Pathways Central Convening

Spend a weekend working with us to prepare for a better future

Come together with dozens of your Pathways peers from around the country to think through, plan and organize how each of us can create the most impact.

Join people with a similar vision for a better future who have diverse experiences, perspectives  and ways of approaching service and impact. Present and get feedback on your impact proposals. Participate in fun and informal networking. Learn hard skills which will give you the right resources to maximize your impact - whether it's volunteering or running for office. Discuss with people who have previously run for office who have found ways to make creative impact possible.






Checkin: Friday by 2pm
Checkout: Sunday by 3pm

Friday Saturday Sunday

Welcoming: The full group and setting up your small groups to meet each other in person!

Workshops: We’ll begin the first of a multi-part series to help you identify your personal core values (Your “Story of Self”) as well as work on presenting your story in a public narrative (with tips for presenting your impact proposal and generally speaking/presenting in front of different types of groups).

Networking + Social: Formal and informal socializing and networking time with the full group and invited guests.

Talks: Several “TED-style” short talks designed to inspire and inform.

Workshops: On Saturday, we’ll continue several parts from our series from Friday, building on your values, identities, narratives and past story to help think what your future story will be and how you can be more strategic and intentional in making future plans.

Participant presentations: Impact Proposal presentations and feedback from all participants.

Networking + Social: Formal and informal socializing and networking time with the full group and invited guests, as well as activities available on Thompson Island.

Talks: Several more “TED-style” short talks throughout the day from practitioners and innovators designed to inspire and inform.

Workshops:A selection of workshops focused on one of two tracks: Either thinking through running for office in the near future, or thinking through different ways to build longer term impact into your life. Sunday’s workshops will include topics such as, how to raise startup funds and start a campaign, ethics in public service or the private sector, different impact models for the private and nonprofit sector, sifting through the noise in policy, focusing and managing your goals and plans, private/public boundaries, and using technology and data for community change.

Closing resources: You’ll leave with a springboard and toolkit for your next steps: The Pathways Portfolio. This will contain all of your work with us, feedback from others, personalized plans we’ve helped you work on, and additional resources tailored just for you and your goals.

The weekend also includes optional early morning activities for those so inclined, free evening time to socialize, network, or explore this interesting space and island, breakfast, lunch and dinner with the group as well as coffee/snack breaks and a number of invited guests who will be available at various points to informally share their experiences of running for office, working on public impact from the private and nonprofit sector and much more!


Pathways will cover all event, lodging and food costs during the convening.

Participants are expected to cover travel costs to get to and from Boston. However, we do not want cost to be an inhibitor to your ability to attend the event. We have put some need-based scholarships aside for those who are concerned about their ability to attend. Please reach out to your point person to discuss your options.

Either way - we want to have everyone’s travel plans confirmed and coordinated, and can help if you need any assistance in figuring out logistics, just get in touch with your point person!


Live case-studies
Throughout the weekend, we’ll get to hear a number of short (5-10) minute talks from people who have worked in and around government and public impact, talking about how they've been able to make a difference in creative and sustainable ways.

Talks will range from topics such as technology and open data, making change at the municipal level, how to use the private sector for public good, and experiences of running for office and serving in government.

A number of the speakers will be sticking around to eat and socialize with us, so there will be many chances for informal Q+A's!

Collaboration and networking
There are inspiring, creative and committed people across the country who are interested in finding ways to maximize their long-term impact. We'd like to introduce you to a few of them.

Over the weekend, we'll provide a space for you to get to know some of your Pathways peers in both a workshopping and more relaxed social setting.

Additionally, some of our speakers, and our own staff, will be joining us and you’ll have the opportunity to talk to people from different backgrounds, experiences and fields about your own plans and goals. All relationships we hope you'll maintain long into the future!

Impact proposals
Impact proposals, which you’ll work on with your small groups leading up to this weekend, will be finalized and presented to the full group on Saturday. 

Listen to and provide thoughts on other people’s ideas, help them think through their goals, and receive feedback on your own proposals so you can feel confident in using your idea in a real-world setting, or developing others like it in the future.

Hard skills
We want to prepare you to be able to navigate different possible pathways effectively - whether that be running for office, working on campaigns, making impact from the private sector, running a nonprofit, or anything else. This weekend is a springboard for your next steps and we’ll be providing small, focused workshops to help provide tailored resources to that end.

If you’re thinking about running for office, we’ll talk about how to think through the process of deciding to run for office, how to start a campaign and bring in initial support and resources, different ways of managing the process, and how to find the right resources to run a campaign you can own and be proud of. If you’re thinking about public impact through the private sector, we’ll talk about things like new corporate structures such as benefit corporations, and the pros/cons of working within a larger company versus starting your own.

Upon leaving on Sunday


We've spent a lot of time thinking through how to accomplish one of your goals. Now it's time to apply that same process to thinking about your future goals for your own life. The weekend's facilitated workshops will help you identify, conceptualize and reconcile different ideas, goals and possibilities for your own personal future and what that means for a lifetime of impact, service or volunteerism.

You'll leave on Sunday with a personalized catalogue of your work with us, resources and ideas from the convening, and possible next steps that we've worked with to help you identify. We'll follow up with you after to think through and put any finishing touches on your personalized "Pathways" plans that you will be free to implement (or not) on your own, with others you've met through Pathways or anyone else!