Event Spotlight: 2017 Indiana Coalition Summit

by | Jun 23, 2017

2017 Summit Attendee Infographic (1)

In this new blog series on community coalitions, we start by highlighting the recent Indiana Coalition Summit. Be on the lookout for future blog posts related to community coalitions!

In 2016, the Transform Consulting Group spearheaded the organization of the inaugural Indiana Coalition Summit for Economic Development via Early Learning Coalitions, commonly known as the Indiana Coalition Summit. The event occurred at the Horizon Convention Center in Muncie in collaboration with Muncie BY5, Early Learning Indian

a, and the Indiana Early Learning Advisory Committee (ELAC). This was the first statewide event dedicated to bringing together early learning, business, education, civic, and other community leaders to understand the business case for investment in early childhood. The Indiana Coalition Summit also delivered ways to develop and sustain an early learning coalition in one’s rural, suburban, or urban community. That gathering attracted over 500 attendees across all sectors and affirmed the state’s need for early learning coalitions. 

Continuing with that momentum, Transform Consulting Group led the planning and execution of the second annual Indiana Summit for Economic Development via Early Learning Coalitions, held on June 5, 2017, at the Monroe County Convention Center in Bloomington. The Summit attracted close to 400 attendees, many connecting to the Summit for the first time. This year, Transform Consulting Group and the planning team, consisting of representatives from Monroe Smart StartMuncie BY5ELAC, and Early Learning Indiana, honed in on connecting the “soft skills” (or executive functioning skills) that employers desire today’s workforce with investing in early learning.

Featured Speakers

The morning of the Indiana Coalition Summit focused on building awareness around the need for early learning support, especially for the non-early-learning professionals in attendance. Erin Ramsey with Mind in the MakingThe Bezos Family Foundation started the day with a presentation outlining how investing in early learning shapes the workforce, linking executive functioning skills in children to skills desired by employees (i.e., reflecting, analyzing, and evaluating). This was followed by a short presentation about the current landscape for economic development and early learning from the State’s perspective by Kevin Bain, CEO and Executive Director of the Welborn Baptist Foundation in Evansville and the Chairman of ELAC.

In his presentation, Bain highlighted information shared in the most recent ELAC Annual Report, including the online county profiles (now available through the ELAC website) about “where” Indiana currently is related to critical early learning measures and “what” Indiana should do to improve.

IMG_6207The lunch presentations started with Jeffery Connor-Naylor from ReadyNation debuting a recent Indiana brief outlining how developing social-emotional skills in early childhood positively impacts future workforce success. Notably, employees must be capable of creating and sustaining relationships. Dr. Tim Bartik gave the keynote presentation from the W.E. Upjohn Institute. He made the economic case for investing in early learning. He shared data such as per dollar invested, early childhood programs increase the present value of state per capita earnings by $5.00 – $9.00. Dr. Bartik also shared that the costs for investing in early learning are modest, giving the example of universal full-day pre-K for 4-year-olds, which costs about 4% of what we pay for K-12.

Community Coalition Workshop Sessions

The afternoon breakout sessions focused on supporting attendees in developing community early learning coalitions. These sessions were framed around the forthcoming Community Coalition Building Toolkit developed by the ELAC Provider Participation and Advancement workgroup.

Transform Consulting Group’s President, Amanda Lopez, led the “Creating a Collective Vision/Plan” session, utilizing her experience developing strategic plans and working with community coalitions. In her presentation, Lopez reviewed the four steps of strategic planning: 1) Collaborate, 2) Assess, 3) Facilitate Consensus, and 4) Create the Plan.

The Indiana Summit for Economic Development via Early Learning Coalitions is a shining example of an event that brings together stakeholders from different sectors for a common goal: thriving communities by investing in early learning. It laid the groundwork for having distinct and even unusual partners work together while also giving attendees the chance to network and receive training on developing their community coalition.

If your organization is interested in connecting with or starting a community coalition focused on early learning, check out the resources available from the Indiana Coalition Summit on the Indiana Summit Resource Page or contact us at Transform Consulting Group to get connected!

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