The Goal of Frontier 2018

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Last weekend, the Frontier 2018 speakers met for a workshop to plan for the conference -- together we discussed collective impact, our visions for education reform, identified personal and professional connections and fine tuned our goal for Frontier 2018.  I had many thoughts walking away from the workshop: I was excited by the energy and insight that the speakers brought to the table and by the personal connections we were able to draw through our work and conversations.

But the critical side of me questioned the workshop’s effectiveness towards practicing collective impact. Although we had rich, thought-provoking conversations and made connections between our ideas for ed reform, did we successfully practice collective impact? After a few hours of worry and frustration, I realized that this workshop was as a reminder that collective impact is challenging work and cannot be accomplished in a day. Rather, it requires consistent practice and iteration to sharpen our ability to work and organize across sectors.

Here are the major takeaways from the speaker workshop I’d like to share with you:

1. Collective impact is personal. Our ability to effectively communicate and collaborate across sectors begins on a personal and individual level; our identities and experiences impact our actions, conversations, values and courage to push for change.

2. We all want to see major change in our school system. And we believe that systems change doesn't have to be as slow as we once thought given the faster changes we are seeing today.

3. We want change to come from communities. This means educators, youth, parents etc engaging in reform to affect systems level reform.

And finally, after sifting through many thoughts, ideas and comments, we determined that our goal for the conference is to ensure that participants leave with at least one thing they can do tomorrow to contribute to collective impact. Participants will have reflected on their role in education, where they have leverage, and be equipped with the tools, strategies, connections, and courage to push for change in the wider context of our education system.

Frontier 2018 is only the beginning of a larger and long-term collective impact movement in New York City. The conference will seed the idea of collective impact in our shared education ecosystem and push participants to actively and personally engage with reform efforts. I am eager to see what we can accomplish with such diverse perspectives and skills in one room. If you haven’t purchased a ticket to the conference yet, there is still time to join us!

Claim your tickets today!

Nasrin Jafari