Our 2018 conference, The Road Ahead: Leadership in Uncertain Times, will focus on highlighting work within our sector to advance equity at all levels within an organization. In an ever-changing society, we believe it is necessary to re-evaluate traditional forms of leadership and partnership to include greater innovation and collaboration to tackle the most pressing issues of our time.
Track 1: Collaborative Visioning
Collaborative visioning acknowledges that we cannot solve the problems of today by using the same kinds of thinking that created the problems themselves. To have a lasting positive impact on the complex issues of today, funders need new ways of planning and problem-solving. Additionally, if our common humanity unites us in both our struggles and achievements, then we must envision a future for our sector which incorporates the dreams and needs of the communities we serve. Sessions in this track will highlight innovative strategies and practices to build consensus among divergent ideologies, collaborative funder-grantee partnerships, and initiatives that center the voices of the most impacted in the development of grantmaking and programmatic strategies.
Track 2: Collaborative Leadership
Collaborative leadership challenges us to think beyond traditional, top-down models of leadership. Collaborative leaders are network builders and risk takers who are unafraid to fail forward and share lessons learned with colleagues along the way in order to continually push the work forward. For funders, collaborative leadership means a commitment to shared power with those on the front lines of justice, and a willingness to elevate and learn from the collective brilliance of those frontline leaders to inform our grantmaking. Leading in partnership with other funders and community leaders can help increase general will towards addressing issues of equity and strengthen the intentionality around our work. In this track, we will highlight examples of organizations and individuals within philanthropy who have successfully failed forward, who are creating space at the table for others to show up authentically, and from those who are leading from non-traditional positions of power and authority to make an impact in their work.
Track 3: Collaborative Action
Collaborative action is necessary to maximize the influence funders have on complex social issues and to attain a more just and equitable world. As funders work with limited resources, leveraging the collective power of other funders, corporations, government officials, and activists may have a larger impact than the efforts of any one group working alone. Sessions in this track will highlight case studies of funders who are organizing their dollars in collaboration with other funders, tools to support those ready to engage in advocacy to affect policies, and lessons learned from funders working alongside grassroots organizations and movements to effect change.