2018 Summit
Building a Culture of
Limited Seats - Reserve Your Space Today


NOVEMBER 28-29, 2018

Just as a quilt brings together an array of fabrics to create something bigger, a thriving society is built on our individual stories and efforts coming together to be something larger and stronger. When the threads of society become frayed, separated, and worn down, it is our job to repair and “reweave” vital connections into a larger network for change. The Summit will support us to create a tapestry celebrating our diverse threads, building new skills to weave stronger connections across communities through our collaborative work.

This November, the Culture of Collaboration Summit will gather nonprofit, business, government, and philanthropic partners, as well community members from across Colorado and beyond, to build skills and knowledge around what it takes to ensure healthy and thriving communities.

Materials from the last Culture of Collaboration Summit can be downloaded at Civic Network.

Canopy Summit 2017 Final Report

Peer Learning Sessions

This year at the Summit, there will be the opportunity for you to choose to participate in Peer Learning Sessions around specific topics. We want to hear from you about which topics you would like to discuss! 



Learn about speakers, sessions, opportunities, and more as they come!

Ready to Register?

Reserve your spot today, or scroll down to learn about our fellowship and FlexCredit options.


Wednesday, November 28

W 8:00-9:00 | Breakfast & Registration

Front Foyer, Hyatt Aurora

W 9:00-10:45 | Opening Session

Tyrone Beverly, Mark Cabaj, Bill Fulton, Nita Mosby Tyler, and Jodi Hardin will facilitate an interactive opening designed to highlight the importance of “Reweaving the Social Fabric.”

W 10:45-11:00 | Break

W 11:00-12:15 | 1. Beyond Either-Or and Both-And: Polarity Management as a Key Tool to Spark Collaboration and Deeper Engagement (Martin Carcasson, PhD, Director, Center for Public Deliberation, Colorado State University)

o The current poor state of our public discourse is in many ways negatively impacted by two simple assumptions that undermine high quality communication: either – or thinking that relies too much on good v. evil narratives that divide and polarize, and simplistic both-and thinking that overemphasize common ground, over-glorifies open-mindedness, and often results in false equivalency. In this workshop, polarity management will be introduced as a concept to help get beyond those narratives and create more authentic space for multiple perspectives to work together to manage some of the critical polarities than underlie many of our most difficult issues.

W 11:00-12:15 | 2. Tool Session: Eco-Cycle Tool to Address Coalition Swirliness (Jodi Hardin, Co-Executive Director; and Emily Holcomb, Coordinator; The Civic Canopy)

W 11:00-12:15 | 3. Four Layers of Dialogue (Bill Fulton, Founder & Co-Executive Director, The Civic Canopy)

W 11:00-12:15 | 4. Assessing Our ‘Contribution’ to Outcomes and Change (Mark Cabaj, President, Here to There Consulting)

o How do we know the extent to which the results that emerge from our efforts, whether they are easily measured or not, are due to our efforts rather than some other factors? How can we claim credit for something where there are so many other people and organizations involved? These are questions that any would-be change maker, eager to make a difference, should be asking themselves. This workshop explores the concepts and methods of ‘contribution analysis’, an alternative to more traditional method of attribution analysis and the method randomized controlled trials, as a way for social innovators to assess the extent to which their activities are contributing to the changes they see.

W 12:15-1:15 | Lunch

Aurora Ballroom

W 1:15-3:15 | 1. Foundations of Collaboration: An Introduction to the Community Learning Model (Hanna Nichols, Manager; Meghan Chaney, Manager; The Civic Canopy)

o While there may not be a manual or perfect recipe for collaboration and getting to results, there are key “ingredients” for high quality collaboration. This workshop will introduce participants to The Civic Canopy’s Community Learning Model, a research-based model that includes best practices around inclusion, effective dialogue, planning and tracking action, learning, and achieving results, all within a culture of collaboration. Drawing on examples from Colorado communities and networks, this session will illustrate what high quality collaboration can look across a variety of settings, issues, styles, and approaches and will provide tools and takeaways for participants to immediately begin using in their work.

