Since our first Big Cheese in 2010, nearly 500 people have attended this Peak Experience. Overwhelmingly, students report The Big Cheese to be ‘transformational,’ ‘inspiring,’ and ‘life changing.’ This past year was no exception. We invite you to check out the responses to our Big Cheese Survey here.
When FeelGood’s Board of Directors (all students and alumni of the FeelGood program!) met for its annual retreat this summer, we revisited our priorities, the initiatives we’ve been taking on to meet our goals, and put everything on the table. Among other things, we decided to shift gears and host the Big Cheese every other year moving forward. This means we will not be hosting the Big Cheese during the summer of 2018. In lieu of the event, we’ll be focusing some of our energy, time, and resources on hosting smaller, regional meet-ups that invite cross-chapter engagement, community building, and leadership development. Additionally, we plan to continue to expand connecting virtually – with additional webinars (LiveLabs) and new community building features in Cheese World.
We’re excited to make this shift because:
- Piloting new regional meet-ups means that opportunities to deepen and expand engagement in FeelGood’s work could be more accessible to FeelGood students. These opportunities will not launch until next academic year, with some potential test-runs this year, but our intention is for them to be more contained (into a weekend) and held in places that are convenient for as many of our chapters as possible. We also see opportunities for students and alumni to be actively involved in the planning of these peak experiences!
- The Big Cheese is resource intensive. This past Big Cheese & Changemaker Ignitor training cost just under $21,000, and it requires significant capacity from a team of board members, logistics assistants, and our staff. Every dollar and every minute spent on the experience is spent strategically – infused with intention, love, and a deep commitment to a world that works for all life. AND, with the Big Cheese reaching just over 30 students (and 15 Changemaker Ignitors) this year, we’re excited to see how our time and resources could be spent so that they are impacting even more student changemakers. Similarly, we are grateful for the opportunity to support our Changemaker Ignitors – who are an essential fabric of our community as well as our operations – through virtual trainings and team-building opportunities. We’re always looking to make the most of the resources made available to us through our generous investor community.
- We are NOT in this work alone – there are countless inspiring organizations partnering with young leaders to bring about a world that works for all life. We are grateful to be connected to their work in myriad ways – specifically through Crew 2030. Moving forward, we are priming ourselves for more opportunities to collaborate with other organizations in hosting and participating in transformational experiences for young people. Partnership is essential in all aspects of this work – it unleashes creativity, increases impact via shared resources, and fosters connection and community.
As always, your feedback is so important to us, and we know this is a big shift, so we’d love to hear from you. Would you like to talk more about this? If so, fill out this form to let us know you’re interested. We’ll follow up to schedule time to connect.