How interVivos launched a mentorship program during a pandemic

interVivos has connected over 600 high-calibre mentors and ambitious protégés in the Edmonton area through our mentorship program. The program is offered twice per year and typically launches with an in-person event. When COVID-19 hit in March, we knew it was impossible to launch the summer 2020 program the traditional way. We also knew there was still an appetite among Edmontonians to work on their professional goals despite the pandemic.

interVivos wants to continue to inspire and engage Edmontonians during this disconnected time. That is why the Board came together and worked quickly to modify the program. We reduced the number of participants and decided to deliver the launch over Zoom. 

The virtual launch event emulated the elements of an in-person interVivos mentorship launch experience. Mentors and protégés were prompted to get to know one another on a deeper level through group engagement activities, one-on-one rotations, and opportunities for post-event networking.  Over 100 breakout rooms were created during the event to allow mentors and protégés to meet one-on-one and determine who they want to be matched with during the program. There was even a 50/50 raffle and group trivia challenge.

Emcee Jeff Samsonow says, “the interVivos board really put something great together.” Former interVivos protégé, Soni Dasmohapatra, returned as a mentor in the summer 2020 program and was also joined by 2 repeat protégés.  

In the background, interVivos volunteers pulled out all the stops to make the event a success. This included providing support to anyone who ran into technical difficulties. Mentor Terry Tobin says, “if there were any minor apprehensions, they were blown away. We were so well supported.”  Even Peg, the interVivos mascot, supported the launch by moderating the chat box. 

A virtual mentorship launch was a first for interVivos and it was a huge success. The next mentorship program, launching in November 2020, will feature exclusively BIPOC mentors. interVivos invites protégés from all backgrounds to register. Follow us on social media (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter) or join our mailing list so you don’t miss out on your chance to register. If you are interested in being a mentor with interVivos for this program, please email us.

Success Story: Our Partnership with Edmonton Heritage Council

Last year, our friends at the Edmonton Heritage Council (EHC) reached out for our support to pilot a mentorship program for heritage-sector professionals. interVivos immediately saw the value of sharing resources and expertise with EHC and partnered with them to support their goal of elevating diverse voices.

EHC is a local non-profit organization that connects Edmontonians to the stories of their city through leadership, support, and programs. In an effort to build professional capacity for Heritage professionals and to aid with succession and sustainability planning in the sector, interVivos mentored EHC in developing the structure for the program and hosting the mentor and protégé matching event.

Overall, the pilot mentorship program was a success and serves as a great example of how organizations can maximize their resources and experience through sharing.

You can read more about our collaboration with EHC here.

If you are interested in mentorship opportunities in Edmonton, our Summer 2020 mentorship program launches on July 14, 2020. Check out our events page for more information on how to register.

 

Remembering A Provincial Affair

On the one year anniversary of our event, A Provincial Affair, we decided to look back at the event and its impact on attendees.

interVivos’ Provincial Election event, A Provincial Affair, was a sell out in April 2019.

We welcomed a diverse crowd of attendees, all of whom share a passion for political action in our community. We were also fortunate to have many first time attendees, including Derek Volker.

Derek was the first person to register for the event. We caught up with him to ask for his thoughts on the event; this is what Derek had to say:

 

Q: This was your first time attending an interVivos event, and you were the first to register. What prompted you to attend the event?

A: An invitation from a board member and also an awareness of events from following interVivos social media.

 

Q: What do you think is the most important political issue facing Albertans?

A: I think the topics selected at the event were a good representation of the important issues.

 

Q: How can others get engaged in the democratic process, and what can we all do to encourage others?

A: Write your MLA or elected official, follow the democratic process in the news, watch Assembly feeds online (including bill debate and not just Question Period), and join an advocacy campaign for an issue you are passionate about. Having conversations is critical, even if just high level. Politics shouldn’t always be avoided as a topic of conversation. That can lead to further polarization and/or lack of engagement if there are never discussions about it.  Respectful conversations can be both informative and engaging.

 

Q: This was your first time at an interVivos event. What did you think?

A: The event was well planned and had good discussions with varying perspectives. I’m looking forward to attending other events in the future.

 

Q: What was your biggest take away from the event?

