After helping to co-create Arianna Huffington’s Thrive conference and Oprah Winfrey’s The Life You Want tour, literary powerbroker agent, Jennifer Rudolph Walsh, co-head of the Worldwide Literary Department at William Morris Endeavor, discovered her own passion for the power of live events.
It’s not surprising that Jennifer and I started our first lunch talking about our shared passion for bringing people — in particular other women — together for the purpose of sharing stories and feeling the power of community. For Jennifer, this passion led her to create the TOGETHER Tour and for me, it’s been TEDWomen, now in its 7th year.
And this year, the Together Tour and TEDWomen are coming together!
The Together Tour hits the road in September on a 10 city tour, featuring a lineup of star storytellers and special guests in each city, including Together co-creator Glennon Doyle, Abby Wambach, Luvvie Ajayi, Connie Britton, Sophia Bush, Knatokie Ford, Jamia Wilson and Elizabeth Lesser, among others. The tour pulls into town, with its lineup of speakers stepping off their special bus and opening the doors at a local venue for anyone who has a ticket (they start at $25 and are available on their website). The promise is an evening of storytelling, laughter, some tears, heaps of optimism and hope that together, women can and do rise together in every community when we connect to our purpose, when we have opportunities to know each other better and to be inspired by each other's stories and work!
The tour officially wraps up a few days before TEDWomen convenes in New Orleans (Nov 1/2/3), and when Jennifer and I realized that a number of Together Tour storytellers and participants had been invited to give TEDTalks at TEDWomen, the ideas of offering a session of Together at TEDWomen was too good to miss. More information about this special edition of the Together Tour, along with sign-ups for the afternoon session on Wednesday, Nov. 1 will be available soon on TED.com.
Many women with important stories to tell and ideas to share have found their voice and had enormous impact because of the books that Jennifer helped them bring into the world, including The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, Daring Greatly by Brené Brown and Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg. She knows a lot about the power storytelling has to change lives and she is taking that knowledge to the communities where these stories — shared live and in person — can create ripples of connections, relationships and actions. Jennifer jokes, however, that she is not a thought leader, but a thought follower.
Jennifer’s purpose — and she is motivated by purpose as well as passion in putting these tours together — is to create an inclusive community of women across the country sharing their heartfelt truths. Together created a free app that allows people to create Together circles and keep the conversation going long after the Together Tour has moved to the next community. She says she wants to inspire other women to find their own unique purpose, to better understand the love story we are writing with our own lives and the better story we can write about our communities and world when we come together.
Building community, connecting, sharing, and spreading good ideas — those are shared passions and purpose for both TEDWomen and the Together Tour. Hope you’ll consider being a part of both in New Orleans in November.
Together we rise!