Catalyzing Change at The Collaboratory 2016

Chicago Community Welcomes Largest Gathering Yet

From May 15th-17th, over 200 innovators, activists, dreamers, and doers joined us in Chicago for the fourth annual Collaboratory. Coming from 15 states and 5 countries, this group came together to help create our largest gathering yet!

Co-produced with Bikkurim, PresenTense, ROI Community, and UpStart, this year’s gathering focused on creating great places to work — where organizational culture and infrastructural supports mirror the values that we and our collective projects espouse.

We were welcomed to the Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership on Sunday evening by Hal Lewis, president and CEO of Spertus, our sponsoring host. Gali Cooks, executive director of Leading Edge, delivered our evening keynote, “Why Focus on Workplace Culture?”, which set the tone – with humor, candor, and sincerity – for the rest of the experience.

New to this year was ACTIVATE: our follow-on program that invited participants to engage in deeper conversations around specific affinities or specialized content areas like growth and scaling, intrapreneurship, and applying Jewish wisdom to our work.

Other highlights included:

  • Spending the morning with Grammy- and Emmy-nominated singer-songwriter Peter Himmelman, who spoke about Harnessing Uncertainty to Fuel Creativity;
  • A large-format workshop on building a practice of mindfulness into the workplace, facilitated by participants Alison Laichter, Rabbi Lee Moore, and Rabbi Brent Spodek; and
  • Skills trainings in crowdfunding, digital storytelling, designing co-working spaces, organizational culture, public speaking, vision and execution, best practices in creating great places to work, and much more!

After the Gathering: Some Words of Gratitude

We at JVG are incredibly grateful to our collaborators and co-producers Bikkurim, PresenTense, ROI Community, and UpStart on co-creating an inspiring gathering.

We also appreciate the support of Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, The Crown Family, Lippman Kanfer Foundation for Living Torah, Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership, Leichtag Foundation, JHub, Jewish Initiative for Animals, Jewish United Fund, The Morningstar Foundation, PJ Library, and Project Accelerate.

Here’s some of what our participants are saying:

  • “This thoughtful, innovative and intelligent group of people facilitated by thought provoking sessions and speakers is what our community is all about and how we move forward.”
  • “I was impressed by the quality of the programming, the thoughtfulness of the presenters, and the diversity of participants. It got me out of my own little bubble, and opened the doors to some potential new collaboration.”
  • “Thank you for the phenomenal experience of the last few days. I feel really privileged to have been a part of it.

For more about The Collaboratory:

  • See pictures from this year’s gathering on Facebook.
  • Join our mailing list to stay up-to-date on all things Collaboratory.


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