Over 200 Pacific leaders gathered in Nadi, Fiji for three days last week for the trailblazing Pacific Legacy Leadership Symposium.

The room was buzzing with energy from the energizing and inspiring speakers and the cross-sector connections galore. One of the major leadership lessons was the importance of having a clear vision, noting that leaders have to be “more and before.” Few embody this better than former ICAAD Fellow Katrina Ma’u Fatiaki

Katrina’s consultancy, Tapuaki Mei Langi Consultancy (Tonga) alongside Nayacalevu’s Vision Consultancy (Fiji) and Salt Inc PTE Limited (Fiji), have collaborated to respond to a growing need for a Pacific leadership community committed to personal growth and development using globally tested leadership principles that are locally relevant and fit for purpose.

Fiji Leadership Legacy Symposium 2024

The three Pacific leadership firms, aligned in their purpose to cultivate people-centered and values-based leadership, have created the Leadership Legacy Symposium as the first Pacific-led regional leadership conference of its kind. 

Over the three days at this year’s Symposium in Fiji, participants were challenged to analyze their practice of people-centered, values-driven leadership in their own spheres of influence. The speakers and facilitators brought energizing ideas and creativity. The creative energy in the space even inspired poetry like the poem “The Story of the Legacy Leadership Symposium Vaka Drua” by Sala Tupou Tamani:

“Akin to the journeys of our ancestors on those first vakas’, the pioneering voyagers, majestic warriors of the vast Pacific, daring navigators steered by purpose and foresight, the Legacy Leadership Symposium amplifies the drua voyaging traditions, of skillful craftspeople and stewards of the seas… the Legacy Leadership Symposium drua is this and more…” [excerpt]

The Symposium is now an annual convening of Pacific based emerging and seasoned leaders to build and strengthen effective and resilient leaders. This vision is to influence the leadership landscape in the Pacific and build a legacy that will inspire, impact and transform. 

ICAAD’s Erin Thomas during an interactive activity at the 2024 Legacy Leadership Symposium.

As human rights advocates, we remember that leadership and our influence more broadly are empty vessels that we fill. At ICAAD, our purpose and vision is to use our influence to shape more just and equitable futures. In practicing our leadership, as individuals and an organization, we share the people-centered, values-driven approach to many of our local civil society partners. 

To date, ICAAD has joined in the spirit of being “more and before” by proposing new legal standards for climate-induced displacement, supporting landmark strategic litigation to improve access to justice for domestic violence survivors, and changing the stigma for highly marginalized communities like Tonga returnees. Reinvigorated by the 2024 Legacy Leadership Symposium, the ICAAD team will continue this work with care and rigor. By centering those most marginalized in our communities, we will continue to lead in service and advocate for futures we all deserve.

Former ICAAD Fellow, Katrina Ma’u Fatiaki and ICAAD’s Erin Thomas at the 2024 Legacy Leadership Symposium.