On Monday, September 24th, 100 Pittsburghers met at the New Hazlett Theater to form the most eclectic editorial board in town. They weren’t planning tomorrow’s edition of the daily paper, no they were working on advance copy for the headlines of the future!

Brought together by the Social Innovation Exchange (SiX), an initiative of The Pittsburgh Foundation led by Pop City and The Sprout Fund, participants were met with the following premise:

The year is 2015. What makes the news? You create the headlines. As newsmakers for the night, you’ll sit on editorial boards and tell the story of social innovation in Pittsburgh through headlines about the people, places and projects creating change in our region.

In small group discussions moderated by local media personalities, participants framed their discussion through the lens of social innovation and crafted potential news story headlines that could describe Pittsburgh’s future.

At PopCity writer and Kidsburgh editor Marty Levine’s table, the theme was building bridges. With a headline of “Students Lead Program to Bridge Pittsburgh Neighborhoods,” participants in Marty’s group discussed ways to encourage cross-community collaboration through student-led programs that connect young talent with community organizations in need of specialized skills.

Of the eleven groups working on tomorrow’s headlines, nearly every group’s story involved creating more connections between communities in Pittsburgh. Whether through improvements to physical space, programs for cross cultural collaboration, or outreach efforts promoting inclusion, connectivity was the theme of the night.

Coming Soon!  Requests for Proposals

From the many creative ideas that emerged during the event, we’re excited to announce two funding opportunities to support projects that could advance Pittsburgh toward the future predicted by the headlines from the New Hazlett newsroom.  Requests for proposals will focus on these two topic areas:

  • Building Public Support for Public Transport with funding for projects that engage with, celebrate, and promote public transportation
  • Fostering Multicultural Collaboration Initiatives with funding for projects that encourage collaboration between diverse cultural agencies and innovative community programs

We’re still putting the finishing touches on each RFP, but if you would like to be among the first to know when they’re ready, send an inquiry with your name and contact information to apply@nullsproutfund.org.

A pre-deadline information session will be held at The Sprout Fund on Friday, October 19th at 12 noon.  Complete applications will be due by November 30, 2012.

Save the Date for the Next Social Innovation Exchange

With so much focus on building connections within and across communities in Pittsburgh, the next SiX event will be dedicated to exploring these ideas in more depth.

Add your voice to the Social Innovation Exchange, attend the next SiX event on Monday, November 5, 2012. Stay tuned for registration details!