“Energizing, dynamic, electrifying, inspiring, experimental.”
Those were just a few of the words attendees used to describe Annual Forum 2015 – Philanthropy 2.0: Radical Collaboration, and we couldn’t agree more! At Annual Forum 2015, we asked you to join us as we imagine, create and innovate a new future of philanthropy with donors and nonprofits working together in authentic, trusting and collaborative partnership, for the greater good. This year’s theme, Radical Collaboration, encouraged attendees to not only attend but to participate.
Re-live the Annual Forum 2015 experience with our Annual Forum video, attendee tweets, event photos, and more!
With help from SPARKit, a mobile pop-up park that encourages creative exchange through games, art-making, and a festive atmosphere, and DJ extraordinaire Lizzy Shramko, we hosted our first session of the day, Making New Connections, a fun and engaging networking hour. Radical collaboration requires a first step, an initial introduction, a space and place to find common ground. At Annual Forum 2015, attendees were challenged to take the first step and meet someone new.
“I love that from the very start I was challenged to think in radically different ways- about networking, about what to expect from a conference!”
“It was a great way to start the forum. Awesome vibe!”
Attendees were then invited to pause, listen and learn at our second session of the day, Radical Collaboration in Action. To set the stage, Dameun Strange, a Ron McKinley Philanthropy Fellow at the Bush Foundation, shared his perspective on collaboration, jazz music, and leadership.
Dameun and Khalil Brewington, who together make up KBDS, then shared a LIVE, musical, radical collaboration, creating a piece of music inspired by the day.
Our cross-sector leadership panel then provided examples of innovative, disruptive and collaborative projects and programs happening right here in Minnesota and beyond.
- Dameun Strange, a Ron McKinley Philanthropy Fellow and member of the Bush Foundation’s Community Innovation Team,
- Senator Terri Bonoff, lead champion of the MN Pipeline Project,
- Seitu Jones, CREATE: The Community Meal artist and curator,
- Daniel Wordsworth, President & CEO of American Refugee Committee International, and
- Moderators, Carl Atiya-Swanson of Springboard for the Arts and Kris Kewitsch of Charities Review Council.
Here were just a few of the many share-able moments!
— Lizzy Shramko (@LizzyShramko) September 22, 2015
— Amee McDonald (@Amee_McDonald) September 22, 2015
A mile long dinner in frogtown. A grand collaboration:34 artists, 12 farmers, 430 volunteers. -seitu jones #disruptmn
— Kate Khaled (@PerpetuallyKate) September 22, 2015
— Ian A. Cook (@ianacook) September 22, 2015
— TrixieAnn Golberg (@TrixieAnnG) September 22, 2015
— Kate-Madonna Hindes (@girlmeetsgeek) September 22, 2015
— Shanan Custer (@ShananCuster) September 22, 2015
I came looking for ideas. Already got 2! #disruptmn
— nausheena (@nausheena) September 22, 2015
— Leah Goldstein Moses (@goldstein_moses) September 22, 2015
Through conversation, both in-person and online, around the benefits, and let’s admit it, the challenges, that accompany new collaborative projects, attendees left feeling inspired, energized and equipped with tools for integrating collaboration into their daily work.
Anna Love-Mickelson, co-founder of stoke.d and professor at the Stanford University School of Design, then moved us into our last session of the day, the Open Source Brainstorms. Our goal for this session was to create a space and place for individuals, like you, to bring ideas and opportunities for collaboration, to the table.
Participants self-selected into small group conversations around these five key themes. Each theme prefaced by ‘How might we….’
- create self-identified philanthropists using education and skill-building?
- help boards and nonprofits reflect and include the communities they serve?
- make the communication between donors and nonprofits easy and seamless?
- leverage technology to strengthen the relationship between donors and nonprofits?
- communicate to the world the outcome of our work in a meaningful way?
Using elements of design thinking and a group of dynamic, philanthropic leaders to help facilitate small group conversations, attendees generated more than 350 ideas and potential solutions to the questions identified above.
With the incredible knowledge, skill, and expertise in the room, there were far too many ideas to share out at the event. But don’t worry! Charities Review Council announced that it will be sharing “an idea a day” across our social media platforms (Facebook & Twitter). We hope that you might be inspired by an idea generated at Annual and run with it! Follow us online to see the ideas, share your thoughts and continue the #DisruptMN conversation.
In addition to sharing “an idea a day,” Charities Review Council also announced Open Source Brainstorm Labs, as a space and place for individuals to continue to come together, design and create collaborative solutions. Stay tuned for more information to come in 2016.
The Annual Forum continues to be a place for making new connections, deepening existing relationships, experiential learning and fun! This year, we learned that collaboration isn’t always easy or comfortable, and it’s definitely not linear, but is necessary in order to create meaningful change.
We hope that you’ll join us at Annual Forum 2016 as we continue to grow the greater good in partnership.
P.S. Go ahead, tag yourself and your friends in the event photos, here!