When I co-created the Gather North retreat in 2015, I wanted to fill a gap. Gather North was the event that I wished existed: a place for women in tech to feel safe while they developed their network, built connections, and explored opportunities. A place where attendees would be challenged and inspired; where they could be honest, vulnerable and feel supported.
One of the secrets to Gather North’s 5 years of success was that it was constantly changing. I had no interest in simply repeating what was done before. It’s why the location changed every year. Our community grew, in both size and in composition. It was deeply important to me, and to the Gather North community, to make the events more open and inclusive. We intentionally expanded our community from women to all marginalized genders in tech. Sponsors who understood our mission came on board with their support. I’m proud of the work we did, and the event and community we built together, year after year.
But the landscape for tech conferences, retreats, and events has evolved since 2015 when that first Gather North took place. And in many ways, I feel like Gather North has come to its natural end. It's time to move on and make space for so many other activities taking place now that seem (to me at least) to be in the same spirit of Gather North. It feels like the torch is being passed.
Gather North is ending, and there is always sadness in endings. I will miss Gather North. I take comfort in knowing that the work we’ve done together continues. The values of Gather North live on through our community. The friendships and connections we’ve made, and the magic we felt when we assembled every year, is still alive.
The future of our industry, that we are building together, is a bright one. I’ll see you there.
Gather North host