylo is communications platform that helps groups stay connected, organized, and engaged. Since Julia visited SCI in June, Hylo has completed its seed round fundraising, added two more software engineers and a UI/UX designer, and is preparing to release the newest version of their web and mobile app in the spring of 2017.