City Life

The M List 2016: Kathe Crowley Conn

Connecting the dots: Kathe Crowley Conn of We Think Big is one of 32 mentors and teachers who made the 2016 M List.

Kathe Crowley Conn brings enthusiasm for learning and creative problem-solving to her role as CEO of We Think Big, an organization focused on education innovation in the state. "When you look at this region, think about all the resources and talent here," she says. "It's amazing."

Although We Think Big started less than a year ago, it already has some noteworthy accomplishments. For example, We Think Big collaborated with Madison Public Library to run Camp Mad Media, a digital literacy summer camp for teachers. The organization also brought together a group of educators, programmers, entrepreneurs and developers in July to Wisconsin's first Start-Up Weekend for Education, an intense program where participants worked on solutions to classroom challenges. We Think Big provides resources and experiences for teachers and connects them with people who can help them pass along important skills to kids, such as the power of computer coding.

Conn, who started the Aldo Leopold Nature Center in the 1990s, is excited about the new learning opportunities. "There is a renaissance in the way we are thinking about teaching and learning, and our role is to provide the resources teachers want and to connect the dots."

The M List

Madison Magazine's M List is a who's who of organizations and individuals who are having an impact on our local culture and economy. In its fourth year, the M List recognizes those making strides as mentors and teachers. Last year's list of honorees were making impacts in the area of social innovation. The original M List, in 2013, honored the technology sector. The 2014 M List honored "Foodtastic" entrepreneurs and innovators.


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