2010 Annual Conference
2010 Annual Conference

Leaders from across the nonprofit community came together for the 2010 Independent Sector Annual Conference. This year’s dynamic program examined how people from organizations of all sizes and missions can collaborate to fulfill the conference theme, “Forging a Stronger Future Together.”

At the heart the conference were the 900 committed, diverse, and knowledgeable attendees. Their experience and expertise powered nearly two dozen breakout sessions and four plenaries, as well as the invaluable exchanges taking place before, between, and after the sessions. Innovative formats that drew on the energy and ideas of attendees encouraged participant contributions.

Conference Highlights

Opening Plenary: American Democracy at a Crossroads
Actor and playwright Anna Deavere Smith began the conference by looking at what she called our "winner-take-all society" through a performance that incorporated the voices of people she has encountered across the country. Following her were Gara LaMarche of Atlantic Philanthropies and Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute, each of whom analyzed the state of democracy. All three then joined a panel discussion.

Conversation with a Sector Leader
Vivian Schiller, president and CEO of NPR, discussed her organization's growth and its responsibilities in an increasingly fragmented and partisan media landscape. Transcript

Luncheon Plenary
The session began with stirring words from U.S. Representative John Lewis about the nonprofit and philanthropic community's vital role in these difficult times.  In her keynote address, IS President and CEO Diana Aviv laid out her vision to make the sector a more powerful force for change. Irene Hirano of the U.S.-Japan Council and Shirley Sagawa of sagawa/jospin consulting then joined a panel discussion about nonprofits' role in creating a less partisan, more productive government.
Transcript  Diana Aviv's keynote 

John W. Gardner Leadership Dinner
The dinner recognized three exceptional leaders: Darell Hammond of KaBOOM!, who received the inaugural American Express NGen Leadership Award, and Gen. Colin and Alma Powell, honored with the John W. Gardner Leadership Award for their commitment to young people and service.

Closing Plenary: Building a Sustainable World
Stephen Heintz of the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation opened the session by describing the challenges in creating a sustainable society. Three leaders -- Gerry Salole of the European Foundation Centre, Paul Schmitz of Public Allies, and Trish Tchume of Demos -- joined Stephen to examine the role our sector can play in pursuing that goal.

Transcript  Stephen Heintz's speech

plenary speakers

Special Programs

Actor and playwright Anna Deavere Smith Actor and playwright Anna Deavere Smith -- watch her discuss her work

NPR Chief Executive Vivian Schiller NPR Chief Executive Vivian Schiller -- read her bio

The conference offered special programs advancing the work of specific audiences:

Public Policy Action Institute -- Nonprofit leaders, communications specialists, and policy advocates developed strategies for making the nonprofit and philanthropic community stronger advocates with public officials.

CEO Track -- Chief executives of IS members shared in-depth, peer-to-peer exchanges on issues relevant to running an organization.

NGen: Moving Leaders from Next to Now -- Targeted workshops and networking opportunities for emerging nonprofit leaders.

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