April 1, 2020
December 31, 2020
AddressOnline Event View map
The past few weeks have been difficult and confusing for all of us. We at the Carnegie Foundation hope that you and your loved ones are healthy and safe. As announced on Wednesday, given the strong recommendations and directives that have recently come forward from local civic leaders and public health officials regarding the spread of COVID-19, the Carnegie Foundation Summit on Improvement in Education is shifting from an in-person event to a digital one. This decision was not made lightly, and as you can imagine, figuring out how to offer a strong program in this modality and then move all of our efforts in this direction has been a huge undertaking. We have had and will continue to have a lot of work to do to make this happen.
Even so, we are excited about the new possibilities offered by the new format. The shift over to a virtual Summit will allow Summit participants to have access to much more of the content than would be the case at an in-person event. We will make available to all Summit registrants on-demand access to sessions following the real-time event. This means that you will have the ability to participate in what interests you the most—and still view (and review) everything else. I am confident that this will afford terrific opportunities to explore improvement learnings from many more members in our rapidly growing community, which will serve you in good stead going forward.
In addition, the shift to a virtual convening now makes it possible for us to expand the reach of the Summit. We encourage you to invite your colleagues to join in the learning as local breakout groups during the live Summit sessions, as well as while the content is available online to registrants post Summit.
We thank you for your patience over the past few days as we have worked to understand the implications of this shift for our Summit community. I would like to provide you with updates on our planning for the redesigned virtual Summit and the status of refunds for your registration fees.
The Virtual Summit Format
We recognize the valuable opportunities the Summit affords for improvers to learn from and network with each other. Improvement learning is rapidly expanding in our field, and creating venues to share that learning is too important to delay. We are determined to carry on.
Therefore, we will be holding a reimagined Summit over the same April 1–3 timeframe, with my keynote kicking off the conference a bit earlier on Tuesday afternoon, March 31. The schedule will include breakout sessions and keynotes. More details regarding the schedule and logistics will be available next week as final plans take shape.
As it is often said, never let a crisis go to waste. Although I could not have imagined that we would find ourselves in this current situation, I am incredibly inspired by the “roll up the sleeves” attitude of the staff and fellows at the Foundation and their shared commitment to making this year’s new Summit format work for as many participants as possible. In moving the conference into the virtual space, presenters are thinking even more creatively than ever about how to enhance social learning in their sessions and deepen connections among attendees. What started out as a necessity has turned into an opportunity, and I am looking forward to engaging in new ways with you, our ever-innovative and resilient community of improvers.
Registrations and Refunds
While our commitment to delivering a high-quality Summit experience has not wavered, we know that this new design is not what any of us was expecting. Certainly, we never anticipated the additional expenses of redesigning and delivering the Summit in this new way. Moreover, we have to absorb substantial sunk costs in planning the program and working with presenters—for example, Carnegie staff have been working on Summit planning for almost a whole year. In addition, we may remain obligated for various onsite contractual commitments associated with putting on the Summit. While this poses a significant concern for the Foundation going forward, our most important priorities are our relationship to you and our work in growing our community together.
Therefore, in the spirit of a community, we will offer a “Pay What You Will” option for your Summit registration fee. Details and procedures are still being worked out and will be shared with you very soon. For now, just know that we intend to offer you the opportunity to specify how to handle your registration fee—be it no refund, full refund, or something in between. Your choice will have no bearing on your ability to access the virtual Summit sessions; you are part of our community, and we consider you a registered participant.
Any help that you feel that you can extend to us would be most appreciated.
Looking Forward to the Summit!
And lastly, I want to send my thanks to all of you, the Summit community. We appreciate the many messages of encouragement and support that we have received since announcing the transformation of the Summit into a virtual event. These messages are just another reminder of what a dedicated and positive improvement community we have formed together over these past seven years. Though I am disappointed that I will not be meeting with you in person as planned, I look forward to seeing you online. It is my deepest hope that you will join with us in making this virtual Summit a rich, diverse, and rewarding social learning experience for all participants.
I look forward to saying hello to you all when I kick off the Summit during my virtual plenary on Tuesday, March 31. Until then, you will be receiving more updates from Carnegie Foundation staff in the days and weeks ahead as planning for the virtual Summit comes together.