Jewish Federations of North America
Designing a Multi-Day Conference to Transform Jewish Communities Across North America
The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) typically holds a yearly conference to gather leaders across the nation (and globe) in an educational and inspiring setting. The General Assembly (GA) is usually a highly-produced, mostly frontal event that inspires Jewish leaders to continue to build up and engage in their individual Jewish communities. In 2019, the organization opted to build a more interactive experience, called FedLab, to develop new ideas around the three tracks of: engagement, security, and social impact.
JFNA leadership engaged Trepwise to design the overall experience and lead the facilitation of two of the three tracks, serving 700-800 participants. We were tasked with creating a three-day flow and framework to guide all participants across three separate tracks, while also engaging with each other across the tracks. Additionally, JFNA requested agendas for three days of engaging, thought-provoking content that would incorporate speakers, panels, workshops and participant-centered design.
Our team used the design thinking framework of “discover, define, build and test” to lay out the three-day experience, asking attendees to actively participate throughout the event. We also designed, developed and facilitated workshops to introduce attendees to the design thinking process, agile leadership, and challenging assumptions. We also trained four additional facilitators to assist in guiding participants through this new creative problem-solving framework.
Participants engaged in learning, designing and developing new solutions to old challenges they face in their communities. Many of the attendees have been working for years in their Jewish communities, attempting to solve problems of engagement, security, and social impact.
They were also able to engage with each other in new ways as they explored creative techniques for approaching problems with optimism, creativity, and collaboration. Sessions were interactive and inspiring, giving new perspectives and energy to take back to home communities. Many participants have reached out for further support in ideation and creative problem solving in their communities.