Voices of Improvers: Learning and Building Our Future, Together

This is the final installment of a three-part series offering a behind-the-scenes perspective of the Carnegie Summit and sharing stories from our improvement community. (Names have been changed.)

We are just weeks away from joining in San Diego or online for the 10th Anniversary Carnegie Summit on Improvement in Education! Our team has made enormous progress to ensure this year’s Carnegie Summit is the best yet as we look back on a decade of improvement and the many, many stories of growth and impact. We can’t wait to see new and old colleagues who are part of this unique and inspiring community.

In preparation, our team has been reviewing very early community input from a learning and storytelling initiative–a combination of focus groups, surveys, and user generated content–we recently launched: Voices of Improvers. What we are hearing and seeing is just the fuel we need for the remaining days before we gather.

Take David, one of our focus group participants. David is an education research and policy specialist who looks forward to the Carnegie Summit because of the community, “I feel like I’ve found my people – the folks who approach this work with the same kind of curiosity, compassion, and commitment….genuine critical commitment to equity. Yes, there’s a lot of great ideas, material shared, and I like presenting there because I get really good feedback on my ideas. All of that is very valuable. But to me, the real heart of it is in the relationships.”

"I feel like I've found my people - the folks who approach this work with the same kind of curiosity, compassion, and commitment….genuine critical commitment to equity."

And that’s not surprising, coming together under a shared purpose and desire to connect and belong drives our participation as well. But there’s more to learn and understand, much more. What are the challenges and opportunities in improvement science today? What traction do we have? What supports us and what leaves us feeling stuck? What can we do to improve? Again, David helps voice a concern: 

“What are we doing as a field to lower the barriers, demystify, decolonize and make improvement much more [accessible] than it currently is?"

Our goal for this initiative is for Carnegie and the field to learn how to support, sustain, and deepen the improver community in future Carnegie Summit gatherings, networks and professional learning toward more equitable methods and outcomes. We hope this information will help us understand and celebrate the progress we’ve made as a community over the last 10 years as well as explore ideas and visions for the future. As one of our participants shared, “better is what we strive for.”

Our gratitude to every improver who has shared their story and ideas so far. This initiative will remain open throughout the Carnegie Summit with special recording opportunities and we will be sharing what we are learning in special sessions. We will be bringing together all of the stories for a report that will be shared with the improver community later this year. 

Here’s our invitation to you be one of the #voicesofimprovers. Take our quick survey so we can learn more about your experience with improvement science and ideas for the future and this improvement community. Or share your story (video, audio, or written) in an easy-to-use platform that gives you an opportunity to record your improvement journey, where you’ve experienced growth, have experienced impact, and seen outcomes. 

 We are listening. Marveling at what we’ve seen so far but knowing we need more. We look forward to our time in San Diego and beyond so continue to build this community into the future.