Our Common Future – Day 3 In Review

Day Three of Our Common Future wrapped in an uncommonly exciting way with an awesome cast of speakers on the Main Stage and an powerhouse performance by Thornetta Davis, Detroit’s Queen of the Blues.

Day Three opened with a final round of opportunities for changemakers to hear and participate in compelling breakout sessions on various sector challenges. Early morning sessions included one that targeted family foundations and focused on helping grantmakers build authentic relations with their grantees. Other sessions included a racial healing circle facilitated by nationally recognized healing practitioners that offered insights into unconscious bias and inequities that can help the sector advance toward true equity; and consideration of how changes to the Johnson Amendment could threaten the charitable deduction, the independence of charitable organizations, and public trust in the sector.

Later morning breakout sessions included a look at how Michigan’s charitable sector is responding to issues affecting immigrant and refugee populations; how technology can help further mission impact; an exploration of challenges associated with family giving; tips to inspire others, mobilize communities; and bring ideas to action; and strategies to move organizations beyond diversity to embrace true inclusion and equity, regardless of the political climate.

During the afternoon, attendees were excited to see the final version of a large-scale, mobile sculpture that was in in the making over the course of the conference. Created by sculptor Kevin Reese, the sculpture was comprised of pieces of paper on which attendees had written or included images of their hopes, inspirations, and motivations for our common future.

The conference closing Main Stage Day 3 plenary brought together some of the brightest minds for a frank discussion that explored and tested our beliefs about the concept of community. Darren Walker (The Ford Foundation), one of America’s most innovative and outspoken philanthropic leaders, joined Dan Gilbert (Rock Ventures), a native of Detroit, to discuss the city’s transformation and Dan’s 10-year vision for his hometown. And Peabody Award-winning broadcaster and New York Times bestselling author, Krista Tippett (On Being), who has earned her reputation as one of America’s most acute observers of the human spirit, shared insights with the crowd of social good leaders and activists before joining Darren and Robert K. Ross (The California Endowment) and other speakers on the stage for an inspired and inspiring conversation that we think you may be reading about in the headlines in the days to come.

We’ve already started planning to connect and incorporate the learnings and deep relationships built at this year’s Common Future to Upswell and its first annual event in 2018. We’re excited about what’s to come, and look forward to working with you and other changemakers who are committed to advancing the common good, wherever they operate – locally and nationally, across nonprofits, foundations, community groups, social movements, research communities, and businesses-doing-good.


Types: Blog
Global Topics: Conference