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For quite some time I’ve marveled at our Nation’s Capital and the infusion of cultures in this melting pot of a city. Running leadership conferences in Washington, DC has allowed me to experience more of its diversity, hidden gems, and local staples that you must visit whether you’re a resident or a tourist. I have also become the DC tour guide for friends and family who are visiting, and I’d love to share a couple of those visits in hopes of highlighting some of the best I believe this city has to offer.

First up, a free day in the DuPont Circle area with my best friend. Our first stop is Kramers (1517 Connecticut Ave. NW) because I know we can grab a deliciously affordable bite to eat while I utilize their Wi-Fi. Kramers is a Bookstore that opened in the 70’s and is most known for being the first bookstore to feature a café in DC. After a day of creativity at work, I decide to stop by nearby DuPont Underground for an innovative perspective on art.

DuPont Underground (19 DuPont Cir. NW) is a sub-terrain creative space for artistic expression, where many urban artists can showcase installations underneath the hustle and bustle of DuPont Circle. We walk down the stairs of the abandoned metro entrance, graffiti lining the walls as a guide, only to be told, “Sorry we’re closing.” After standing on our tippy toes to see some of the colorful imagery, we decide to take a few flicks on our way out, with the graffiti as our background.

We walk over to Swingers Crazy Golf (1330 19th St. NW), an indoor mini-golf club, with a vibrance that is unmatched. We walk into what appears to be an indoor carnival from the 1850s. Initially the amazing aromas from the 4 street food vendors located inside hit you, followed by the sounds of laughter and the live DJ playing top 40 hits. Pro-tip: it’s best to book a reservation to squeeze into their busy mini-golf rotations!

The next stop is an easy choice; my favorite place, SURFSIDE TACOS!” Surfside (1800 N St. NW) is a DC staple, a 24-hour Mexican restaurant and taco stand and is home to DC’s best tacos. I order my go-to, the Nevis: shrimp tacos with pineapple mango salsa, and a side of chips and guacamole for the road.

Next up, a tour of the National Mall with one of my brothers. Starting with the National Museum of African American History and Culture (1400 Constitution Ave. NW), Museum of American History (1300 Constitution Ave. NW), and Museum of Natural History (10th St. & Constitution Ave. NW, Washington).

To get the best view of the area surrounding the National Mall we rent some bikes with Capital BikeShare and pedal towards the Tidal Basin to see the sights on the way to Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial (1964 Independence Ave SW); where we find inspiration in the quotes and the 30 ft. tall presence of Dr. King. Making sure to make it to Thomas Jefferson Memorial (16 E Basin Dr SW) as the sun sets.

After a lap around the tidal basin, we decide to make time for some fun by pedaling to the newly opened International Spy Museum (700 L'Enfant Plaza SW). The museum is an immersive super sleuth experience where you and a team can crack-codes, collect evidence, and learn from the top intelligence agents in the business.

Capital One Arena (601 F St NW) in the heart of Chinatown is a short Uber ride away and drops us off to hear the heartbeat of the city, Go-Go Music, as street performers outside of the home of the Washington Wizards and Mystics put on a show.

DuPont Circle is one of my favorite areas in Washington, DC. As an educator, the high number of embassies in this area and the historic landmarks that house them is powerful. While there are many different cultures that are highlighted in this upbeat part of the city, experiencing its rich history is a must and the houses Washington, DC’s richest history. One thing is certain, both areas will provide you with open windows to the soul of DC!

Joe Thompson, Product Delivery

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As we enter our 5-week countdown to the One WorldStrides Conference, we are thrilled to announce our external guest speaker list. Drumroll, please!

We will kick off our time together in DC with guest speaker, Baratunde Thurston. Baratunde holds space for hard and complex conversations with his blend of humor, wisdom, and compassion. He is an Emmy-nominated host, executive producer, and host of How To Citizen with Baratunde, and author of the New York Times bestseller How To Be Black. He has served as an advisor to the Data & Society Research Institute and a director’s fellow at the MIT Media Lab. Baratunde is a rare leader who sits at the intersection of race, culture, and technology and seamlessly integrates past, present, and future. Baratunde will join us after his talk for a Q&A session as well as a meet & greet with attendees.

