The Symposium on Scarcity

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August 24th & 25th, 2016

8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
The Studio Loft at Ellie Caulkins Opera House
908 14th Street
Denver, CO 80202

“The Symposium on Scarcity” evolved out of the Behavioral Economics definition of scarcity as “having less than you feel you need” and from years of Financial Health Institute’s observations of this phenomenon in the field. Evidence demonstrates that chronic scarcity (not just of money, but also time, relationships, food, etc.) negatively impacts individuals’ cognitive capacity, executive functioning, learning, and memory capabilities. Chronic scarcity causes “tunneling,” an intense focus on scarce resources that leads to abandonment of plans and emphasis on short-term solutions that result in maladaptive decision-making and behaviors.

Research also suggests that organizations experience chronic scarcity in much the same way that individuals do. When human service organizations experience chronic scarcity, the results inevitably impact organizational decision-making, frequently leading to mission drift, isolation, short-term fixes without coherent strategies, reduced emphasis on development of employees, and break down of communication channels. These organizational responses manifest as impaired employee performance, stress, burnout, and high turnover, which ultimately results in negative impacts on client outcomes.

Day One
Organizational Scarcity: A Financial Health Framework
Facilitated by Shawn Young, Founder Financial Health Institute

In order to mitigate the effect of organizational scarcity on client outcomes, the goals of Day One are to:
(1) Define the role of limited (scarce) resources in human services organizations;
(2) Provide examples of how organizations are developing innovative strategies to navigate scarcity and improve service delivery;
(3) Provide a framework to help human service organizations proactively manage scarcity and improve client outcomes;
(4) Develop a network and promote ongoing conversation with organizations about how to utilize resources for the greatest possible outcomes.

Day One Panelists and Presenters

Ella Gifford-Hawkins, Larimer County Works Manager, Larimer County
Regina Huerter, Executive Director, Office of Behavioral Health Strategies, City and County of Denver
Claire Levy, Executive Director, Colorado Center on Law & Policy
Alicia Montoya, Organizational Development and Improvement Manager, State of Colorado
Fred Richmond, President and Founder, The Center for Applied Management Practices
Liddy Romero, Executive Director, WorkLife Partnership
Jennifer Walker, Executive Director, Crisis Center
Rand Clark, Community of Care Navigator, Douglas County
Catherine Morrisey, Researcher
Janine Vanderburg, CEO/President Joining Vision Action

 

Day Two
Bridges Out of Poverty
Jodi Pfarr, Consultant, Aha! Process

If you didn’t grow up in poverty, you may be unaware of the “hidden rules” that govern many aspects of life for the poor. People in poverty are often in survival mode, and support systems taken for granted in middle class and wealth are largely nonexistent. If your business, agency, or organization works with people from poverty, a deeper understanding of their challenges–and strengths–helps you partner with them to create opportunities for success.

This training is a comprehensive approach to understanding the dynamics that cause and maintain poverty from the individual to the systemic level. Bridges Out of Poverty uses the lens of economic class and provides strategies for a community to prevent, reduce, and alleviate poverty.

Participants will review poverty research, examine a theory of change, and analyze poverty through the prism of hidden rules of class, resources, family structure, and language. Throughout the training, participants will receive specific strategies for improving outcomes for people living in poverty.

 

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