Introducing … SparkEd! Ideas collide November 3.

Several forces, including Spark Club, have helped push education into the forefront of local conversation. Today, we’re launching a new gathering centered on this cause. We call it SparkEd. We’ll keep the same vibe as any other Spark Club event, only a bit more participatory.

For our inaugural event on November 3, you can choose to participate in one of two ways: as a presenter or as an ideator. Presenters will be given five minutes to share a challenge facing their organization (read below for more on how to apply to be a presenter). After the presentations, attendees will be invited to rapidly ideate possible solutions together with the guidance of a moderator. We’ll have some help in this department from Nathan Huntoon, Director of the Innovation Gymnasium at SMU’s School of Engineering. The hope is that this format engages the crowd in generating breakthrough ideas for the presenting organizations (and ultimately for kids).

If you’d like to participate as an ideator, just RSVP at SparkEd.eventbrite.com. Of course, if you’d like to attend as a curious observer, you’re welcome too! While tickets are free, we ask that you please consider making a donation to help cover the costs associated with producing the event.

If you are courageous enough to candidly share a challenge and interested in getting some of Dallas’ most creative minds on the case, the next step is to read below and email contactsparked@gmail.com with the information requested by October 13. After receiving your response, we’ll contact you with any clarifying questions and inform selected presenters by October 24.

FOR PRESENTERS:

1.       PRESENTER NAME:

2.       ORGANIZATION:

3.       CONTEXT: Please provide as much context as needed to adequately explain the challenge facing your organization. Why is it important for you to solve this problem? How have you previously tried to solve it? What obstacles or constraints appear to remain?

4.       THE CHALLENGE: Please phrase your question using this format: How do we _______, given (CONSTRAINT #1) and (CONSTRAINT #2)? Try to avoid using money as a primary constraint.

Here’s a common (but fictional) example that might help:

  1. Presenter Name: Bob Smith
  2. Organization: Kids Rock!
  3. Context: Like most nonprofits, we’re constantly seeking the support of volunteers and donors. When someone does express interest, we typically add that person to a contact list. This person is then alerted to volunteer and/or donor opportunities. We know there is tremendous human capital to be cultivated within this pool of supporters, yet we don’t have a method for truly unleashing their potential beyond this current way of operating. We often feel we don’t have the capacity to build deeper relationship with supporters. Perhaps we also fear some loss of control that would come from a greater level of supporter involvement.
  4. The Challenge: How do we more fully engage existing supporters in creating value for our organization, given limited volunteer management capacity and experience?
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