Building off of the success of last year’s inaugural Wisconsin Idea Conference, this year the Morgridge Center for Public Service is expanding their annual event to encompass a daylong conference, in addition to a variety of other events that showcase and build capacity for robust community-university partnerships. Wisconsin Idea Week is a celebration of the public purposes of education and seeks to seed innovation and social impact by fostering an engaged, collaborative university.
This year’s theme, Community University Partnerships for Stronger Communities, seeks to emphasize the importance of bringing together community and campus expertise, knowledge, and people power to create stronger communities, resilient systems, and a more just and equitable world. Both communities and the university have assets to share and vital roles to play in ensuring we are developing and sustaining engaged citizens that in turn strengthen our networks and our democracy.
Save The Date
Featured Event: Wisconsin Idea Conference — April 9-10, 2024
Theme: Community University Partnerships for Stronger Communities
Dates: Tuesday, April 9 — Daylong Conference @ Union South
Wednesday, April 10 — Half-day conference designed for and by UW–Madison’s community advisory board members at UW South Madison Partnership. Organized by the Wisconsin Network for Research Support.
Lighting Talk submissions will be accepted. We’ll be hosting one lightning talk session and we encourage submissions for brief, 5-minute talks that highlight excellent examples of community-university partnership. Not sure your topic is a fit? Other questions? Reach out to Haley Madden or at 608.770.1811. Learn more.
Call for Session Proposals
The WI Idea Conference Planning Committee is seeking proposals for breakout sessions for the second annual Wisconsin Idea Conference coming up in spring 2024 as part of the Morgridge Center for Public Service’s Wisconsin Idea Week. The theme for the 2024 Conference will be Community University Partnerships for Stronger Communities. This theme seeks to emphasize the importance of bringing together community and campus expertise, knowledge, and people power to create stronger communities, resilient systems, and a more just and equitable world. We are particularly looking for sessions that will:
- Take participants through the process of building and maintaining community-university partnerships from the ground up, including sharing bumps in the road
- Demonstrate strategies for collaboration, resource sharing, and capacity bridging
- Cultivate collective knowledge on how to leverage relationships for policy change, partnership, and collective action.
- Describe how to go from partnership to policy change and social action
- Offer insights and critiques on university practices and policies for partnership
- Challenge participants to dream boldly and progressively about their community engagement practices
Applications due by January 15, 2024
Call for Events
We recognize that there are numerous units and entities both on campus and within the local community doing fantastic community-engaged work. Although the conference is one mechanism through which we can build understanding of our respective and shared efforts, we are also inviting interested groups to submit their own events occurring between April 8-16, to be advertised under the banner of Wisconsin Idea Week. This could include, but is not limited to, events such as open houses, partnership panels, or film screenings.
All event submissions will be reviewed by the selection committee before being added to the event website and promotional materials. We are seeking events that meet the following criteria:
- Free and open to the general public
- Feature an emergent or ongoing community-university partnership OR initiate community building
- Alignment with the WI Idea Conference theme
- Present opportunities for knowledge sharing or collaboration
- Must be within the Dane Co area
- Alignment with WI Idea Conference theme
Event submissions accepted until February 16, 2024
Attending the Conference
Faculty: At the conference, you’ll have the opportunity to
- Learn from and connect with current community-engaged scholars and practitioners about the diverse community-university partnerships on campus.
- Connect with faculty, staff, community partners, and students who share an interest in community-university engagement, and share your experience, challenges and insights with others doing similar work
- Critically reflect on how academia can better respond to and address community interests
Staff/community engagement practitioners: At the conference, you’ll have the opportunity to
- Connect with faculty, staff, community partners, and students who share an interest in community-university engagement.
- Inspire others who are new to community engagement and share your perspective on how UW-Madison, as an institution and collection of scholars and practitioners, can most appropriately and fruitfully engage with community.
- Critically examine community engagement and the university’s role in hindering and advancing equitable partnerships
Graduate students: At the conference, you’ll have the opportunity to
- Explore how community engagement can add meaning to your work, and how to get started in community-engaged scholarship as a graduate student.
- Share your experience, challenges and insights with others doing similar work.
- Reflect on the purpose of higher education and the responsibilities scholars and institutions of higher learning have to their communities
Undergraduate students: At the conference, you’ll have the opportunity to
- Explore what community engagement means and ways to get involved with community engagement as an undergraduate.
- Learn about the diverse community-university partnerships on campus.
- Connect with students, staff, faculty, and community partners who are interested in community-university engagement.
- Strengthen relationships among UW community-engaged scholars, practitioners, and students that enhance interdisciplinary collaboration, networking and the professionalization of excellent community engagement.
- Develop UW affiliates’ understanding of community engagement best practices and guiding values.
- Elevate and learn from community voices and highlight exceptional examples of community-university partnership.
- Provide university participants with strategies, pathways, and resources to support their active pursuit, development and maintenance of high-quality community-engaged practices.
The Wisconsin Idea has long served as a visionary ideal for our institution and has had a major influence on how our university understands its relationship with and responsibility to local communities.
However, the Wisconsin Idea has not always been used for progressive means and has its own complicated history and opinions on the university’s commitment to the idea vary widely.
Through this conference, we hope attendees are able to reflect critically on the role of universities in communities and grapple with some of the tensions inherent within the Wisconsin Idea, a few of which we share here for you to explore.
> Campus Members reflect on the WI Idea
> The Wisconsin Idea: How do we define the concept? (Gwen Drury)