We were once again inspired, challenged, and invigorated by the excellent speakers at this year’s ieSonoma, which featured events over two days. On Sunday evening, Community Foundation invited our donors to join us to hear Dan Pallotta speak about the importance of judging an organization’s effectiveness based on its impact, not how much it spends on administration and fundraising. Dan was introduced by our CEO and President Beth Brown, and following his talk he and our Vice President for Programs Karin Demarest had a conversation on stage about how charities can be better advocates for themselves, applying Dan’s ideas to education, and his next project, the Charity Defense Council. If you’re not familiar with Dan Pallotta’s work, we highly recommend taking a few minutes to watch his very popular TED talk titled “The Way We Think About Charity Is Dead Wrong.”

During Monday’s half-day event, three dynamic speakers took the stage: Dan Pallotta, Emily Pilloton, and Adam Braun, each sitting in conversation with Karin on stage following their talk. Each brought a unique story about how they have made a difference in their local communities—and in the world—through innovation and  thinking differently about the role and structure of education. Watch Bay Area local Emily’s TED talk about her work with high school students to develop effective design solutions for people who need it most. We also recommend watching Adam’s TED talk about how meeting a boy in India who wanted nothing more in the world than a pencil turned into a movement to develop high-quality schools around the world.

ieSonoma: innovate | educate is a partnership of educational institutions and the larger community dedicated to exploring the research, theory, and practice of transforming education for the 21st century. Started in 2013 by Sonoma County Office of Education, Sonoma State University, and Sonoma Country Day School, ieSonoma is aligned to the Cradle to Career Sonoma County goal of ensuring that every child succeeds academically.

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