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Tue, Jun 09


Zoom: information will be sent via email

Wisconsin Partners Virtual Summit: Collaboration in an Age of Isolation and Polarization

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Wisconsin Partners Virtual Summit: Collaboration in an Age of Isolation and Polarization
Wisconsin Partners Virtual Summit: Collaboration in an Age of Isolation and Polarization

Time & Location

Jun 09, 2020, 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM

Zoom: information will be sent via email

About the Event

We are in an unprecedented time, cautiously and bravely navigating a pandemic that has exposed and exacerbated the cracks in our systems, our communities, and frankly, ourselves. It has become clearer than ever that our lives are deeply interconnected and that we cannot effectively move forward without deep and meaningful collaboration that bridges divides.

Wisconsin Partners is a coalition of statewide associations that was born out of a period of conflict and transition almost ten years ago. We recognized the need to build relationships before we needed them, to bring partners together across a wide range of sectors, and to go beyond quick fixes towards bold, effective change. Conflict doesn’t need to be resolved: we need to harness that energy for transformation and innovation.

We are inviting Executive Directors, Associate Directors, CEOs, and Presidents of statewide associations to join us for a 90-minute virtual gathering as a chance to put our heads together, pick each others’s brains, and move our state towards transformative development and repair.



Breakout Session #1: Workshop on Depolarizing Habits.

The divides between us can seem massive and unresolvable. The debates between family members, gridlock in legislatures, and antagonism between and across communities – in an election year in the middle of a global crisis, these divides might feel sharper than ever. Sue will facilitate a workshop based on the Seven Habits of Highly Depolarizing People, helping us to better understand conflict and build relationships in the midst of it all.

Breakout Session #2: Workshop on Building Rural & Urban Bridges During a Pandemic.

There are many master (aka, dominant, meta) narratives that frame how we operate in the world today: that if you work hard enough you can succeed; that there are always scarce resources; that life is a zero-sum game and if others get something that means you lose; that there is a great rural/urban divide, etc. Groups need to understand what master narratives are and how they are invisibly guiding people’s views in order to pave the way for different conversations. In this discussion, participants will discuss how to use the current pandemic to build bridges between rural and urban constituencies to set the stage for greater collaboration on key things that could benefit both demographics.

Breakout Session #3: Forum on safe and strategic re-entry.

How are you handling the re-entry process? Every association will have a chance to share the strategies they and their members are using after the safer-at-home order has ended, and as we continue to navigate this crisis. The goal is to learn from each other, share ideas and best practices, and provide peer-based trouble-shooting as relevant. If your association has great ideas, or if you’re struggling to figure it out, we’d love to hear from you.

Breakout Session #4: Forum to explore the cracks exposed by COVID-19.

What has been exposed during this crisis? Where are our greatest wounds? Every participant will have a chance to share their perspectives, either personal or professional. As time permits, we will have an open, lightly facilitated conversation around healing, repair, and moving forward.


Confirmed Executive Directors:

Anne Katz, Arts Wisconsin

Bob Kellerman, Greater Wisconsin Agency on Aging Resources

Brad Paul, Wisconsin Community Action Program Association

Charlene Mouille, United Way of Wisconsin

Kerri Parker, Wisconsin Council of Churches

Ruth Schmidt, Wisconsin Early Childhood Association

Sam Wilson, AARP Wisconsin

Stephanie Harrison, Wisconsin Primary Health Care Association

Tim Size, Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative

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