How Does a Local 100% New Mexico Summit Inspire Powerful Change?
How to 100% Training Series: Part 3
When a 100% New Mexico summit brings together county champions with a shared purpose, amazing things happen.
Katherine Ortega Courtney, PhD and Dominic Cappello
Back in 2019, when we started the 100% New Mexico initiative, we had no idea it would grow from 3 to 18 counties, each one doing groundbreaking work and bringing county stakeholders together to network, inspire change, and mobilize with a shared vision of 100% of families thriving. We continue to be empowered at every local Summit we attend and they have become the topic of our documentary series “The Road to 100% New Mexico.”
Step by step, innovation occurs
Sponsoring and facilitating a local 100% New Mexico initiative summit to identify local challenges and create solutions is a great way to engage residents, foster collaboration, and address pressing issues. The 100% Summit provides an opportunity to share the vision and goals of the initiative described in 100% Community: Ensuring 10 vital services for surviving and thriving. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you organize and execute a successful local 100% New Mexico Summit or any community summit.
Define Objectives: Clearly outline the goals of the community summit. Determine the specific challenges identified in the 100% New Mexico County Survey you want to address and the outcomes you hope to achieve. Are you aiming to generate actionable solutions, build connections, or raise awareness (or ideally all three)?
Form a Planning Committee: Identify a 100% New Mexico Summit organizer. Assemble a diverse and representative group of initiative members, community members, stakeholders, local leaders, and organizations to form a planning committee. This group will organize, coordinate, and execute the summit with the goal of sharing the initiative’s mission, data on service barriers, the challenges represented by adverse childhood experiences (described in Anna, Age Eight), and adverse social determinants of health (described in David, Age 14), and solutions.
Choose a Theme and Format: Select a theme (“100% can thrive,” for example) that reflects the core challenges your community is facing as well as the mission of the initiative. Decide on the summit’s format, such as panel discussions, workshops, keynote speakers, breakout sessions, and interactive activities.
Set a Date and Venue: Choose a date that works for the majority of potential participants and secure a suitable venue that can accommodate the expected number of attendees and provide the necessary facilities to provide beverages and food. Most Summits last half a day to a full day, depending on the goals of the summit.
Develop an Agenda: Create a detailed agenda that outlines the summit’s schedule, including session topics, speakers, activities, and breaks. Ensure the agenda is balanced and covers a range of relevant issues, all tracking back to the mission, challenges presented in the survey, and evidence-informed solutions. Lots of brainstorming and sharing among participants can take time (and are extremely valuable activities). The Anna, Age Eight Institute can provide agendas from other 100% New Mexico Summits. “The Road to 100%” videos (on 100% Socorro and 100% Chaves) highlight key moments from their summits, including short presentations and interactive group activities.
Invite Speakers and Facilitators: Invite local experts, community leaders, and professionals who can contribute valuable insights and guide discussions. Ensure that speakers and facilitators are well-prepared to address the summit’s objectives.
Promote the Event: Develop a comprehensive marketing and communication plan to promote the summit. Use various channels, such as social media, local newspapers, community websites, flyers, and word of mouth, to spread the word.
Registration Process: Set up an easy-to-use registration process, whether it’s online or offline, to track attendee numbers and gather necessary information. Consider offering early bird discounts or incentives to encourage registrations. Contact the Anna, Age Eight Institute about getting support for setting up online registration.
Prepare Materials: Gather materials needed for the summit, including name badges, signage, presentation equipment, handouts, and any necessary technology for workshops and presentations. Our 100% New Mexico design guide might help as it provides a menu of various programs and promotional products you might wish to use for a summit.
Facilitate the Summit: The Summit coordinator is a hands-on event producer who ensures that everything works smoothly, from staffing the registration table to audio/visuals to food. Ensure everything is set up and ready to go on the summit day. Make sure all sessions start and end on time. Encourage active participation and engagement from attendees during discussions and activities.
Capture Insights: Assign note-takers or record sessions to capture key insights, ideas, challenges, and solutions discussed during the summit. This documentation will be crucial for follow-up actions. Contact the Anna, Age Eight Institute about the possibility of having a videographer documenting the summit. Local podcasters and videographers should also be invited. The institute can also help in developing a post-summit survey for participants to measure satisfaction.
Collaborative Problem Solving: Organize breakout sessions or workshops where participants can brainstorm solutions to specific challenges. Encourage collaboration and creative thinking to develop actionable plans.
Summarize Key Findings: At the end of the summit or in a closing session, summarize the key findings, solutions, and takeaways. Thank attendees for their participation and commitment.
Develop Action Plans: Based on the summit’s discussions and outcomes, work with the planning committee and relevant stakeholders to develop post-summit action plans that align with the work of initiative action teams for implementing the proposed solutions.
Follow-Up and Review of Evaluations: Stay in touch with participants through post-summit communications. Gather feedback through surveys to evaluate the summit’s effectiveness and identify areas for improvement.
Implement Action Plans: Collaborate with community members, local organizations, and stakeholders to implement the proposed solutions. Monitor progress and ensure accountability.
Celebrate Success: As a local 100% New Mexico initiative, celebrate what you have accomplished by bringing stakeholders from different sectors together to dialogue and focus on solutions. You will have inspired many to join the mission of 100% of children, students, and families thriving.
Remember that a successful community summit requires effective communication, collaboration, and a commitment to addressing the identified challenges. You can create meaningful solutions that positively impact your community’s well-being by involving a wide range of community members and stakeholders. Please consider the above steps as a serving suggestion rather than a strictly defined set of rules. Please contact the Anna, Age Eight Institute with any questions, concerns, or bold ideas for improving the process.
Summit producers can reflect on these questions.
- What support might you require to connect with speakers or facilitators to participate in the summit?
- What percentage of the Summit should be presentations and what percentage should focus on group work, collective brainstorming, networking, and sharing?
- What are the three most important results your initiative might want from a summit?
Join the discussion with other initiative members
If you’d like to join in the conversation across New Mexico, you can go directly to the 100% New Mexico Training Center and explore the “How to 100%” course. There, you will find a course on all initiative activities and a general discussion area connecting you with other initiative champions across New Mexico. For a view of the entire initiative’s progress please visit our research briefs.