When the festival ends, the action begins!
The Festival reflects the partners’ desire to be a convener of ideas, a positive force and a catalyst for collective action for the good of the city. From the beginning, one primary goal of the Festival has been to produce tangible action, not just talk. Examples of such action include a greatly expanded Dallas Book Festival, a young cross-cultural storytellers project funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Idea City, a local ideas incubator, as well as playful, interactive installations in under utilized areas around downtown Dallas.
The Dallas Festival of Ideas sets itself apart from other “ideas” conferences in producing tangible results: After each Festival, several citizen groups, facilitated by SVP, take the ideas and propose ways to bring these ideas to life. In addition, Faith in Texas has been and will continue to work with the “Actions Speak Louder” justice team on legislative reform around policing and criminal justice.
The Festival’s goal is to create a lasting impact for the city of Dallas and its citizens. This action serves as the Festival’s foundation — and the lens through which Dallas’ citizens frame the city’s future.
Join the Action Committee
When the Festival ends, the action begins! Festival goers join the Committee that most interests them (Physical, Healthy, Cultural, Educated, Entrepreneurial) and help select and implement an idea that will most improve the Dallas community. All the while, the Committees receive ongoing support and coaching from Social Venture Partners Dallas and the Dallas Festival of Ideas support team with efforts culminating with a Fast Pitch presentation at the 2018 Festival.
If you’d like to help bring the ideas to action, please join our orientation/ideation meeting on Monday, May 8 at 6pm at the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture. At the meeting, we’ll overview the timelines and guide the groups to create viable, impactful projects. RSVP here!
Reach out to Donovan Ervin at email@example.com with any questions.
In the three short years of its existence, the Dallas Festival of Ideas is already driving action to make the city of Dallas a more united, equitable place for all of its citizens. Below is a sample of the projects the Festival has already started and inspired. Join us in April 2017 to be a part of the work!
Actions Speak Louder
Three community forums that immediately followed the July 7 ambush, focused on ideas for criminal justice reform and striving for equity in our criminal justice system.
The Actions Speak Louder Justice Team has continued their work after the forums, and is working with Faith in Texas on legislative reform for policing and justice reform. Actions Speak Louder will present a full update at the Dallas Festival of Ideas in April 2017.
Actions Speak Louder in the news:
- To heal Dallas’ wounds, we must trust and hear one another, audience is told, July 29, 2016
- Race Matters: Criminal justice forum looks for solutions, September 13, 2016
- Dallas forum exploring criminal justice reform pursues change through honest dialogue, September 17, 2016
- Dallas must push beyond talking about race to taking action, October 7, 2016
- Actions Speak Louder event Saturday in Dallas to explore criminal justice reform, October 7, 2016
- Plan could reveal bias in cops and clear jails of pot smokers – if anyone in Dallas backs it, October 8, 2016
Recaps of the forums can be found below:
Solutions Born out of Violence
The Physical City wins bigBANG! pitch competition
bigBANG! is Dallas’ longest running event for social innovation and bigBANG! 2016: Equity in Action pushed that focus even further, challenging participants to not only explore innovative solutions to social problems, but view those problems through the lens of equity. Following bigBANG!, a number of organizations and many individuals have reported direct change as a result of the event.
The Physical City team was one of five “Cities” that came out of the Dallas Festival of Ideas(DFOI) 2016. As this year’s Fast Pitch winner, was awarded a $25,000 grant to be used to develop playful, interactive architectural installations in public spaces in Dallas, specifically targeting under-utilized areas in and around Downtown Dallas. These installations will facilitate organic public interactions, increase downtown foot traffic, and help reshape the idea of what it means to be downtown resident.
The Physical City will present an update about its project at the 2017 Dallas Festival of Ideas.
Dallas Book Festival
The expanded Dallas Book Festival, now an official Dallas Festival of Ideas partner, actually grew out DFOI in its first year, 2015. Author Luis Urrea proposed that Dallas create a large literary festival to transform the city, similar to Tuscon’s book festival.
As it turned out, the Dallas Public Library already had a book festival, so they partnered with the Dallas Morning News to greatly expand their festival. A year later, in April 2016, the Dallas Book Festival welcomed 4,000 attendees, up from 625 the previous year.
The expanded Dallas Book Festival in the news:
- New Chapter for Dallas’ Literary Scene, April 2016
- 10th Dallas Book Festival offers a daylong sense of surprise, April 30, 2016
Join us in April 2017 to see how the Dallas Book Festival continues to grow and evolve!
Storytellers without Borders
Storytellers without Borders is an initiative that grew out of the 2016 Dallas Festival of Ideas and is based on an idea from author Alma Guillermoprieto. Journalists and librarians teach and train high school students to interview community members and tell stories across racial lines. The Dallas Morning News and the Dallas Public Library received a $150,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to build the program.
The goal of the initiative is to build bridges across social divides through reporting, while introducing students and their families to the importance of journalism. A committee will select 60 students to participate in the first of three eight-week sessions expected to launch this year. Participants will learn the basics of multimedia reporting and how to use resources available at libraries, including databases and archives.
Lauren Smart, who has been an arts journalist and adjunct SMU professor, is overseeing Storytellers Without Borders.
Storytellers without Borders in the news:
- Dallas Public Library, Dallas Morning News team up to develop teenage storytellers, June 23, 2016
- The Dallas Morning News and Dallas Public Library are teaming up to offer workshops for students, June 23, 2016
- Dallas Public Library, Morning News seek high school students eager to report, November 26, 2016
The project, which won the 2016 bigBANG! pitch, will bring interactive art sculptures to neighborhoods in Dallas, encouraging more walking, and more interaction between communities. “One of the things that we dove into was the psychology of play, and all the health benefits that can come about interacting with strangers and being nice to people in a light-hearted situation,” a project leader told the Dallas Morning News.
This was a competition similar to ABC’s Shark Tank. Five panelists from the Dallas Festival of Ideas judged nonprofit pitches during the 2016 Earth Day Texas festival, awarding a combined $25,000 to the three best ideas. This year, the event will be renamed EARTHxPitch. Last year, the National Wildlife Federation won first place and collected $15,000. Their pitch was a Monarch Heroes Initiative to teach school children in the Dallas Independent School District how to create pollinator gardens.
The DFOI generates hundreds of ideas from its attendees and speakers. But what happens to these ideas? What if there were a place to share, vet and develop them, then put these ideas into action? Ideopolis, which won $21,500 in the 2015 bigBANG! pitch, will help people and nonprofits bring wonderful ideas for building the community in the city, and using the innovative technologies around crowdsourcing and crowdfunding.
Turning Ideas into Action: 2016 Action Report
After the 2016 Festival, Social Venture Partners (SVP) mentored five citizen groups to help turn ideas born at the festival into real, actionable projects. Each group is dedicated to a different City: Educated, Entrepreneurial, Healthy, Literary, and Physical. In the report below, read about each idea, the stage of each project, and everything these groups have achieved since last year’s festival.
|Action Report 2016|
The United City: The 2016 Action Committees
The 2016 Action Committees have parsed out the ideas that came from The United City. View the ideas they’ve contemplated:
|The Educated City||The Entrepreneurial City||The Healthy City|
|The Literary City||The Physical City|
For the City: The 2015 Action Committees
The 2015 Actions Committees have moved into implementation of their big idea. View the ideas they’ve contemplated:
|The Cultural City||The Educated City||The Innovative City|
|The Physical City||The Political City|