Who registered first for Upswell Chicago?
// By Jacqueline Brennan
Jeremy S. Rossman, Ph.D., President and Founder of Research-Aid Networks, is Upswell Chicago’s first registrant, and a native Chicagoan to boot!
His organization works to improve global humanitarian aid by facilitating and growing a collaborative interdisciplinary network of researchers, aid organizations, and the communities they serve – both here in the United States and internationally.
Jeremy’s enthusiasm about attending Upswell Chicago aligns perfectly with Upswell’s goal to encourage networking and collaboration among changemakers across various disciplines and interests who are working to make the world a better place. We asked Jeremy to tell us about his organization, his hometown, and how he hopes Upswell Chicago can help Research-Aid Networks achieve its mission to deliver more effective humanitarian aid.
Q: With Upswell set for November 13-15 in Chicago, what made you register right away?
JR: As I was learning more about IS I heard about Upswell, that it was going to be in Chicago, and that there was an open call for Upswell programming. I thought, this is great, my organization is based in Chicago, there’s perfect alignment of mission, this is an easy decision to make!
Q: As a Chicago-based organization, describe for changemakers who’ll be attending Upswell Chicago what makes the city special.
JR: I’m from Chicago and my organization is based there, so I guess I should know, right? Chicago is a city with very unique capabilities, approaches, and a lot of very engaged people. There are some significant problems, but there’s a lot of acknowledgement of the issues that we’re grappling with in Chicago, and there are a lot of organizations here that are trying to do something about them, in many cases coming up with new, clever, and creative ways to approach them. So there are both unique challenges and opportunities. And it’s just a great, fun city, too!
Q: What about Upswell Chicago are you looking forward to most?
JR: There are two main things I’m really looking forward to. First of all, meeting people and organizations that I might be able to work with, whether that’s as simple as information exchange and expertise sharing, or whether that’s in the form of a dedicated collaborative partnership. Research-Aid Networks is all about partnerships, so it’s an absolutely ideal opportunity to explore potential connections, both for the projects that we’re developing, as well as for my organization itself. So I’m very much looking forward to this collaborative networking opportunity.
I’m also excited to hear about organizations that I might not know about. This is really applicable to Chicago, where there are many small local organizations doing really interesting things. So Upswell will also help me gain a better understanding of who are the players in the field, what they’re doing, and what’s new and exciting.
Q: What one issue would you most like to see changemakers address at Upswell Chicago?
JR: I would say community participation. There’s a growing awareness that community participation is absolutely essential for so many different types of aid, development, and research projects. There are many people looking at how to do it, but there is not yet a consensus on best practice and implementation of community participation.
Save your spot to join Jeremy and our ever-growing community of changemakers this November 13-15 at Upswell Chicago. There are six different registration options. So whether you’re a nonprofit practitioner, funder, social entrepreneur, corporate citizen, civil servant, community activist, or volunteer – and regardless of your budget, job title, or organizational affiliation — there’s a place for you at Upswell!