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Robert L Payton Symposium 2015
Joseph and Matthew Payton Philanthropic Studies Library
Indianapolis, IN
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Robert L Payton Symposium 2015
In September 2012, JAF alumni Michael Rothman and Jen Sandler convened a meeting of JAF alumni in Brooklyn, NY. As a result, a group of alumni ranging from JAF 0 (Michael Moody) to JAF XII, has spent the year planning this symposium to reconnect our fellowship and sustain Mr. Payton's legacy.

We are pleased to recognize and appreciate the partnership and hospitality of the Payton family, IUPUI University Library, Joseph and Matthew Payton Philanthropic Studies Library, and Lilly Family School of Philanthropy in the planning and hosting of the symposium.

This year the University Library will kick off our weekend with a Grand Reopening of the Joseph and Matthew Payton Library on Friday, October 9 at 6:30 PM.  Join us as we celebrate the space that honored Bob and Polly's two sons and the field of philanthropy that Bob helped found.  

On Saturday, October 10 join us in seminar sessions, Bob Talks and for a Keynote presentation as we continue to honor Mr. Payton's legacy.

See below for the current schedule and line up of speakers.  To access seminar readings visit: and find Program Details on the Payton Symposium page.

2015 Program
(As of 9/30/15, subject to change)


8:30 am - 9:00 am - Registration & Check-in

9:00 am - 9:15 am - Welcome

9:15 am - 10:45 am -  Seminar Round I: Re-Engaging the Language of Mr. Payton's Philanthropy

Each session invokes the spirit of a Payton basement seminar and includes: a few pages of selected readings to ground us in the concept, discussion of selected current events and how the topic relates to them, followed by group exploration of the core elements and critical language underlying the concept.

Seminar leaders:
Les Lenkowsky, Professor of Practice in Public Affairs and Philanthropy, Indiana University - Effective Altruism

Shana Brodnax, Chief Program Officer at Pace Center for Girls, Jane Addams Fellow Class IX - Plato's Republic

Luana Nissan, Consultant, Catalysts for Good - What Role Does Empathy Play in Philanthropy?

11:00 pm - 12:00 pm -  "Bob Talks"
Building on the popularity of TED Talks, these large group session(s) offer select fellows the opportunity to speak for 5-10 minutes sharing provocative lessons-learned from their current work, highlighting the ways in which their experiences do (or don't) overlap meaningfully with Mr. Payton's ideas and influence.

Wendy Heller Chovnick, JD
Ian Ermatinger-Salas
Benjamin Imdieke
Carmen Patrick Mohan, MD
Kate Shannon

12:00 am - 1:00 pm - Lunch

1:00 pm - 2:15 pm -  Seminar Round II

Seminar Leaders:
Melissa Brown, Principal, Melissa S. Brown and Associates LLC - Generational Change and Philanthropy - a facilitated discussion

Dwight Burlingame, Professor of Philanthropic Studies, Glenn Family Chair in Philanthropy, Indiana University's Lilly Family School of Philanthropy - "Does financial sustainability equal mission sustainablity"

2:30 - 3:30 Keynote Address
David Wilkinson,  Director of the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation.
"He leads White House efforts to identify and scale better, more effective social      solutions, advancing Presidential priorities that strengthen communities and enable upward economic mobility. This involves identifying programs that work better through use of data and evidence as well as scaling what works through smarter use of federal resources and public-private partnerships. Using the tools of evidence-based policy, philanthropy, and impact finance, Mr. Wilkinson leads an Office of Social Innovation that supports the development and launch of data-driven solutions across a range of domestic policy priorities from education and job growth to economic development and healthy communities. In addition, Mr. Wilkinson coordinates efforts to attract and deploy America's talent, from national service and volunteerism to employing better management strategy, in support of effective community solutions.

Mr. Wilkinson draws from an extensive background in impact finance, social entrepreneurship, evidence-based policy and organization management. He previously served the White House as Senior Policy Advisor for Social Finance and Innovation, assigned to the Office of Social Innovation and the White House Council on Environmental Quality. For the Office of Social Innovation, he led a range of initiatives including Pay for Success, evidence-based policy, and impact finance. At CEQ, Mr. Wilkinson served as the lead for green finance. His work spanned CEQ's portfolio, with a focus on market development, financial innovation and ladders to economic opportunity as they connect to infrastructure, water resources, climate resilience and renewable energy.

Prior to his role at the White House, Mr. Wilkinson served as Executive Director of City First Enterprises, a federally regulated nonprofit bank holding company and incubator of social finance solutions. At City First, Mr. Wilkinson designed and directed successful new initiatives in community development finance, helping to create jobs and stabilize vulnerable communities. He led the development, financial structuring and launch of innovative solutions in impact investing, affordable housing and community facilities finance, small business and nonprofit lending, and community crowdfunding.

Mr. Wilkinson previously co-founded and helped lead a successful effort to launch a start-up community development bank in New Haven, CT. He also served as Executive Director of Common Cause New Jersey, an 8,000-member organization that fostered local civic engagement, helping citizens pass laws in over 100 municipalities and launching a new high school civics curriculum.

Mr. Wilkinson has served on the board of the City First Foundation where he was a founding director. He was selected by Next American City Magazine as a member of its Next American Vanguard, an annual "40 under 40" award honoring urban innovators. Mr. Wilkinson served as a Jane Addams Fellow at Indiana University's Lilly Family School on Philanthropy. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia and Yale Law School." - bio from


Joseph and Matthew Payton Philanthropic Studies Library (View)
755 West Michigan Street, #2110
Indianapolis, IN 46202
United States


Education > Workshops

Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!



Barbara D.
United States
Oct 07, 2015 12:57 PM
Liza T.
United States
Oct 05, 2015 6:02 PM
Alejandro A.
Syracuse, NY United States
Oct 05, 2015 1:04 PM
Chanae P.
United States
Oct 05, 2015 12:03 PM
Anna P.
United States
Oct 05, 2015 11:04 AM
Xinyi Z.
United States
Oct 05, 2015 7:49 AM

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