August 3 - April 8, 2021

Join hundreds of education funders, experts and partners to explore the role of philanthropy in shaping and supporting a resilient democracy and vibrant public education for the next generation, under the theme Keeping Our Promises to the Next Generation: Education and Democracy. Our unique virtual conference format includes two components. Conference Year-Round, August 3 - April 8, is a nine-month showcase of member-led sessions that enable funders to go deep on eight tracks. Conference Week, October 12-16, will bring all you love about our conferences with keynotes, networking, and structured and unstructured learning, as well and discussions centered around new research geared to help the field chart a new course for the future.

Our democracy—both its people and its systems—has reached an inflection point. More than half of students enrolled in public education are learners of color, and the United States will soon have no clear racial or ethnic majority. The needs of learners are constantly, quickly evolving as a complex future unfolds that few can predict. Civic, community and family engagement are particularly important as we feel divided by politics, identity and technology.

  • Is our education system prepared to serve a student populace that differs significantly from when the system was developed?
  • Are we preparing young people to participate in a society that looks and acts profoundly different from the one we grew up in?
  • Will today’s learners be ready and able to meet the promise of fulfilling work and meaningful contribution to society?
  • What essential capacities will learners need in order to support a strong democracy?

As priorities, demographics and technologies change, our education system must be responsive to the changing needs of students. An inclusive democracy depends on it.

We invite you to venture into big and brave thinking on these issues.