About Think Tank 2019: Make Way for Wonder

An event for Youth Collaboratory members.

About Think Tank 2019: Make Way for Wonder

Think Tank 2019: "Make Way for Wonder"

Join us on Friday, September 6th, in Washington, D.C., as we come together with our membership to learn with and inspire each other.

Here are the ways that you can participate in Think Tank 2019:

  • Champion our cause at Capitol Jam

    - Thursday, September 5th, briefing at 9:00AM ET, Meetings with Senators from 9:30AM ET - 4:30PM ET. 
  • Participate in Think Tank 
    - Friday, September 6th, Check-in & Networking at 8:30AM ET, Sessions start promptly at 9:00AM ET.

  • Pitch your innovations!
    - Join us in celebrating the innovations in the field, as brought to us by YOU - the leading innovators in our work. 

During our time we’ll: 

  • Connect with each other on what’s been going on over the last year, with a rundown of updates on progress Youth Collaboratory has made in our focus areas.

  • Share trends and updates related to the Federal Landscape (funding and public policy), including updates on our second annual Capitol Jam being held on September 5.

  • Celebrate the innovations in the field, as brought to us by you - the leading innovators in our work.

  • Shape how these innovations are incorporated into Youth Collaboratory’s 2020 strategy.

Celebrating Innovation: We Want Your Ideas

Big ideas come from all places. Most of the best ideas come from the people doing the work. Each year Youth Collaboratory brings together its membership of agency leadership, young leaders, researchers, policy advocates, and national thought leaders. We come together and wrestle with new ideas, figure out how they fit into our work, and go back to our communities inspired to continue the work we do. What we learn together at Think Tank influences national policy and initiatives - leading and supporting efforts that will have true impact.

No one knows your community better than you, no one is creating solutions faster than you, no one is innovating more than you. So this year - we come to you for big ideas. Think Tank 2019 will be all about enlisting, growing, and celebrating innovation. 

Tell us something you're working on as an organization that you feel is innovative (What do we mean by innovative? What is cool, new, change-making, inspiring) in your work with the youth, young adults, and families in your community.  We want to share these innovations with our network, and more broadly to the youth services community. 

As we think about our work and how we innovate, we’d love to hear your ideas about some of the following ideas:

  • Coordinating community collaboration
  • Developing a community of advocates
  • Fostering youth well-being
  • Increasing resources and infrastructure for youth
  • Elevating and acting on youth input
  • Resolving systems failures and gaps/addressing institutional challenges
  • Bridging research and practice 
  • Centering equity 

Your innovation touches on one or more of these trends? We love it! Your innovation feels different than these big buckets? Great! Let us know what it is. 

To pitch us your innovation, all you do is share a little bit about it with us. Prepare a short 30 to 60 second video clip (use your iPhone or Android - no big production needed!), and then upload it here with a short written description. We would like to share these innovations widely - once we have your approval. And for Think Tank 2019 - we may invite you to present your idea in a short talk for colleagues across our network.

We can’t wait to come together and share what we’re all doing to build better communities. 

Click here to share your idea

capitol jam

Capitol Jam

Capitol Jam is a day set aside for you and your fellow everyday advocates (youth service providers and stakeholders, like you, who can speak with firsthand knowledge about the needs of youth and young adults) to come to the Hill and talk to your members of Congress about the importance of the work you are doing in their congressional district and/or state.  When you come to DC and share local stories you personalize and elevate youth issues, helping members of Congress to grasp why these issues are important and how Congress can change federal policy to be supportive. We will provide you with the tools that you need - from talking points, to coaching opportunities - so that you are prepared to effectively deliver the message. 

Capitol Jam is on September 5 (the day before our Think Tank), and will run all day - you make your meetings when they work best for you. We will host a virtual Office Hours two weeks prior to answer any preparation questions, as well as an in-person orientation briefing at 9:00 am the day of Capitol Jam. For those taking to the Hill that day, Youth Collaboratory staff will be available at both the hotel and on the Hill to help navigate and answer last minute questions.



We hope these plans interest and excite you - we definitely are excited and eager to walk alongside our members as together, we share, learn, challenge, connect, and inspire one another to keep the momentum towards real change. Will you join us?