Get on the Social Innovation Bus!

 Registration is closed for this event
Ever wonder how to take game-changing ideas to scale? How to ensure that organizations working in the social sector can sustain the work that needs to be done in making those ideas a reality? Well, you can stop wondering and get on the Social Innovation Bus with FCI.

Thought leaders across the country are looking at the idea of placemaking, which is, according to the Project for Public Service, “a multi-faceted approach to the planning, design and management of public spaces. Put simply, it involves looking at, listening to, and asking questions of the people who live, work and play in a particular space, to discover their needs and aspirations. This information is then used to create a common vision for that place.” There is no better way to learn, get creative, make connections and think big than to get out into the world and see new places.

Join us on
October 24th for a day-long road trip that will provide an intimate look at a community that has embraced social innovation as a strategy for meeting social needs and strengthening its civil society. 

The day will include a bus trip to downtown Appleton to tour Riverview Gardens, a 72-acre nonprofit urban farm, park space and 
community center. What used to be an 18-hole private golf course and country club is now a self-sustaining venture for utilizing community green space to address the root causes of poverty, homelessness and unemployment in the Fox Valley area. A tour of this model program will be followed by a lunch at Riverview Gardens and include a lunchtime presentation featuring:


  • Jeff Snell, director of Marquette University’s Social Innovation Initiative – Jeff will present the audience with a comprehensive overview about social innovation/enterprises and key success factors.

  • Dennis Johnson and Ben Williams, Forward Community Investments – Dennis and Ben will talk about collaboration-building concepts and the best practices needed to launch a successful collaboration.

  • Cindy Sahotsky, director of COTS/Riverview Gardens – Cindy will talk about the genesis of Riverview Gardens and its impact on the homeless and unemployed populations in the Fox Valley.

  • Funders from the Fox Valley, including J.J. Keller Foundation, Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region and U.S. Venture/Schmidt Family Foundation will talk about their involvement in Riverview Gardens and their support of social innovation and collaboration and what it’s meant to their community.

Our hope for the Social Innovation Bus Tour is to bring together funders, nonprofit leaders, planners, developers, neighborhood leaders and city and county representatives for a day of learning, collaborative thinking and, yes, fun! More than that, though, we hope that the day will give pause for reflection, offer opportunities for working cross-sectors.

We hope you can join us!

October 24th, 2013 8:00 AM   through   5:00 PM