A: That there are a lot of people who want to engage in policy discussions on matters that may not be the top ballot issues at any given time, but are still important to discuss and for people to be aware of. I.e. getting past the rhetoric of politics and into real policy discussions/debates.

 

Next up for interVivos is our Summer 2020 Mentorship Program launch that will take place virtually on July 14, 2020! Stay tuned for more information and make sure to check our events page often.

Would you like to submit a blog post to interVivos? Email connect@intervivos.ca.

Why Vote?

This past fall, we partnered with Apathy is Boring to offer over 100 Edmontonians an exciting nonpartisan federal election viewing party and an evening of drag at Evolution Wonderlounge.

We thought it would be good to ask people at the party: “Why vote?”

Their responses were captured on Post-It Notes and here are some of them:

  • “For a better future for my kids!”
  • “For my future!”
  • “For my family.”
  • “For progress!”
  • “For those who can’t – to make a better future!”
  • “To change the world!”
  • “To effect change in my country!”
  • “To protect human rights!”
  • “To set a good example!”
  • “To feel heard!”
  • “To pursue equality for all!”
  • “Because we are so lucky to have the chance – many do not!”
  • “Because I can – women and minorities didn’t always have the opportunity!”
  • “Because I care about children, education, women, health and climate change!”
  • “Because rights come with responsibilities!”
  • “Because I can!”
  • “Because you and I can make a difference if we all vote!”
  • “Because why not?”
  • “I want to vote for those who can’t.”
  • “It is easy and a way to have your voice heard!”
  • “It is EASY!”
  • “It’s my right!”
  • “It’s my civic duty!”
  • “Democracy is important to me!”
  • “It’s my democratic right! I matter!”

A huge thank you to all attendees, performers, and volunteers for helping make this wonderful night a huge success!

Next up for interVivos is our Summer 2020 Mentorship Program launch that will take place virtually on July 14, 2020! Stay tuned for more information and make sure to check our events page often.

Would you like to submit a blog post to interVivos? Email connect@intervivos.ca.

 

 

 

 

Meet an interVivos Supporter – Rhys Morgan

From the moment Rhys Morgan stepped into the downtown Edmonton coffee shop, it was plain
to see that he is an engaged member of this community. Shaking hands and chatting with people in the shop, waving to those he knew who were passing by, Rhys is clearly passionate about building
relationships with those in this community. As we got to know Rhys a bit better, we learned some of his other passions: family and cycling. Born in Wales, and after a successful career in London, Rhys is happy to call Edmonton home with his partner Ashley and two children, Olive and Ella. Rhys is also an avid cyclist, cycling across the river to his downtown office whenever the weather permits, or when he’s not busy shuttling his eldest daughter to and from school.

Rhys is the Managing Partner and Founder of MorganThomas, which Rhys describes as a “specialist business and technology consulting firm. We help any organization, public sector or private sector, drive innovation and transformation in their business through technology”. Another passion of Rhys’ is the democratic process, as demonstrated by MorganThomas’ sponsorship of A Provincial Affair, interVivos’ provincial election event on April 2nd. 

“I think it’s important. What we’ve seen recently across the world in terms of divisiveness, the Brexit event… I think it’s very important for people to come out, get educated, and see the importance of voting and how impactful it is on their community,” said Rhys. He expressed his concern over low voter turnout, especially amongst young people, and hopes that non-partisan events like these will help drive turnout: “anything that drives turnout is important, regardless of how you vote.”

Rhys also hopes to see his professional contemporaries at the event on April 2nd : “If you’re not going to these events, if you’re not turning up and demonstrating why you think this is important, then I don’t think it sets a good example for the younger generation in terms of how they become future business leaders. That’s why we’re keen to support this.”

InterVivos is lucky to have had Rhys in our corner for quite some time. Both he and his partner Ashley, a former interVivos Board Member, have been mentors for the interVivos mentorship programs. Mentorship is something Rhys views as a key to his past, current, and future success. Rhys said that he can “single-handedly pinpoint [his] success to the people who have been able to mentor [him] throughout [his] career.”

interVivos thanks MorganThomas, their leadership, and their staff, for their generous sponsorship of A Provincial Affair. Make sure to follow them on LinkedIn.

Limited tickets remain for A Provincial Affair on April 2nd ! Purchase your ticket before the event sells out.