Photo: GIAging conference slide

The Wonder of the Fives

Posted on October 17, 2019 by Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation
With The Patterson Foundation’s focus on connecting, learning, and sharing, attending conferences is one way to “build connective tissue” by meeting and sharing perspectives with other passionaries. Realizing that every person and organization has a cookie jar filled with their experiences and ideas, a conference is an ideal setting to take the lids off for sharing. While there is a tendency to check emails or to tweet, it is so much more enriching to strike up conversations.

For every session, the first move is to select a seat. While it is always fun to connect with those we know, the adventure is in discovering new friends. So, if a friend is there, be sure there are other empty seats to welcome others, and meet everyone at the table, who knows what might evolve during and after the session.

It’s the first morning of the Grantmakers in Aging Annual conference, and before heading off to the Reframing Aging session, the breakfast conversation provided the opportunity to talk about Age-Friendly states, with Massachusetts (#2), Colorado (#3), Florida (#4) and Michigan (#6) at the table.

Throughout the conference, it seemed like each time someone was sharing a challenge they were facing, I was able to share at least one of TPF’s Fives:

It was gratifying that during conversations, people would pull out their pen and ask me to repeat the fives related to whatever topic we were discussing — authentic learning and sharing.

There were plenty of opportunities to weave in thrivability, not arriving with the answer, radical inclusion, collective abundance, and strategic communications. And of course, taking home ideas for ponder is always the added-value of connective tissue building.


  • TAGS: Silos to Systems
  • Learn about these and other concepts used in TPF's approach to philanthropy.


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