Posted Wednesday 9 December 2020
Our first-ever virtual Kingston is Global event on Thursday 26 November 2020 was packed with bite-size talks and workshops led by Kingston experts on topics from Covid-19 to squiggly careers. Kingston alumni also had the opportunity to reconnect in a series of regional reunions hosted throughout the day.
Over 500 Kingston alumni, staff and students from over 50 countries registered for Kingston is Global 2020 to get together and learn new skills, network and celebrate being part of the Kingston community.
"I had such a great time listening and learning from my co-panellists on their challenges and adapting strategies to survive the pandemic." MBA alumna Abimbola Kila, CEO of Diamond Shine
This year, Covid-19 has forced us all to change how we live and work. A key focus of Kingston is Global was to provide expert advice and strategies to navigate organisations effectively in this period. History alumnus Gerald Brady, Managing Director at Silicon Valley Bank, emphasised the need to prioritise staff wellbeing. To ensure staff have the practical resources to work remotely effectively, and to actively encourage staff to care for themselves and their families.
"Self-awareness is really key. Be your own cheerleader and work with your head held high. Avoid the idea you have to be like someone else." Business alumna Faith Ruto, Founder of Transformation21st
Career development was also a key theme of this year's Kingston is Global, with sessions on breaking into the creative industries, the rise of the non-linear career and thriving in the workplace. Our Careers and Employability Team were also available throughout the day to offer one-to-one bespoke career advice.
"We are lucky that we can probably get a vaccine for Covid, we won't for a climate crisis." Accountancy alumnus Tuck Seng Low, FCCA Chartered FCSI
Kingston is Global sessions on cybersecurity, environmental impact and economics, focused on making complex issues more accessible. For example, ‘Demystifying economics' with business economics alumna Frances Haque, Chief Economist at Santander UK, offered a quick guide to understanding economic terms commonly heard in the media. Kingston alumni also had time to recharge in a ‘Mindful Motion' workshop with wellbeing coach Darren Yap, and got creative in a coconut-themed ‘Crafternoon' with our Stanley Picker Gallery team.
"The world isn't that big! It doesn't matter how big your network might be, it's the quality of the network that counts, and it is important to build it." Social science alumnus Kay-Luan Tay, Vice Chancellor at the International University of Malaya-Wales
Kingston alumni from across the globe also hosted regional reunions – from Australia to Hong Kong to Nigeria –throughout the day. The reunions offered alumni an opportunity to share career and business experiences in local regions, especially in response to Covid-19. The reunion culminated with an all regions Kingston Alumni reunion filled with alumni stories and memories about student life. There was also an entertaining Kingston is Global quiz!
Kingston is Global was also a way to raise awareness and funds for our Digital Poverty Appeal. At the beginning of this academic year, 25% of Kingston University students were without access to the technology needed to effectively engage in their studies from home. Since launching the appeal in September, Kingston University and alumni support has enabled more than 1,000 students to access laptops, WiFi and/or software to fully engage in their coursework.
Director of Development and Alumni Relations, Abbie Carr, expressed her appreciation to everyone involved in reimagining this year's event:
"2020 has been a challenging year, but Kingston is Global has demonstrated the amazing spirit of our Kingston community. We are incredibly grateful to all our fantastic speakers and hosts for their support to create such an exciting programme. It was great to be able to celebrate the rich diversity, energy and expertise at Kingston. A huge thank you to everyone who joined us!"