A Blueprint for Community and Connection

This is the first in a three-part series offering a behind-the-scenes perspective of the Carnegie Summit and sharing stories of our improvement community.

Soon after the 2022 Summit concluded, we began to envision the next, the 10th anniversary of the Carnegie Summit on Improvement in Education. Our Summit team coalesced on the idea of honoring and supporting our incredible improvement community, highlighting stories of growth and impact. After all, these are the innovators, visionaries, and dedicated improvers who are at the heart of the Carnegie Summit and who steadfastly believe (and prove!) that we can address the most vexing equity education challenges and bring transformational change to education. But our team also knew we needed a bigger tent for those on the front lines, those dedicated to making a difference. Grant wasn’t far from our mind.

"How do we ensure Grant and others like him have the best experience, to motivate, to recharge, and to maintain hope?" —Carnegie Summit Team Member

Grant is an educator. Ninety percent of the kids at Grant’s school are below the poverty line and most are not on a path to graduate. The pandemic took even more away from Grant and his school, including his and his team’s energy. But he chose to attend last year’s Carnegie Summit. He attended because he said he was looking to recharge and gain the skills his students need. It was exactly what he needed to gain the momentum to transform his school. 

"What if the conversations begin at Summit and we provide an environment for which to grow beyond it?" —Carnegie Summit Team Member

Our team looked at data from 2022 and crafted a blueprint that centered our design principles and guided our decisions. We asked questions, went deeper, and brought our individual hopes and dreams to the conversation. With new and seasoned staff at Carnegie, the invitation to sustain and grow such a dynamic gathering was daunting, but doable. 

Months later we are very excited about what has come together. In just a few months we’ll be in community, moving through an impactful agenda, finding connections with new and old friends, learning and growing together, facing the challenges and celebrating our success. Grant’s story is always in our minds. Here are a few of the design principles that helped us create the 2023 Carnegie Summit

  • Elevate Voice – Center the voices of frontline improvers. From teacher leaders to hands-on administrators, there are some incredible stories of impact in some of the most challenging contexts
  • Democratize Access – Co-design with our program team and those on the front line (students and teachers)
  • Invite Partnering – With a commitment to equity, collaborate in new ways
  • Create Connection and Belonging – Intentionally designed for inclusion, connection, and belonging, puzzle over urgent challenges, and shape the future of our community together 
  • Spark Joy – The summit will create catalytic joy or collective effervescence.
  • Ensure Quality  – Create a quality experience for our community
  • Simply Ease –  Plan and execute with ease for presenters, attendees and staff to ensure deep engagement, satisfaction and a growing community
  • Learn by Doing – Design for meaning and transformative experiences by learning from each other

We can’t wait for you to be a part of it and let us know how we did!