ABOUT

What is WMCAT 20/20?

WMCAT 20/20: Exploring Conflicting Visions for the Future is an eight-month, virtual (and limited in-person) immersive series for a limited audience of leaders, doers, thinkers, and stakeholders, curated by the West Michigan Center for Arts + Technology (WMCAT). WMCAT 20/20, which was originally planned for June 2020 as an in-person, two-day event, will now pivot to a monthly series that centers you in active learning around the foundations of community prosperity: Education, Health + Well-Being, Economic Prosperity, and Social Capital. The newly realigned series will provide timely resources and relevant voices as we engage with content and each other.

The virtual WMCAT 20/20 series will provide ample opportunities to move out of self-curated echo chambers and experience divergent viewpoints through transformational speakers, relationship building, and constant discovery. 

You can expect to engage up to six hours each month through our monthly 1.5 hour community meeting, optional pop-up breakout engagements, and self-paced monthly resources with online discussion.

Why WMCAT?

For 15 years, the West Michigan Center for Arts + Technology has been guided by our mission to provide a culture of opportunity for people to make social and economic progress in their lives and community. Through our work in arts and tech, workforce development, and social enterprise, we are positioned at a unique intersection of networks, sectors, and visions for the community.

In 2020, we want to create a space to push our thinking, advance conversation, and make unlikely connections; we want to design the world our students will lead. WMCAT 20/20 is a manifestation of our belief in the power of voice, community building, experiential learning, design, and the curation of interesting immersions that can ignite equitable creativity.

What makes WMCAT 20/20 unique?

Inclusive – This experience is for varied viewpoints and lived experiences. We want to remove barriers to participation and create an open space for learning and growing. WMCAT 20/20 will bring together voices and perspectives that don’t typically occupy the same space.

Relational – Although a mostly virtual experience, we believe in the power of building community. During monthly virtual community meetings we will find times for small group processing and discussion. We will also plan limited in-person events as allowed, and find creative ways to engage smaller groups of participants.

Intersectional – If we only learn about certain things in certain contexts, we’re missing the larger story of interconnectedness. Content centered around Education, Economic Prosperity, Health + Well-Being, and Social Capital allows us to engage ideas and solutions as parts of larger systems and multiple sectors.


Tracks

WMCAT 20/20 will center on the foundations of community prosperity, and the pillars of WMCAT’s work. Topics for these tracks have been generated with the help of more than 50 diverse community leaders from business, nonprofit, government, creative, and education fields. We have curated a series that will explore each of these tracks through monthly community meetings, additional engagement opportunities each month, and emailed resources for reflection and discussion.

Sponsored by Grand Rapids Community Foundation

It’s more than dollars and cents. Let’s look at new approaches to business structures and their impact on communities. How are we building and sharing wealth? And what really works in talent development and deployment?

Sponsored by W.K. Kellogg Foundation

One of the most significant systems that impacts our now and our future. We’ll dive into the function of education and how that may shift for different groups, the role of employers in defining the purpose of education, and values we place upon the teaching profession.


Sponsored by Spectrum Health

How is the health of an individual and the health of a community intertwined? We’ll reframe the conversation around health determinants, the role of income on mental and physical health, and how we can deploy public and private resources to address health outcomes.

Sponsored by Autocam Medical

Who are your people? How do you leverage your network to find answers, grow professionally, and find meaning personally? What does social capital look like when we are limited in our ability to gather? This track will address the importance of networks, the way we leverage our social capital, and the role of that capital in shaping community.


WMCAT 20/20 will create a space for various points of view on relevant issues with the intention of challenging our assumptions, advancing conversations, and building community.