Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Connecting Conferences

While the National Conference on Volunteering is taking place this week in Chicago, most people who are involved in volunteer-based organizations, are in their local programs trying to find ways to keep their programs in business, and improve the impact of what they do.

This video is from the May 27 and 28 Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conference, held in Chicago. More than 140 people attended, and shared ideas. On the conference web site you can see some of the presentations, photos, and an attendee list that enables people who attended, or did not attend, to connect with each other.

Below is a map, showing the range of organizations that were at the conference. All of these are groups with a common goal of helping connect youth in high poverty areas with extra adults, and extra learning, primarily in non-school hours and non-school locations.

Imagine if network maps like this were being created at big conferences like the one in New York City, showing how people are connected to each other, and how they might stay connected in the weeks and months between now and the next conference a year from now.

We're planning for fall 2010 Tutor/Mentor Connection activities, including a Tutor/Mentor Jam Concert to be held August 29th in Chicago, and another conference in November. For us to make these a success, we need a network of donors, sponsors and volunteers to step forward to help.

We can shape the future in the image we want it to be, but not without the full support of resource providers, volunteers, students, peers and many other people.

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