I’m giving away a free registration to NTEN’s Leading Social Change Summit. If you want to a chance to win, leave a comment on this post sharing something that you’d like to learn about Impact Leadership or some wisdom from your experience about practicing impact leadership! I’ll pick a winner by July 3oth.
NTEN is hosting the “Leading Change Summit ” in San Francisco from September 3-6th. (Early bird registration ends on July 31 and scholarship information is here.) This conference will be different from Nonprofit Technology Conference which is geared for a wide nonprofit audience. The summit will be an opportunity for deeper peer learning for nonprofit change makers in three theme areas: digital strategy, impact leadership, and the future of technology. I’m excited to be co-facilitating the Impact Leadership track with colleagues John Kenyon, Elissa Perry, and Londell Jackson.
As you can see from the schedule overview, this is more of a participatory event versus the traditional conference with powerpoints and panelists. While participants in each track will explore their topics in depth and in the context of a facilitated structure, there will be inspiring keynotes and opportunities for networking for all participants. The event will end with an “Idea Accelerator” where participants will have an opportunity to develop and pitch an actionable idea for feedback and funding.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been working with my fellow track facilitators to design the process that we will lead the participants in our track through. We’ve settled in on an innovation lab process that will help participants reflect on their current “Impact Leadership” practice, brainstorm solutions to key challenges, and come up with innovative and practical ideas to implement. We envision that participants will walk away with new insights, but they will also experience an innovation process that you they take back to your own organization.
One of our first design tasks as facilitators was for all of us to get clear on what we mean by “Impact Leadership.” While the specific topics will emerge from the people in the room, impact leadership is focusing within, people, processes and plans to help the org reach it’s mission. Our first session will set the stage and context for the practices of “Impact Leadership.” We’ll hear some brief lightning talks from participants and experts on technology planning, organizational culture, and the human and technical sides of impact measurement and reflect on what it means for our organizations. The facilitators will lead participants through human design facilitation techniques to gain both individual and group understanding of this question: What are our current organizational practices? What are the points of pain, strengths, and opportunities?
We know that leadership isn’t just about talking about the problems, it is also about discovering solutions. Today’s nonprofit leaders embrace collective creativity. We will facilitate a brainstorming and creative process of generating ideas that address the question: What are some ways that we can improve our practice of technology planning, organizational adoption, and impact measurement to get better results? Of course that particular question will change, morph, and multiply based on the earlier session, but it will provide a rich framework for generating many useful and practical ideas.
What great about this conference is that we will have creative immersion and change to “sleep on our ideas.” The brainstorming techniques from the previous day will yield many, many insights and ideas. However, putting great ideas into action calls for making things happen in a resourceful manner and frequent iteration. We facilitate small groups of participants to synthesize and create different prototypes for their ideas, bringing them to life — all with the goal of improving their organization’s current practice of impact leadership. Participants will not only end this session inspired and armed with a playbook of techniques and ideas to try back at the office, but may also have the genesis of a great idea or two to collaborate on during the next day’s Idea Accelerator.
The magic will happen based on who is in the room and the conversation. Colleagues like Deborah Finn and others are excited about the opportunity to learn from nonprofit tech peers. The deadline for early bird pricing is July 31st and if budget is tight, there are some limited scholarships available. And, if you are lucky, you might win a free registration by sharing your thoughts about impact leadership in the comments below.