Joining us on Wednesday, as our keynote speaker, we are excited to have Erica Dhawan. Dhawan is an internationally recognized leading authority, author, and advisor on 21st century teamwork, collaboration and innovation. Named by Thinkers50 as the “Oprah of Management Thinkers”, she is the author of two books Get Big Things Done: The Power of Connectional Intelligence and Digital Body Language (published in 2021). She shares innovative strategies to unlock the collective power of teams, build a culture of trust across any distance and create authentic engagement to ensure competitiveness. Rated #1 on the Top Women Keynote Speakers of 2020 and featured as one of the management thinkers most likely to shape the future of business, Dhawan frequently appears in Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Fast Company, and the Huffington Post.

On Wednesday we will also hear from John Gerzema. John is the CEO of The Harris Poll, a leading public opinion, market research, corporate, brand and reputation strategy firm. John is a pioneer in the use of data to identify social change and help leaders and organizations anticipate and adapt to new trends and demands. An author, strategist, speaker and consultant, his books are on the bestseller and critics ‘best of’ lists of The New York Times, WSJ, Washington Post, Bloomberg, and Fast Co. An expert in leadership and social change, John was named among the “Top Management Articles of the Decade” by Strategy & Business and his TED talks are widely viewed.

On Wednesday John will be joined by Ray Day. Day is Vice Chair of Stagwell. His role leads the integration, innovation and growth of Stagwell's more than 70 global agencies, pairing creativity with technology for communications, marketing and digital solutions serving clients around the world. Ray is a recognized voice and leader in communications and public relations. He joined Stagwell in February 2020 with more than three decades of experience and insights as a chief communications officer leading global communications teams, brands and agencies. He is well-known for expertise in reputation building, content creation, data and analytics, crisis readiness and recovery, and communications team development.

We are looking forward to sharing many learnable moments as One WorldStrides during the conference and can't wait to hear from Baratunde, Erica, John and Ray as we deepen our collective learning and growth. As always, please come back weekly for more conference updates and engagement!

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Hello, WorldStrides and welcome to the first installment of our event blog!

We are only 7-weeks from our first One WorldStrides Conference where we will bring together hundreds of team members in-person, while simultaneously live-streaming across the globe for those team members participating via many of our international offices. To celebrate the next chapter of our future as One WorldStrides, we are thrilled to present the One WorldStrides Conference – EDGE 2022!

So, what’s in a name? We’re glad you asked. In collaboration with our Marketing Team, the conference name and logo were selected to represent key elements of our brand and mission, and we are excited to share the meaning with you. EDGE represents Education, Diversity, Growth, and Experience and the letter placement within the globe shape represents a company poised to break out, bursting with opportunity and growth. The globe shape itself represents our global presence and mission to transform the lives of students and travelers across the world. Finally, the WorldStrides brand colors are used as a rainbow to reflect our commitment to diversity and inclusivity.

Why Washington, DC? Another great question! While we know it’s been an incredibly challenging 18- months for our business, we have continued to expand our reach; enabling students to see beyond the classroom, to see the world, and ultimately help them grow as people and global citizens. We continue to succeed by leveraging our decades of collective experience and unshakeable commitment to our mission, resulting in millions of students learning, growing, and exploring without borders; all of which began almost 60-years ago with a teacher-led student trip to Washington, DC. We invite you all to join us in a city where history is not only remembered but created every day. After all, what greater place to continue to write our story than where our story began?

This time together will provide an invaluable opportunity for networking as well as professional and personal development. We believe profoundly in experiential learning and this will be a place where we can share experiences, learn new skills, and meet other team members. It will be experiential learning at its best.

We encourage you to continue to stay in touch with us by logging on to this page to see weekly updates, news, and more. We have also included an easy way for you to submit inquires via the submission box on this event page. We can’t wait to see you all soon!

One WorldStrides Conference Team

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