Take Action Post Summit

Oct. 18 at Noon-Oct. 20 at noon


Design solutions to solve difficult problems and seize new opportunities at the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities’ Innovation Design Summits. Each summit will be focused on a different mission-critical issue to the Alliance network, and all will call on participants to roll up their sleeves.

These are not conferences. Innovation Design Summit participants will collaborate to design ideas and solutions that can be adopted and accelerated by the Alliance network. Presenters and collaborators from the Alliance network and public and corporate sectors will provide stimulus to inspire and guide work completed onsite.

Accelerating Education Achievement for All Children

As the social sector continues to push for lasting change and stronger impact, human-serving organizations are taking on deeper roles in the educational success of the children they serve. They have long worked to build the foundations of children and families facing significant barriers, and they are well-equipped to address opportunity gaps in education, especially for children of color and children experiencing trauma.

Join this Innovation Design Summit to discuss how human-serving organizations contribute to:

  • Creating positive school cultures and climates for all children
  • Community-level solutions that improve the educational outcomes for entire neighborhoods

At this Innovation Design Summit, leaders from the Alliance network and the education field will learn, problem solve, and develop action plans that will deepen impact and scale solutions that reduce barriers and create equitable learning environments.

Summit Goals

  • I want school administrators, parents, and educators to create school environments where students of all abilities, races, ethnicities, and socioeconomic backgrounds can reach their full potential.
  • I want social sector organizations, schools and policy makers to create integrated mechanisms to support children’s mental and behavioral health.
  • I want educators, families, and social sector organizations to adopt practices or programs that lift up entire neighborhoods.
  • I want educators and social sector organizations to have effective partnerships. 

Kickoff Speaker

Wednesday, Oct. 18 from 1-3 p.m.

Ronald Ferguson  
Faculty Co-chair and Director
Achievement Gap Initiative at Harvard University

Supper Clubs

Wednesday, Oct. 18 at 6 p.m.

Build relationships and dig into issues related to your specific educational focus during Supper Clubs, to be held at local restaurants on the first night of the summit. Because there’s nothing more encouraging than finding colleagues who truly understand your day-to-day struggles and speak your language, join your affinity group for a Dutch-treat meal and feel at home in conversation. As these are a valuable complement to the summit program, registration is required. Space is limited to ensure a focused learning and networking experience. View descriptions and facilitators for the Supper Clubs:

  • Evaluating challenges and opportunities in opening a charter school
  • Making connections in Head Start
  • Achieving impact through alternative schools
  • Addressing challenges in data sharing with K-12 schools

Spark Sessions

Thursday, Oct. 19
8:30-9:30 a.m.
9:45-10:45 a.m.

Who Should Attend

Come alone or as a team! Register two participants for any of the 2017 Innovation Design Summits and receive $100 off a third registration to any of the summits. To receive the $100 discount, first register the two participants and then contact the Alliance Conferences and Meetings Department for the coupon code. Only one discount per person; no other discounts apply.

The challenges that will be addressed require a full array of skills and expertise. Participate as a team so that you will be prepared to take action right after the summit. The conference will be of interest to:

  • Nonprofit human services organizations currently, or interested in, delivering educational services and supports addressing the achievement gap
    • Chief executives
    • COOs
    • Chief program officers
    • Chief clinical officers
    • Directors of educational services
    • Policy and advocacy staff interested in educational issues
    • Fund development executives
  • Education superintendents, principals, and other leaders 
  • Public sector leaders
  • Foundation leaders

Location & Lodging

Hyatt Rosemont
6350 N. River Road
Rosemont, IL 60018

The Alliance has arranged a special room rate of $169 for single or double occupancy, plus applicable taxes. Reserve your room online or call the hotel at 847-518-1234 by Sept. 20 and mention group name Alliance for Strong Families and Communities to receive the discounted rate.

This rate is available for stays up to three days prior to and after the conference, but it is subject to availability at the time of booking.

Ground Transportation

The Hyatt Rosemont offers complimentary airport shuttle service. From baggage claim, follow the red arrows to "Shuttle/Bus Center" and take elevator 3 or 4 and to level 1-Chicago Cubs. Look for the Hyatt Rosemont pink shuttle bus. The shuttle picks up in front of Door #1 approximately every 30 minutes on the quarter hour. Reservations are not required. Contact the Hyatt Rosemont at 847-518-1234 with questions.

What to Wear

October temperatures in Chicago range from an average high of 64 degrees to an average low of 46 degrees. Dress for the event is business casual. The Alliance recommends attendees wear layers because meeting room temperatures may vary.

Meet Our Participating Business Partners

Learn more about the benefits of becoming a business partner.


FEI hotel key card & AV sponsor Brown & Brown Change Maker Sponsor
Mutual of America Networking Lunch Sponsor 



Council on Accreditation Lanyards Sponsor  

Ebsco Activator


Day 1

Noon-1:30 p.m. Registration 
1-3 p.m.

Event Kickoff

  • Welcome
  • Kickoff presentations
3:15-3:25 p.m. Presentation of Commitments of High-Impact Nonprofits Award
3:25-6 p.m.

Design Lab 1: Framing and Research

  • Selecting positive goals
  • Gathering data
6 p.m.

Supper Clubs

  • During this valuable complement to the summit program, gather with your affinity group for a Dutch-treat dinner


Day 2

7:45-8:30 a.m. 

Power Breakfast 

  • Enjoy breakfast while networking with summit participants and business partners
8:30-9:30 a.m.

Spark Sessions

  • Select from one of four sessions designed to spark ideas and fuel work in design labs
9:30-9:45 a.m. Break
9:45-10:45 a.m.

Spark Sessions

  • Select from one of four sessions designed to spark ideas and fuel work in design labs
11:15 a.m.-12:45 p.m.

Design Lab 2: Synthesis

  • Finding themes
  • Crafting insights
12:45-1:45 p.m. Networking Lunch
1:45-3:15 p.m.

Design Lab 3: Concepting

  • Converting challenges into design opportunities
  • Brainstorming Ideas
3:15-3:45 p.m.


3:50-5:30 p.m.

Design Lab 4: Prototyping

  • Creating larger concepts from brainstorm ideas
  • Storyboarding user journeys
5:30-6:30 p.m. Reception


Day 3

7:45-8:30 a.m. Breakfast
8:30-10 a.m.

Design Lab 5: Prototype Planning

  • Evaluating concepts
  • Creating a plan for sharing
10-10:30 a.m. Break
10:30 a.m.-Noon

Pitch Session

  • Prototype pitches
  • Reflection and discussion
  • Coordination of efforts moving forward