Partnering with Penn State Outreach and Online Education, we helped organize the Imagination Summit, a one-day event designed to foster innovation, collaboration, and strategic planning within the university’s outreach community.

“Spud’s level of facilitation was next level! I’ve experienced good and bad facilitation over the years – and Spud was at the top of the charts for what a facilitator is capable of unlocking. He was instrumental to the success of our Imagination Summit!”

Imagination Summit Organizing Team

The summit brought together over 200 attendees from various departments, campuses, and disciplines to explore the critical role that outreach efforts play across the university and state. Often times, groups work in their own silos and rarely have the opportunity to explore overlaps between their work. As the VP of Outreach, Dr. Larry Terry remarked, “I truly believe that today can move us from silos to synergy.”

Attendees participated in interactive brainstorming sessions and participatory discussions, where representatives from various commonwealth campuses, colleges, and centers explored ongoing outreach programming and potential collaborations. One participant highlighted, “We all seem to have a very similar desire on coming together and collaborating, it’s just how do we get there.”

Key concepts discussed during the summit included the importance of building trust, fostering collaborative partnerships, making education accessible, breaking down internal silos, promoting continuous learning, and ensuring transparent communication. Many of these themes were distilled through a World Cafe workshop that we led for attendees.

Many of these ideas were put into action through a closing Open Space session we facilitated, where participants developed and explored 30 concrete collaborative initiatives. Immediately following the summit, specific initiatives were put into place that strengthen the collaborative culture of the workplace.

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