Overview

We learn best through others so that's why we travel to different cities as a delegation of Our Commonwealth members. We meet with their civically engaged, collaborative, problem solving young adults and established leaders to understand how they are affecting change in their community. Ultimately, we want to exchange ideas and build relationships with different cities as we don't live in a vacuum. In other words, what happens here in Massachusetts matters across this country and vice versa. So let's begin by saying hello and see where it takes us. 

Exchange #1
Chicago "the windy city"
October 10-October 15, 2014
# of Our Commonwealth members: 6

Activities included:

  • Met with Eric Weinheimer (CEO, Donors Forum) Donors Forum is a 40-year-old association of funders, nonprofits and advisers. It offers insight and guidance to donors and nonprofits on a range of philanthropic issues.
  • Met with Todd Belcore, lead attorney at the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law.
  • Met with Sarah Mansberger (Director of Development, The Cara Program). The Cara Program prepares and inspires motivated individuals to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty, transform their lives, strengthen our communities, and forge paths to real and lasting success. 
  • Met with Tasha Seitz (Chief Investment Officer, Impact Engine). Impact Engine is a 16-week accelerator program that supports for-profit businesses addressing today’s societal and environmental challenges. 
  • Visited Startup Institute and toured 1871, Chicago's hub for digital entrepreneurs. 
  • Visited and sat in classes at Chicago Vocational Career Academy and met with the Site Director of Match Corps: Chicago
  • Hosted a meet up with 15 emerging leaders from Chicago representing organizations such as Chicago+Acumen, YNPN Chicago, Experience Institute and others. 
  • Had brunch with StartingBloc Chicago at Yolk
  • Attended the Future Global Leaders Summit during Chicago Ideas Week
  • Watched the world famous Second City
  • Signed up for the Chicago Architecture River Cruise
  • Listened to live music at B.L.U.E.S.
  • Had the best ramen at Slurping Turtle, the best steak at Siena Tavern and the best burger at Au Cheval

Exchange #2
Austin
January 16-January 21, 2015
# of Our Commonwealth members: 4

Activities included:

  • Volunteered for the MLK Day weekend of service at Creative Action, an arts education nonprofit
  • Toured the Texas State Capitol and went to the museum at the visitors' center
  • Went to a show at Esther's Follies and out on 6th street
  • Ate at Gourdough's Donuts and Torchy's Tacos (our first Austin food trucks!)
  • Drove to Taco Deli for breakfast, than hiked the trail to Barton Springs Pool
  • Kayaked the Colorado River in front of the Austin skyline
  • Met with Neena Satija, an environmental reporter for the Texas Tribune, to learn about state-level politics, the media landscape, local environmental issues, and her take on life in Austin
  • Participated in the MLK Day March
  • Visited the Lyndon Johnson Presidential Library
  • Drove to a stable to go horseback riding on a trail ride
  • Ate Amy's Ice Cream and walked around Lamar Street
  • Had a call with the director of marketing from Incubation Station, a tech incubator in Austin
  • Met with the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life at UT Austin and Larry Schooler, the Public Engagement Consultant for the City of Austin
  • Toured the Capital Factory, an Austin Incubator and coworking space, and went to Joshua Baer's Intro to the Austin Startup Scene meetup
  • Met the leadership team of Open Austin at a local micro-brewery
  • Went on a 1.5 hour driving tour of the neighborhoods of Austin, led by a local architect and lifelong resident of the city

Exchange #3
Iceland
July 28-August 4, 2015
# of Our Commonwealth members: 6

Activities included:

  • Met the Managing Director of Hosteling International Iceland and introduced OC to most of the staff at HI Reykjavik.
  • Organized a Happy Hour in downtown Reykjavik with special guests Imari and Cynthia Paris Jeffries. Both who are community leaders in Boston. 
  • Presented about building community in Boston at Hosteling International.
  • Met with Harpa, the director of the Design Museum of Iceland.
  • Met with Kjarton of JCI Iceland (Junior Chamber International).
  • And more!