This weekend members of the Polis team attended the first ever conference sponsored by the Alliance for Liberal Learning. The conference was an incredible opportunity for leaders of more than 70 organizations to meet, discuss the state and future of liberal learning, and hear about the challenges and opportunities in the liberal learning community nationwide.
The ALL conference accomplished the following:
- Brought together representatives from key organizations advancing liberal learning
- Increased awareness and understanding of member organizations’ missions and activities
- Facilitated collaborations and partnerships
- Provided professional learning and networking opportunities
- Formulated outreach initiatives and plans for media and public relations advocating liberal learning
- Set goals and directions for the future work of ALL
In addition these important accomplishments members also had time to socialize at a group reception and dinner.
Three inspiring and informative keynote addresses were given by Eva Braun and Christopher Nelson of St. John’s College and Todd Breyfogle of the Aspen Institute.
The titles of the talks capture the wide range of the conference topics:
- “Navigating the Contours of Complexity”, talk given by Todd Breyfogle (Aspen Institute)
- “How Great Books Serve the Adult Population”, talk given by President Nelson (St. John’s College)
- “Are There Adults”, talk given by Eva Braun (St. John’s College)
Mary Finn, founder and director of Polis, participated in a panel discussion titled,”Expanding the Audience: Great Books Outside the Traditional Seminar Room”. The panel discussed the growing recognition of the need for liberal learning opportunities in the community and the challenges of sustaining programs that provide seminar-style, inquiry based discussion.