2011 Annual Conference
Thank you for making the 2011 IS Conference a success!

About 1,000 of the brightest minds from nonprofits, foundations, and corporate giving programs joined us in Chicago for high impact networking and thought-provoking programming. Check back soon for transcripts and videos of keynotes and plenary sessions.

Conference Program | Gardner Dinner Program | Conference Speaker Biographies

Annual Conference Speakers

The 2011 Opening Plenary explores Risk, Failure, and Breakthrough with Andrew Hargadon, Deepak Bhargava and Mari Kuraishi.

This year's Conversation with a Sector Leader Plenary features Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, who will share her insights, challenges, and predictions for the future of the sector. New York Times journalist, Stephanie Strom will conduct the interview.

At the Luncheon Plenary,  IS CEO Diana Aviv addresses the social compact and the role and responsibilities of government to its citizens, and vice versa. A panel discussion will follow with Eric Tanenblatt, Darren Walker and Cobus de Swardt.

The Closing Plenary showcases organizations that are collaborating for greater impact. Speakers include Julia M. Stasch, David O. Egner, Paul S. Grogan, Ben Hecht, and Emmett D. Carson.

  • Speaker Bios

    Deepak Bhargava is the executive director of the Center for Community Change, a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to develop the power and capacity of low-income people, especially of color, to change the policies and institutions that affect their lives. During his time at the Center for Community Change, Bhargava has sharpened the Center's focus on grassroots community organizing.

    Emmett D. Carson is an internationally recognized leader in the field of philanthropy. As founding CEO, in 2007 he led the unprecedented merger that created Silicon Valley Community Foundation. With over $2 billion under management, the community foundation is one of the largest in the world. The foundation's grantmaking is rooted in a strong point of view on social equality and focuses on education, economic security, immigrant integration, regional planning and support for basic needs such as food and shelter.

    David O. Egner has been the president and CEO of the Hudson-Webber Foundation since 1997. The foundation concentrates its efforts and resources on its mission of improving the quality of life in metropolitan Detroit. In addition to his work with the Foundation, Egner also serves as executive director of the New Economy Initiative, a $100 million philanthropic partnership dedicated to accelerate the transition of southeast Michigan’s economy.

    Cobus de Swardt is the managing director of Transparency International, a Germany-based, global civil society organization leading the fight against corruption. He has also taught at universities in South Africa, Australia, Japan, and Germany and authored a wide array of publications on development, globalization and good governance issues. During the 1980s and early 1990s, he was active in the anti-Apartheid struggle in South Africa chairing the ANC in Cape Town. De Swardt is also a member of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Agenda Council on Corruption and serves on the board of the WEF Partnering Against Corruption Initiative.

    Paul S. Grogan
    is the president and CEO of The Boston Foundation, which is recognized as a cutting edge leader in reimagining the role of a community foundation. Beyond grant making, the Foundation has been at the forefront of research and has facilitated frank conversations, convened coalitions, and spearheaded initiatives to tackle some of the most pronounced challenges in the city and region. A critical focus for the Boston Foundation under Mr. Grogan’s leadership has been education.

    Andrew Hargadon is the author of How Breakthroughs Happen: The Surprising Truth About How Companies Innovate. He is also the Charles J. Soderquist Chair in Entrepreneurship and Professor of Technology Management at the Graduate School of Management at University of California, Davis. Hargadon's research focuses on the effective management of innovation and the strategic role of design in managing technology transitions, particularly in the development and commercialization of sustainable technologies.

    Ben Hecht is an experienced nonprofit executive, author and social entrepreneur. Under his leadership, Living Cities has harnessed the collective knowledge of its members and deploys a blend grants, loans and influence to re-engineer obsolete public systems and connect low-income people and underinvested places to opportunity. Hecht has written three books, including ManagingNonprofits.org (2001) with IS Board Member Rey Ramsey.

    Mari Kuraishi is the co-founder and president of the GlobalGiving Foundation. GlobalGiving is an online marketplace that allows donors to find and fund grassroots projects that appeal to their specific interests. The foundation offers projects in more than 100 countries, in a variety of themes ranging from education and health care to economic development and the environment.

    Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is a national leader in transforming America's health systems so people live healthier lives and receive the health care they need. She is guided by the conviction that philanthropy is about simultaneously improving individual lives, transforming systems and in turn, achieving lasting social change.

    Julia M. Stasch is responsible for all aspects of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s grantmaking in the U.S. Prior to joining the Foundation in 2001, she served as Chief of Staff to Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, and as Commissioner of the City of Chicago’s Department of Housing. Stasch also served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Shorebank Chicago Companies where she was responsible for Chicago operations of Shorebank, including South Shore Bank, the nation’s first community development bank.

    Stephanie Strom has been a national correspondent covering the nonprofit and philanthropic community for the New York Times since 2002. She first joined the newspaper in 1988.

    Eric Tanenblatt
    leads McKenna Long & Aldridge’s National Government Affairs Group, focusing on governmental and regulatory affairs at the federal, state and local levels. He currently serves as a member of finance leadership of the Republican Governors Association and as the vice chairman of the Corporation for National and Community Service Board of Directors. He is also the co-founder and past chairman of Hands on Georgia, a statewide program to promote volunteerism.

    Darren Walker is vice president for Education, Creativity and Free Expression at the Ford Foundation. He also oversees the offices of the Foundation in Africa. Walker was previously vice president for foundation initiatives at the Rockefeller Foundation, where he had oversight of the execution of a broad range of programs in the United States and internationally. He is also a member of the boards of the Arcus Foundation, the Friends of the High Line, the New York City Ballet and the Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies, and is the co-chair of the New York Public Library Council.

Be it revolution or evolution,
there is no turning back.

Our sector and the communities we serve are changing rapidly through events and advances both small and large. The 2011 Independent Sector Annual Conference will challenge you to think differently about who we are, how we lead, and the serious steps needed to shape a new future for the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors in these r-evolutionary times.

Registration for the 2011 Annual Conference is open!

Nonprofit leaders, communications specialists, and policy advocates develop strategies for making the nonprofit and philanthropic community stronger advocates with public officials.
Targeted workshops and networking opportunities for emerging nonprofit leaders.
Chief executives of IS members share in-depth, peer-to-peer exchanges on issues relevant to running an organization.
Recognizes two outstanding leaders with the presentation of the John W. Gardner Leadership Award and the American Express NGen Leadership Award.

Sojourn Theatre

We’re happy to announce that the Sojourn Theatre will be the Artists in Residence for the 2011 conference. Connect with them today on The Hub.

Why you should attend.

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