Jewish Innovators and Leaders Gather for 4th Annual “Collaboratory”

The 2015 Collaboratory gathering at Leichtag Commons
The 2015 Collaboratory gathering at Leichtag Commons

More than 200 Jewish innovators and visionary leaders will come together in Chicago today for the fourth annual gathering of The Collaboratory, a unique joint effort to activate networks and propel young leadership forward. The initiative is spearheaded by Bikkurim, Joshua Venture Group, PresenTense, ROI Community and UpStart – five renowned organizations dedicated to building the next generation of Jewish leaders who are redesigning contemporary Jewish life.

Created in 2012 to provide participating organizations’ program graduates with critical professional development and networking, The Collaboratory now accepts applicants from all areas of the Jewish community who are creating out-of-the- box meaningful Jewish experiences. This year’s gathering, filled to capacity, will focus on “Catalyzing Change from the Inside Out,” by highlighting how to build a values-driven workplace and by providing participants with the tools necessary to move their bold visions forward.

Program highlights include:

  • Grammy- and Emmy-nominated Peter Himmelman as keynote speaker;
  • Skill-building workshops focused on creating a stable and energizing
    environment, effective organizational change, digital media, and
  • Networking opportunities to think and work collaboratively to explore
    shared values, approach work with intention, and envision success.

Breakout sessions will be led by experts at the forefront of developing Jewish leadership, including Gali Cooks, Executive Director at Leading Edge, and Hal Lewis, President and CEO, Professor of Contemporary Jewish Studies at the Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership. Attendees will also be exposed to and learn from secular social change experts such as Tonya Surman, CEO of the Toronto-based Centre for Social Innovation and Verinder Syal, Founder of Thoughtful Simplicity.

The Collaboratory gathering will be followed by ACTIVATE, a program to engage in deeper conversations around specific affinities or specialized content areas, including a session on scaling early-stage projects with Rich Leimsider, former Vice President of Programs at Echoing Green, as well as tracks on Understanding the Power of Community; and Innovation and Change: Leading from Within.

The Collaboratory is supported  by Chicago’s Crown Family, Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah, the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation and the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago (JUF).

Both The Collaboratory and ACTIVATE will take place at the sponsoring host, Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership.