In early May, the bustling city of Pattaya, Thailand, hosted the Freedom Business Forum 2024. The Forum brought together over 150 attendees, including representatives from businesses, non-profits, academia, and funding organizations, creating a melting pot of ideas and expertise.

Now, well into June, we have all flown home, unpacked our bags, and brushed the sand from our shoes, but many of the valuable conversations, connections, and insights remain with us. Let us take a moment to reflect on the value the Forum brought.

A Hub for Connection and Collaboration

One of the most remarkable aspects of the Freedom Business Forum was the atmosphere of openness and connectivity. Attendees frequently commented on how the Forum provided a platform to come together and that all participants met this with openness and energy. As one participant remarked,

In the past when I’ve gone to conferences like that, people are not very friendly or open. I was so impressed by how open people were and how easy it was to talk to people at the conference.”

Another attendee further emphasized this spirit of collaboration by highlighting the platform’s ability to facilitate networking and consultations: “The forum provided the platform to come together, learn from one another, connecting and networking.” Another attendee stated, “A highlight for me was building new connections & strengthening old ones. I gained so many new insights & knowledge and learned so much from the experts,” shared another attendee.

This “coming together” is incredibly special. Within these new networks and connections, we create and find new and innovative ways to respond to human trafficking.

Building Skills and Gathering Resources

The Freedom Business Forum was not just about networking; it was also a treasure trove of learning and skill-building opportunities. Sessions on ethical storytelling and understanding trauma through cultural lenses were particularly impactful. One participant noted, “Ethical Storytelling cemented the way I have been sharing, and it gave me even more resources and verbiage moving forward. Understanding Trauma Through a Cultural Lens should be mandatory for everyone.”

In addition to these sessions, business experts led breakout discussions on cutting-edge topics such as AI and digital marketing, offering practical tools and strategies for attendees to implement in their work. Recognizing the diversity of our attendees, we strive to make these classes and resources accessible to everyone. One attendee commented, “My staff were extremely impacted by the accessibility of the speakers. Coming from a very hierarchical culture, they appreciated being ‘a part of the conversation.'”

Conferences have the incredible ability to draw us out of the day-to-day running of our businesses and remind us that we are part of a wider community. Within that community are incredible resources, practical tools, and insights. Many of our attendees walked away with tools and best practices they can take back to their offices.

Inspiration and Vision for the Future

The Freedom Business Forum was more than just an event; it was a source of inspiration and vision for the future. The participants’ enthusiasm and passion were palpable throughout the conference. As one attendee reflected, “I would like to sincerely thank FBA for organizing the conference. It helped strengthen my desire to continue to dream bigger in transforming the lives of the people that we serve.”

Call me biased, but I truly believe something special happened at this Forum. Although we all represented different organizations and groups, we came together with a common goal: to find effective ways to prevent and respond to modern-day slavery. With this shared mission, our differences became strengths rather than barriers. We collaborated, connected, and shared resources not just for our benefit as individuals or organizations, but for the betterment of the entire movement.

Looking back, it is clear that the Freedom Business Forum was a beacon of hope, learning, and connection for all involved. The relationships formed, skills acquired, and inspiration gained will undoubtedly continue to shape the future of Freedom Businesses around the world.

Related Articles



Subscribe For Updates & Invitations

You'll receive the latest stories of Freedom Businesses around the world, along with invitations to participate in discussions and initiatives centered around creating business solutions to human trafficking.

Safety Exit