2023 Innovation Exchange: Galvanizing TPP and Title X Innovation and Collaboration
This event was risky and different, but the intentionality and attention paid to fostering camaraderie and authentic connection paid off: Folks were highly engaged, joyful, curious, and productive. It was a great example of collaboration. It’s essential that we tell the story of this event to foster engagement and continued support.Elizabeth Finnigan Laferriere, Senior Innovation Advisor, OPA
For two days in May 2023, OPA-funded Title X and TPP grantees gathered in Washington, DC for a groundbreaking event. The 2023 Innovation Exchange converged diverse expertise and experience, igniting innovation and collaboration like never before. We have captured highlights here in an effort to disseminate even more widely the collective knowledge and ideas emerging from the event—and to encourage grantees to continue sharing theirs.
A fusion of brilliance: The Innovation Exchange united TPP and Title X: two distinct programs renowned for excellence in adolescent health and reproductive health. Participants were exposed to fresh perspectives, illuminating conversations, and new ideas. Each attendee submitted an innovation concept; these formed an interactive story wall at the event. Attendees could read about each other’s ideas, challenges, and possible solutions, as well as explore learnings and ways others might be able to strengthen their concepts.
A space for inspiration: Each day launched with motivating opening remarks from Federal leaders—including Jessica Swafford Marcella, DASPA; and Admiral Rachel Levine, MD, Assistant Secretary for Health. From there, the event offered attendees a mosaic of thought-provoking discussion topics, from cutting-edge technological apps for engaging youth, to valuable partnership strategies. Participants seized opportunities to explore others’ expertise and novel approaches. Further, a skills building workshop reframed fundraising and sustainability from a “pitch at all costs” mindset to a relational approach.
Unparalleled networking opportunities: Networking was a top priority for the Innovation Exchange planning committee. From the start, the two event moderators–Fact Forward’s Brittany Wearing (TPP) and Essential Access’s Breione St. Claire (Title X)–established a high-energy tone, making introductions, responding to questions from their experience, facilitating lively icebreakers, and guiding the group through the event. Roundtable networking on a variety of topics—from storytelling to impact study hiccups—complemented panel discussions on how to innovate during dynamic times. Attendees left the Innovation Exchange with valuable connections, a renewed sense of purpose, and shared opportunities and strategies for the future. The event nurtured the ecosystem of innovation and collaboration that OPA fosters among programs.
If you attended the Innovation Exchange and would like to share your experience, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org; we can help you disseminate your story!