Connections – Cultivating Community

Posted on Mar 1, 2015 :: Connections
Sean P. Johnson
Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer
Patti Dobrowolski will illustrate the community goals set by those attending Cultivate to create both a record and clarify the steps to accomplish them.

Patti Dobrowolski will illustrate the community goals set by those attending Cultivate to create both a record and clarify the steps to accomplish them.

In software developer parlance it would be called Cultivate 2.0.

But that doesn’t really do justice to the changes that have been made to the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce’s program. After a three-year run as a twice-a-year conference offering “practical and tactical tips” to boost the skill set of the region’s talent pool, Cultivate has transformed into a once-a-year event designed to connect, inspire and challenge those living and working in the Fox Cities to build a better community.

“What we wanted to do was step back a bit and give people a bigger picture to think about,” says Adrienne Palm, director of leadership, Pulse and Cultivate for the chamber. “We still want to provide takeaways, but more along the lines of ‘How do we better collaborate?’ Or ‘How do we get conversations started?’”

The upgraded Cultivate debuts May 20 at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium. The event begins at 8:30 a.m. and runs roughly until 4 p.m. — though the social event could see folks lingering past that time.

As part of the transformation, Cultivate will focus on four core groups organizers see as essential to building both a better economy and a better community:  Entrepreneurs, nonprofits, business leaders and up-and-comers. The programming will aim to inspire each group on its own, as well as show them ways they can build their enterprises through collaboration.

Unlike previous events that featured multiple breakout sessions, Cultivate will keep everyone together from the opening keynote until the closing social event. Two keynotes are planned, as well as two community panels, entertainment and networking opportunities.

Kicking off the event will be keynote speaker Patti Dobrowolski, a goal-setter, strategic thinker and change activator who employs illustrations to help set goals for both attendees and the community.

“My main thing is to use a picture to achieve what you want to do,” says Dobrowolski, a regular TEDx speaker who will illustrate her session as well as keep a visual record of the entire day.

“A picture helps the brain assign activity to help you achieve what you want.”

The other keynote speakers is Greg Tehven, an entrepreneur and TEDx speaker who has helped reshape the perception of Fargo, N.D., Alex Clark, an entrepreneur who built a business around juggling, will entertain. Panels will discuss the community building aspects of Mile of Music, innovation and best business practices for nonprofits.

“The tactical and practical part did not leave folks wanting more,”  says Brad Cebulski, founder of BConnected and a member of the planning committee who drew inspiration from the South by Southwest festival. “It’s not just an event, but a way to cultivate growth for the whole community.”

More about Cultivate

Cultivate: Community
May 20, 2015
8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium, 2400 N. Casaloma Drive, Appleton
$85 general admission, $650 for a table of 8
To register and learn more about Cultivate, go to the website at For a preview of the event and the keynote speakers, watch the Cultivate 2015 preview video on the website or at