# GO-GN 10th Anniversary: Making and sustaining connections thanks to GO-GN

*This post is by Melissa Ashman *

I had the immense pleasure of attending and presenting at the Global OER Graduate Network (GO-GN) 10^{th} anniversary workshop on October 13 and 14, as well as the Open Education Global 2023 Conference on October 16-18, in Edmonton, Alberta. I first met folks from GO-GN in-person earlier this year at the OER23 conference in Inverness, Scotland. At that time, I shared how valuable and impactful it was to forge connections with other doctoral students doing research in open education.

Six months later, I am feeling so many of the same emotions again. I reconnected with some of the participants from the spring and made a cadre of new-to-me connections. It was an amazing experience to “nerd out” with others about very niche open education topics and to learn more about the work taking place around the world. There is something so deeply special about connecting with others in this way.

At the GO-GN workshop, I presented the questions I will ask when I interview my research participants. Overall, it was a helpful and supportive experience, allowing me to build connections and gain insights that could result in richer discussions with my participants.

Something that I did not anticipate as an outcome from this experience was feeling reassured about my research direction and proposal more generally. I felt fully supported before, during, and after I presented, and this is something I value so greatly about the GO-GN community. The network brings together those with different levels of experience and perspectives on open education research in a supportive, uplifting, and caring way. I left the workshop feeling like my ideas and viewpoints were welcomed and valued.

I am grateful for the opportunity to have participated in the workshop and conference, and I look forward to more opportunities to contribute to the vibrancy of the network.

*Image credit: Support from the Network by Bryan Mathers (Visual Thinkery) for GO-GN is licensed CC BY 4.0 *

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