The Higher Education track at the Conference on Volunteering and Service examined the question of how colleges and universities can equip students to be 21st century citizens. Over the course of three sessions and a keynote presentation, speakers shared insights and concerns about how higher education institutions engage with broader society, provide opportunities for students to deepen their learning through volunteerism and service learning, and encourage interaction with people, cultures and views different from their own.
conference on volunteering and service
When government agencies, nonprofits and community changemakers focus on strengthening educational and economic advancement for youth and families, social equity and cultural expression, their collective action can lead to clear, measurable impact and sustainable long-term change.
Nonprofits and government agencies’ ability to solve societal issues are often constrained by organizational capacity. When your roof is leaking, you focus on the immediate issue of repairs and may put off a much-needed basement remodel. The same can often be said for capacity building initiatives; they take time, resources and staff capacity that many nonprofit organizations don’t feel they have, even if it would pay off in the long run.
The 2017 Points of Light Conference on Volunteering and Service – the largest service-related convening of nonprofit, government, business and civic leaders in the world – brought thousands of people to Seattle the last week of June to answer this question, both for themselves and their societies.