W 1:15-3:15 | 2. Principles-Focused Evaluation (Mark Cabaj, President, Here to There Consulting)

o Many social innovators are guided more by principles and values than logic models or theories of change. Yet, when it comes to evaluation, these important principles somehow recede into the background, or remain on the wall in the form of posters. In this interactive workshop, we will explore principles-focused evaluation, a new approach to assessment developed by Michael Quinn Patton, to explore the extent to which principles are meaningful, usable and effective guides in tackling complex challenges.

W 1:15-3:15 | 3. Collaboration Outside the Meeting Table (Tyrone Beverly, Founder, Im’Unique)

o This session will explore the importance of things we can “just do” to promote social connections, inspiring acts of kindness and compassion for community. The session will share real life examples, that builds from a community table, yet enlivens and uncomplicates movement and action.

W 3:15-3:30 | Break

Hyatt Aurora

W 3:30-4:45 | 1. Tackling Contentious Political Issues through Facilitated Processes (Jacob Bornstein, Founder and Principal, Wellstone Collaborative Strategies)

o Collaboration is often carried out on the conflict-ridden ground of polarized views and complicated issues. This interactive workshop will explore a model for facilitating a process to achieve collective action that is particularly suited for helping groups navigate difficult terrain. Participants will be introduced to the concept, given concrete tools to use in real situations, explore two case studies, and have the chance to practice applying it to addressing a contentious issue.

W 3:30-4:45 | 2. Ripple Effect Mapping: Honoring Community Voices, Visualizing Community Change (Jeff Corn, Research Manager; Sara Amberg, Capacity, Sustainability, and Grants Director; and Kendra Cowles, Senior Manager of PwrUp Early Childhood Initiatives, YP365)

o Collaborative efforts can be difficult to quantify, and without immediate, tangible results, leaders can struggle to keep communities engaged. Ripple Effect Mapping (REM) offers an authentic way to listen, appreciate, and capture all the voices of collaboratives and/or programs while shedding light on emerging impact and change. Attendees will learn how to successfully prepare, execute, and evaluate REM in an inclusive and bilingual context.

W 3:30-4:45 | 3. Strategies for Inclusive Decision Making to Create Thriving Communities (Vaishnavi Hariprasad, MSW, Community Partnerships Manager; Namarita Signh, PhD, Social Epidemiologist; Office of Health Equity, CDPHE)

o This session focuses on The Colorado Office of Health Equity’s new Equity Action Guide, Creating Thriving Communities in Colorado. Presenters will discuss how strategies of authentic community engagement and framing data were used to create this action guide. Conversation will then shift to how participants can use this guide to implement inclusive decision making across all sectors (philanthropy, community organizing, non-profit, housing, transportation, etc.), to create equitable and thriving communities.

W 3:30-4:45 | 4. Peer Learning: Building Relationships and Trust (Michelle Guthrie, MPH, ECHO Colorado)

W 3:30-4:45 | 5. Getting Smarter about Scaling (Mark Cabaj, President, Here to There Consulting)

o Social innovators – and the policy-makers, funders and partners who support them – dream about the prospects of scaling up small scale innovations that work. Unfortunately, our record of success in this matter is poor. In this interactive workshop, we will explore one of the ways we can improve the chances of successful scaling efforts by using the five point framework for scaling social innovation.

W 5:00-6:30 | 10th Anniversary of the Civic Canopy: Cocktails for Collaboration

Aurora Ballroom

Thursday, November 29, 2018

T 7:30-8:30 | Breakfast

Aurora Ballroom

T 8:30-10:30 | Opening

Aurora Ballroom
Jeff Mohr, Bill Futon, and Mark Cabaj will facilitate an interactive session to explore the value add of a network approach through facilitation and visualization

T 10:30-10:45 | Break

Hyatt Aurora

T 10:45-12:00 | 1. Emotional Contagion (Darrin Hicks, PhD, Communications Studies, University of Denver)

T 10:45-12:00 | 2. A Glimpse into Asset Based Community Development: Strategies and Tools for Engaging Community (Ruben Medina, Project Manager, the Foundation for Sustainable Communities; Beckah Terlouw, Strategist and Coach, Invisible Strategy Consulting)

o This introductory workshop will share the fundamental principles and practices of Asset Based Community Development (ABCD). ABCD is a large and growing movement that considers local assets as the primary building blocks of sustainable community development, social capital, and individual health and wellbeing. Building on the skills of local residents, the power of local associations, and the supportive functions of local institutions, asset-based community development draws upon existing community strengths to build stronger, more sustainable communities for the future.

