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The Learning Conference 2013

June 3–4, 2013

Hilton Miami Downtown, Miami, FL

Opening Plenary Luncheon -- Toward Resilience

Monday, June 3, 2013 at 11:30 AM–1:30 PM Eastern Time (US & Canada)
Symphony Ballroom
Session Description

It's the question that many grantmakers are striving to answer: in an age of increasing volatility, how can we bolster the capacity of people, communities and systems to recover, persist, or even thrive amid disruption?

For four years, PopTech's Andrew Zolli and his collaborators traveled the globe exploring the dynamics of resilience, the ability to adapt and successfully respond to a wide variety of unforeseen challenges and disruptive change. It brought them into contact with innovators, change agents and leaders who are transforming at-risk ecosystems in the Pacific Ocean, reforming financial systems in Iceland and strengthening communities besieged by Superstorm Sandy.

Grantmakers have an opportunity to be at the nexus of resilient systems, people and places. Zolli will explore new approaches to building capacity and enhancing community efficacy and self-reliance and highlight the role of learning and continuous improvement in constructing a more vibrant, healthy and sustainable future.

Session Type



Kathleen P Enright, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations

Kathleen P. Enright is the president and CEO of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations. GEO is a national coalition of grantmakers who understand that grantmakers are successful only to the extent that their grantees achieve meaningful results. Therefore, GEO promotes strategies and practices that contribute to grantee success. While with GEO, Enright (with the GEO board of directors) has developed a compelling vision and cohesive strategy for the organization, led GEO through a merger, supervised the development of a host of products and services and forged high-profile publishing and other partnerships.Previously, Enright served as the group director, marketing and communications for BoardSource. She joined BoardSource as editorial manager and later became assistant director of communications. Prior to joining BoardSource, Kathleen was a project manager for the National Association of Development Organizations Research Foundation where she directed a Ford Foundation funded project to encourage collaboration between nonprofits and local governments.he holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master’s of public administration from The George Washington University.

Andrew Zolli, Pop Tech

Andrew Zolli is an acclaimed leader in the fields of global foresight, social innovation and resilience. He serves as curator and executive director of PopTech (, a global innovation network which brings together scientists, technologists, engineers, designers, business leaders, social entrepreneurs, ecologists and others to collaborate on new approaches to the world’s toughest challenges. Under his leadership, PopTech has incubated breakthrough collaborative innovations in mobile healthcare, education, sustainability, and a number of related fields. It has also identified and trained dozens of the world’s leading social innovators and scientists; and its annual thought-leadership conferences have become one of the most recognized and influential in the world. Zolli has served as a Fellow of the National Geographic Society, and his work and ideas regularly appear in dozens of leading publications and media outlets. In July 2012, Zolli's next book, Resilience: Why Things Bounce Back, will be published by Free Press, a division of Simon and Schuster.

Sidney R Hargro, Community Foundation of South Jersey

In his 15-year career in philanthropy, Sidney Hargro has produced a record of success in community leadership, organizational innovation and performance, and strategic grant investment. Since 2009, Hargro has served as the first executive director of the Community Foundation of South Jersey, which serves the southern eight counties of New Jersey. Hargro's goals are to build and implement a foundation strategy that embraces the foundation’s three roles as giving advisor to donors, advocate for philanthropic investment in South Jersey solutions, and community convener for the issues that matter in the region. Hargro came to the foundation from The Columbus Foundation in Columbus, Ohio where he was the Senior Officer of Strategy and Organizational Learning. He also served as the philanthropic advisor for the Siemer Family Foundation, Paul G. Duke Foundation, and Central Benefits Healthcare Foundation. Hargro graduated from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro, NC with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and received master’s degrees from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio and United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio.

Connie Yowell, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Connie Yowell oversees a $85 million program on Digital Media and Learning, one of the first philanthropic efforts in the country to systematically explore the impact of digital media on young people and implications for the future of learning. Prior to joining the Foundation, Yowell was an Associate Professor at the University of Illinois, publishing scholarly work that examined the complex interplay among young people’s emerging identity, their social context and achievement. Her research integrated the fields of adolescent psychological development and organization change to address the problem of high school dropout among immigrant students in the United States. Yowell briefly served as Policy Analyst in the U.S. Department of Education during the Clinton Administration, and has worked closely with teachers and administrators to develop and implement literacy curricula for Latino youth, and as evaluator and program coordinator for youth development programs in New York City.
Yowell received the Distinguished Fellows Award from the William T. Grant Foundation, under which she worked with the National Writing Project to develop approaches that integrate web 2.0 technologies into the social practices of teachers. Yowell earned her bachelor’s degree from Yale, and her PhD from Stanford University.