The Learning Conference 2017
This event is sold out. The Learning Conference 2017 offers a range of perspectives and new ideas on learning for continuous improvement. Held in partnership with Forefront.
Where & When
May 31 - June 1 2017
Wednesday, May 31, 7:30 AM Central
Thursday, June 1, 2:00 PM Central
Westin Chicago River North
320 North Dearborn Street
Chicago, Illinois, 60654
This event has reached capacity.
You'll be joined in Chicago by more than 300 of your peers, excited to uncover how to embrace a learning for improvement mindset.
The conference agenda features a mix of session formats, structured networking and time for informal conversations with peers. Highlights include:
- Pre-Conference Workshops: Maximize your time by registering for an optional two-hour workshop that provides a deeper dive into topics related learning continuously.
- Breakout Sessions: Select from 12 breakout sessions, designed by members of the GEO community, covering topics from putting a learning culture into practice to using beneficiary and grantee feedback to improve our processes — and much, much more.
- Opening Session: Join an interactive session to help you better understand your unique learning challenges.
- Short Talks: Be energized by keynote style sessions offering fresh perspectives from thought leaders within and outside philanthropy.
- Site Visits: Explore the vibrancy of the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors of Chicago by signing up for an optional, off-site visit to a local nonprofit.
- Fail Fest: Raise your glass to and hear four grantmakers share candid stories of their favorite failures and hard lessons learned.
or scroll down to read conference session titles, listed in chronological order.
Tuesday, May 30
|1:30 - 3:30 p.m.||Pre-conference Workshops (optional, pre-registration required)|
|1:30 – 4:00 p.m.||Site Visits (optional, pre-registration required)|
|4:00 – 6:00 p.m.||Early Arrivers Happy Hour|
Wednesday, May 31
|7:30 a.m. – onward||Registration|
|8:00 – 9:00 a.m.||Continental Breakfast|
|9:00 – 10:30 a.m.||Opening Session|
|10:30 – 11:00 a.m.||Break|
|11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.||Breakout Round A (choose one of six options)|
|12:15 – 12:30 p.m.||Break|
|12:30 – 2:00 p.m.||Plenary Luncheon|
|2:00 – 2:30 p.m.||Break|
|2:30 – 3:45 p.m.||Breakout Round B (choose one of six options)|
|3:45 – 5:30 p.m.||Break / Active Hour #1|
|5:30 – 7:00 p.m.||Fail Fest and Evening Reception|
|7:00 – 9:00 p.m.||Dine-Arounds and Ambassador Program Meet-Ups (optional)|
Thursday, June 1
|6:30 – 7:30 a.m.||Active Hour # 2
|8:00 – 9:00 a.m.||Networking Breakfast|
|9:00 – 9:30 a.m.||Break|
|9:30 – 11:15 a.m.||Short Talks (3 rounds with 2 speakers per round)
9:30 – 9:55 — Round 1
10:10 – 10:35 — Round 2
10:50 – 11:15 — Round 3
|11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.||Conversations with Short Talk Speakers|
|12:30 – 2:00 p.m.||Closing Plenary Luncheon|
|2:30 – 5:00 p.m.||Post-Conference Site Visits (optional, pre-registration required)
Through both formal and informal activities, GEO conferences offer a great opportunity for participants to make connections with their peers, hear fresh ideas and ask questions related to shared challenges.
Conference Planning Committee
- Meghan Barp (Chair), Greater Twin Cities United Way
- Allison Barmann, Bush Foundation
- Cheryl Chang, Sunlight Giving
- Nancy Csuti, The Colorado Trust
- Jon Goldberg, Surdna Foundation
- Luz Gomez, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
- Kim Ammann Howard, The James Irvine Foundation
- Dahnesh Medora, Meyer Memorial Trust
- Dawn Melchiorre, Forefront
- Destiny-Simone Ramjohn, Kaiser Permanente
- Liz Sak, The Cricket Island Foundation
- Maurice Samuels, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
- Donata Secondo, Democracy Fund
- Rick Ybarra, Hogg Foundation for Mental Health
Conference Host Committee
- Greg DiDomenico (Chair), Community Memorial Foundation
- Heather Higgins Alderman, Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation
- Gillian Darlow, Polk Bros. Foundation
- Nancy Fishman, Grand Victoria Foundation
- Michael Hennessy, The Coleman Foundation, Inc.
- Mae Hong, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors
- Grace Hou, Woods Fund Chicago
- Peter Mich, McDougal Family Foundation
- Paul Miles, Wheat Ridge Ministries
- Cindy Moelis, The Pritzker Traubert Family Foundation
- Mary O'Donnell, The Retirement Research Foundation
- Marianne Philbin, Pierce Family Foundation
- Unmi Song, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation
- Beth Swanson, The Joyce Foundation
- Jeff Ubois, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
- Christy Uchida, The Brinson Foundation
- Eric Weinheimer, Forefront
How to join us
All conference programming, with the exception of Site Visits, will take place at the Westin Chicago River North. There's a lot to see and do in Chicago, and we're excited to see you there.Find out about travel details
Our Regional Partner
Forefront builds a vibrant social impact sector for all the people of Illinois. Forefront is the nation’s only statewide membership association that represents both grantmakers and nonprofits, as well as advisors, social entrepreneurs, impact investors and sector allies.Learn more about Forefront
The Learning Conference 2017 has reached capacity, and we are no longer accepting registrations for the event. We have, however, opened a wait list, and interested individuals may add their names to the list. Please note that demand is very high, and we will not be able to accommodate everyone from the wait list.
Contact Shantaé with any questions about The Learning Conference 2017.
Before you join us in Chicago, take a few moments to review the conference policies.