T 10:45-12:00 | 3. Operationalizing Equity in the Workplace (Nita Mosby Tyler, Chief Catalyst & Founder, The Equity Project, LLC)

T 12:00-1:00 | Lunch

Aurora Ballroom

T 1:00-3:00 | 1. Peer Learning: Creating Sustainability through Member-Led Efforts (Michelle Guthrie, MPH, ECHO Colorado)

o While social innovators are increasingly focused on changing the ‘systems’ that underlie – and sometime perpetuate – complex issues, they and evaluators have struggled to develop results frameworks and evaluation methods to provide feedback on their efforts. This workshop will explore a few foundational ideas on systems evaluation and explore two results frameworks that may help would be change makers assess their efforts.

T 1:00-3:00 | 2. Evaluating Systems Change (Mark Cabaj, President, Here to There Consulting)

o While social innovators are increasingly focused on changing the ‘systems’ that underlie – and sometime perpetuate – complex issues, they and evaluators have struggled to develop results frameworks and evaluation methods to provide feedback on their efforts. This workshop will explore a few foundational ideas on systems evaluation and explore two results frameworks that may help would be change makers assess their efforts.

T 1:00-3:00 | 3. Network Mapping for Everyone: Practical Ways to use Network Maps (Jeff Mohr, Co-founder and CEO, Kumu Inc.)

o This workshop will demystify the process and jargon typically associated with network mapping and social network analysis. Social network analysis doesn’t need to be overwhelming, expensive or cumbersome. Instead, it can be used in straightforward ways that support communities to build understanding and take informed steps to strengthen connections between and within individuals, organizations, and communities. Participants will learn key principles of network mapping, be exposed to tools for gathering and organizing data to discover relationships, explore how to analyze and follow the development of a network over time, all while including partners throughout the process.

T 1:00-3:00 | 4. Social Connectedness as a Social Determinant of Health (Danielle Varda, PhD, Associate Professor, School of Public Affairs, University of Colorado Denver)

o Those applying a collaborative approach to address a variety of community health issues are exploring social connectedness as a protective factor or social determinant of health. This workshop will explore how social connectedness contributes to community health and subsequently how we can measure social connectedness to improve community health and well-being.

T 5. When Collective Impact Has an Impact: A Study of 25 Collective Impact Initiatives (Lauren Gase, PhD, Senior Researcher and Julia Roos, MS, Consultant, Spark Policy Institute)

o What do we know about the practices that lead to systems and population changes in collective impact initiatives? This session will explore actionable insights gleaned from an in-depth study of 25 collective impact sites, including exploring their equity practices and outcomes and evidence about what contributes to achieving meaningful changes at a systems and population level.


Hyatt Aurora

Closing Together

Aurora Ballroom
The plenary team will guide an interactive session that engages participants to reflect on and activate around Reweaving the Social Fabric


The 2018 Summit will be held in a new space!

Hyatt Regency Aurora-Denver Conference Center

13200 E 14th Pl, Aurora, CO 80011

Call for information & directions

A block of rooms is reserved at the Hyatt Aurora for a discounted Summit attendee rate. To make your reservations, please click here.
If additional assistance is needed, please call 888-421-1442.

Utilize FlexCredits

The Culture of Collaboration Summit is now approved for United Way flexible credit use! Please email  Emily at [email protected] for more information regarding United Way flexible credit use including instructions regarding reimbursement and accessing your account balance. Check with your supervisor or contact Ask United Way (United Way Online access required) for additional support. 

This Year's Speakers - Check back for regular updates!

Dr. Nita Mosby Tyler

Founder & Chief Catalyst, The Equity Project

Mark Cabaj

President, From Here to There Edmonton


Network Mapping Visionaries

Spark Policy Institute

Community and Policy Experts

Tyrone Beverly

Founder & Executive Director, Im'Unique

This Year's Sponsors:

More Coming Soon

Has your organization considered investing in the Culture of Collaboration Summit? Our sponsorship program is growing  this year. Contact us at [email protected] for more info.