As the last day of the 2012 Cradle to Career convening comes to a close, I wanted to share some second day highlights:
- In the breakfast plenary, Reba Dominski of Target, Stacey Stewart of United Way Worldwide, and Michael Robbins of the USDoE spoke about how the business community uses data to impact practice, and how these lessons translate into the social sector. It was a fantastic talk on the importance of data and of how these leaders have leveraged their experience. Perhaps the most powerful message I heard was this: “Knowing the whole community is behind you, and that they have expectations for outcomes, acts as a powerful impetus.”
- Throughout the day, there were 22 (22!) workshops exploring issues across the cradle to career gamut: eliminating disparities, digital learning and collective impact, creative tension in collaborative action, developing a communications strategy, federal policy priorities, community learning centers, and so much more.
- My personal highlight from the second day was definitely the lunch plenary with Dan Cardinali of Communities in Schools, Lee Fisher of CEO’s for Cities, Michael McAfee of Promise Neighborhoods Institute, and Ralph Smith of the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Each panel member spoke about his own experiences with collective impact work, and shared his lessons learned for creating partnerships and leveraging best practices. The entire audience was entranced and engaged with these amazing speakers, and the takeaway message for me was to always remember the importance of believing in the possibilities of this work, of owning that belief and the responsibility for acting on it, and of sharing accountability for making it a reality. The room was electric when these four men spoke.
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