Upswell Chicago, Nov. 13-15, 2019

Upswell Chicago

Upswell Chicago isn’t a conference. It’s a high-energy, three-day experience in community building, where changemakers of every stripe are invited to learn, share, connect, and re-charge. It’s where local know-how meets national ambition in to bridge divides and build relationships that just might change the world.

Rousing Main Stage speakers, in-depth workshops, immersive neighborhood exploration, hundreds of creative events, thousands of diverse voices and big thinkers from across the country – Upswell is going change the way you think about changework. We hope you’ll join us in November.


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On the Main Stage and Spotlight Stage, in workshops and throughout the Public Square, Upswell’s 200+ speakers guarantee one thing: inspiration will be literally everywhere you turn.

Krista Tippett, Mick Ebeling, Theaster Gates, Michele Norris, David Brooks, Eboo Patel, Dan CardinaliSwami Jaya Devi, and Sherry Salway Black are just a few of the luminaries you’ll meet in Chicago. Click below to check out all the speakers – but maybe grab a coffee first. There are a ton of fascinating thinkers on the other side of that button!


We know that there’s no such thing as a “one size fits all” approach to changework. So, when you get to Upswell, you’ll have the opportunity to design the kind of experience that you want to have.

Dive deep and learn. Share your big ideas and get help with your toughest challenges. Meet new people, sharpen your skills, roll up your sleeves and experiment. Lift your spirits with high-energy performances or totally unplug to refocus your mind in quiet contemplation. You can do any of these things or all of them…and so much more!



From Main Stage talks to timely workshops, you’re invited to open your imagination, build new skills, and stand on the front edge of emerging trends.



Think of the Public Square as you might think of a town center or big city. Like busy streets and bustling plazas, you’ll have tons of choices about what to do and who to meet next.



For changework, local context is essential. To see how all of the pieces fit together to create lasting change, you’re invited to immerse yourself in Chicago’s vibrant communities.

Upswell Plus

You can never spend too much time in Chicago – or learn too much about how to be an effective changemaker! Upswell Plus gives you the chance to enhance your experience by participating in a day-long, highly focused event on November 12. Each event, offered by partners who are at the top of their fields, will help you build and master specific skill sets.

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This comprehensive introduction to impact measurement teaches CSR professionals how to read the measurement landscape – and how to apply best practices to corporations.

Equity in the Center

Learn how to operationalize a race equity culture using best practices from EiC’s Awake to Woke to Work: Building a Race Equity Culture publication.

Inclusive America Project

Join a dynamic conversation about how faith-based communities work together to support the common good.

Leadership Foundations

Faith communities, perhaps the most polarized segment of American life today, might best positioned unite the country. Learn how.

Presidents' Forum

A one-day seminar for foundation CEOs to discuss what is needed to shift the tide of philanthropy toward a diverse, equitable, and inclusive giving community.


A live, crowd-funded pitchfest in support of solving environmental challenges in Chicago and around the Midwest.

Bites and Bevs with Atlas Corps

Join Atlas Corps for an evening of food, refreshments, and interesting conversation.


Latest Stories

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Upswell Chicago Lead Partners

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