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The Learning Conference 2013

June 3–4, 2013

Hilton Miami Downtown, Miami, FL

Closing Plenary Luncheon -- Real Learning in Real Time

Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 12:00 PM–2:00 PM EDT
Symphony Ballroom
Session Description

Far too often, we approach learning as a static, cognitive exercise where we passively absorb data and information. Grantees submit reports, evaluations are conducted and trustees are updated and briefed. In this day and age, that approach is fast becoming obsolete — at best it slows or delays meaningful adjustments to our work, at worst it can render our grants and initiatives irrelevant. Michael Quinn Patton, renowned expert on learning and evaluation, will offer a different possibility for real learning in real time. Using examples and a model for practicing learning, this interactive session explores what can happen when learning is infused with a clear sense of purpose and intent, quality information and meaningful action. Participants will share their learning journeys at the conference, discuss with peers what they had hoped to learn, what they learned and what actions they plan to take when they return home.

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.

Rebekah Levin, Robert R. McCormick Foundation

Rebekah Levin is the director of evaluation and learning for the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, guiding the Foundation in evaluating the impact of its philanthropic giving and its involvement in community issues. She is working both with the Foundation’s grantmaking programs, and also with the parks, gardens, and museums at Cantigny Park. Levin joined the Foundation from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she was research associate professor in the College of Education, designing and implementing evaluations for foundations and nonprofits and teaching evaluation and research methods. Prior to UIC, Levin was with the Center for Impact Research in Chicago for 10 years, serving as its executive director from 2001 to 2006. Levin earned her master's degree and Ph.D. in social service administration from the University of Chicago. Her bachelor’s degree is from Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio.

Michael Quinn Patton, independent consultant

Patton is an independent organizational development and evaluation consultant. He is former President of the American Evaluation Association. He is the only recipient of both the Alva and Gunnar Myrdal Award from the Evaluation Research Society for "outstanding contributions to evaluation use and practice" and the Paul F. Lazarsfeld Award for lifetime contributions to evaluation theory from the American Evaluation Association. The Society for Applied Sociology honored him with the 2001 Lester F. Ward Award for Outstanding Contributions to Applied Sociology. He was the Gwen Iding Brogden Distinguished Lecturer at the 2008 National Conference on Systems of Care Research for Children’s Mental Health.

He is the author of five evaluation books including a 4th edition of Utilization-Focused Evaluation (2008) and 3rd edition of Qualitative Research and Evaluation Methods (2002). These books have been used in over 500 universities worldwide. He is also author of Creative Evaluation (1987); Practical Evaluation (1982); and Culture and Evaluation (1985). He has co-authored a book on the dynamics of social innovation with two Canadians drawing on complexity theory and systems thinking: Getting to Maybe: How the World is Changed (Random House, 2006). His latest book is Developmental Evaluation: Applying Complexity Concepts to Enhance Innovation and Use (Guilford Press, 2011).

After receiving his doctorate in Organizational Sociology from the University of Wisconsin, he spent 18 years on the faculty of the University of Minnesota (1973-1991), including five years as Director of the Minnesota Center for Social Research and ten years with the Minnesota Extension Service. He received the University's Morse Amoco Award for outstanding teaching. He also served as a faculty member with the Union Institute & University for 16 years.

He was the keynote presenter for the launching of the Latin American Network in Peru in 2004, the African Evaluation Society in Nairobi, Kenya in 1999 and at the European Evaluation Society in Switzerland in 2000. He has twice keynoted the American, Canadian, and Australasian Evaluation Society conferences, as well as national evaluation conferences for the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Italy, Denmark, Japan, and Brazil. He is a regular trainer for the World Bank in Ottawa, the American Evaluation Association's professional development courses, and The Evaluators’ Institute.

He has worked with organizations and programs at the international, national, state, and local levels, and with philanthropic, not-for-profit, private sector, and government programs. He has worked with peoples from many different cultures and perspectives. He is a generalist working across the full range of efforts at improving human effectiveness and results, including programs in leadership development, education, human services, the environment, public health, employment, agricultural extension, arts, criminal justice, poverty programs, transportation, diversity, managing for results, performance indicators, effective governance, and futuring. He uses a variety of evaluation and research methods, with special focus on mixed methods designs and analysis.

Session Materials