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Report on the Global Issues-Taking Action Sessions

La Leche League 18th International Conference
Strength through Diversity - Creating One Breastfeeding World
San Francisco, California, USA
July 3-6, 2003
Report on the Global Issues-Taking Action Sessions

Taking Action...

Approximately one hundred (100) conference participants attended and contributed their skills, experience and knowledge to the eight (8) Global Sessions (Global Issues - Taking Action), that were spread out over the length of the conference, with various participants attending more than one of the Global Sessions. The presence of these "repeaters" was very beneficial to the success of the Global Sessions. After the first session, they were able to orient others attending for the first time to the unique session format which contributed to the improved effectiveness of this format in each additional session.

Each session began with one or two people experienced in the session topic presenting a general overview and relevant information pertaining to the topic. Following this, the participants were instructed to review a list of possible actions on flip chart paper that had been placed for all to see, as well as in handout form for each table. Guided by a facilitator, the participants at each table discussed among themselves which action they wanted to pursue. In some cases, a table decided on a different action or combination of actions not on the original list. Once the actions were chosen, the next 40-50 minutes was spent with participants at each table developing the action(s) they had selected. Fifteen minutes before the end of the session, each table came forward and presented the action(s) to everyone, either using Power Point or on a transparency.

The actions were both incredible and interesting and the enthusiasm and excitement of the participants as they worked on their table actions was gratifying. The development of this session format was based on global sessions at previous conferences, but went one step further to make these sessions even more targeted to participation and the utilization of the skills, experience and knowledge brought to the conference by each and every attendee. One participant commented that she would like to try this type of session format at an Area Conference, and a participant from a private voluntary organization said she would be putting this into practice immediately in her work. The format encouraged networking and collaboration, not only at the actual session, but extending past the end of the conference, as a few tables/groups continued to work on the finalization of their action.

Significantly contributing to the success of these sessions were the thirty-six (36) presenters and facilitators from 15 different countries (USA, Philippines, Guatemala, Peru, Argentina, Canada, Brazil, India, Great Britain, South Africa, Australia, Paraguay, France, Norway and Switzerland), some of whom presented or facilitated and then returned just to participate.

Our wish is that you will enjoy the session reports and will implement one or more of these actions in your own work in breastfeeding promotion and support. We intend to update the report with information on actions that are accomplished, so we ask you to please keep us informed as you work on finalizing any of these actions by writing to Rmagalhaes at Please access the Advocacy Page on the LLLI website for these updates.

Rebecca Magalhaes and Natalia Smith
External Relations and Advocacy
La Leche League International

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