Wisconsin Idea Summit

Wisconsin Idea Conference

Are we there yet? Actualizing the WI Idea through Community Engagement

The Wisconsin Idea Conference, hosted by the Morgridge Center for Public Service, strives to reinvigorate our collective understanding of and relationship to the Wisconsin Idea through the lens of community-university engagement. By bringing together community-engaged scholars, staff, and students from across campus, while also incorporating community voice, we can strengthen relationships, develop our understanding of our state and local community, and elevate the quality of community engagement at UW–Madison.

Who should attend: UW community-engaged faculty, staff, and students with an interest in university-community engagement. Community partners are welcome, although content is geared towards campus audiences for this iteration of the conference.

When is it: The WI Idea Conference will be held on Monday, March 27 at Union South. Aspects of the event will also be streamed online.

Call for Proposals

The planning committee is seeking proposals for breakout sessions for the first annual Wisconsin Idea Conference on Monday, March 27

The theme for the 2023 Conference will be Are We Ready? Actualizing the WI Idea through Community Engagement. This theme aims to turn the mirror towards ourselves as members of the university, encouraging critical reflection on our motivations for and approaches to community engagement.

In doing so, we also seek to elevate examples of excellent practice and to activate participants to engage in reimagining the relationship and responsibility of our university to the community. See below for more details.

Event Goals

  1. Strengthen relationships among UW community-engaged scholars, practitioners, and students that enhance interdisciplinary collaboration, networking and the professionalization of excellent community engagement. 
  2. Develop UW affiliates’ understanding of community engagement best practices and guiding values. 
  3. Elevate and learn from community voices and highlight exceptional examples of community-university partnership. 
  4. Provide university participants with strategies, pathways, and resources to support their active pursuit, development and maintenance of high-quality community-engaged practices.

Proposal Details

We are seeking proposals for 35- or 75-minute breakout sessions that will be facilitated in-person. We encourage folks to consider opportunities to include community partners in your proposals and to invite them to co-present with you. Proposals can take a variety of forms, including:

  • Interactive workshop – work with participants in an interactive way for a shared goal
  • Panel – highlight voices and experiences of panelists around a shared theme
  • Facilitated reflection/discussion – do you have a question or topic you’d like to explore with others? You can propose a session in this discussion-based format.
  • Lecture – share insights around a particular topic
  • Praxis Highlights – examples of community-engaged practice. This may look like an overview of a research collaboration, project partnership, or other engagement. 
  • Lightning talks – 5 to 10-minutes to share out about a partnership/project/etc

**For 35-minute proposals, there will be two presentations scheduled within the general 75-minute session block.

Proposals should address one or more of the following themes:

  • Institutionalizing Community Engagement  – how can UW-Madison as an institution support high-quality community engagement? What will this look like (e.g. policies, procedures, overcoming challenges)? What will you do to create or support this change? What challenges are you experiencing that you’d like to troubleshoot with others?
  • Building and Maintaining Equitable Partnerships – what are good practices to follow when working in relationship with community partners? How do you get started if you’re new to community engagement or UW-Madison? How are people regarding community wisdom and expertise as equally important as university expertise? How are people listening? What challenges are arising? What systems changes have happened (or are needed) to support equitable, sustainable community engagement?
  • Centering Community in our research and work – historically, much community engagement has been centered on the needs of the university. How do we flip this script and center community priorities and elevate community wisdom? How do concepts of diversity, equity and inclusion intersect with community-engaged work? 
  • Community-Engaged Scholarship and Learning What would consistent good practice look like at UW? Do you have a work in process you would like to share? What does the future of engaged scholarship look like?

Successful proposals will meet some or all of the following criteria: 

  • Apply a diversity, equity, and inclusion and/or antiracism lens to their work 
  • Learning outcomes that are responsive to the event’s themes 
  • Integration of community voice 
  • Rooted in practice and/or provide participants with strategies to improve practice 
  • Provide participants with opportunities to develop relationships with engaged scholars and professionals at the university and/or the community 
  • Raise salient or outstanding questions related to the above topics