Last week, NEXT: A Division of Birthright Israel Foundation, in partnership with the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Philanthropic Network, convened a Midwest NEXTwork gathering in Chicago. The gathering brought together more than 50 Midwest professionals from the NEXTwork – NEXT’s national network of young professionals engaging young Jewish adults – and members of the Schusterman Philanthropic Network, including ROI Community and REALITY participants, for networking and workshops on best engagement strategies. The “engagers” represented 31 organizations from 14 metropolitan areas.
The Midwest Convening was an opportunity for engagers to further develop cross-organizational and cross-city networks, while learning how to effectively reach new members of their community, and bring change and innovation to their workplace. Engagers acquired tangible new tools and skills through master classes with experts, offered in three areas: 1) Organizational Change, focused on the immunity to change framework and change management; 2) Branding and Communication, focused on strategies and techniques to create and communicate a brand story; and 3) Peer Engagement, focused on best practices in welcoming new members to a community, one-on-one engagement, program design and evaluation.
Six previous NEXTwork convenings around the U.S. have brought together more than 145 individuals. This marked the first convening of this type done in partnership between the organizations.