Restoring the Village

2023’s theme of ‘Restoring the Village’ was inspired by high-school student Mariam Kaba, winner of Papitto Opportunity Connection’s first “Transform Rhode Island” scholarship. Throughout the year it urged us to identify and appreciate the foundations that already exist, prompting us to consider how we can further invest in and build upon them.


We delved into the essence of our ‘villages’ — the places where we live and work, the people around us, and the dynamic interactions at the intersection of the two.  It’s these webs, communities, and networks that are the catalysts for change. Mariam said it best when first introducing us to her vision: “It’s not just me, it’s we.”

How do we tap into strengths to catalyze change?

The key to an organization’s success has been, and will always be, the people. Employees with high levels of engagement produce better outcomes, are more likely to remain with their organization, and are less likely to experience burnout, according to Gallup research.

10 years after LRI first embraced CliftonStrengths as a tool to help people understand their unique talents, strengths-based development continues be a valuable resource for individuals and teams to understand, engage, and collaborate with one-another.

 Organizations who invest in their team’s diversity of talents foster inclusive cultures where individuals feel valued and trust ignites team performance.

Leveraging Strengths in New Ways

5 Questions With: Renzo Arteta

What is learned when different generations come together?

The inaugural Senior Fellows Program, designed for Rhode Islanders aged 62 and older, deepened the cohort’s understanding of the most pressing issues facing older adults in RI.

Core Program graduates were fixturing during the College Program session days, sharing real-world insights to younger generations, just getting started in their careers

College Program graduates were facilitators for discussions around basic needs with our Core Program cohort, and participated in a conversation with our Senior Fellows Program about ageism

Leadership isn’t about possessing all the answers; it’s about the willingness to learn and grow, as well as the ability to inspire others to do the same.

Kilah Walters-Clinton, 2023 Tau II

Director of Race, Equity & Community Engagement, Executive Office of Health & Human Services

How can we strengthen our relationships through vulnerability?

Trust, like the threads that form a web, can be as strong as it is delicate. By creating environments that lead with authenticity and vulnerability, we weave trust into every experience and program we create. 

In these brave spaces, trust acts as the foundation on which long-lasting, authentic, human-centered connections are built.


Bread & Salt: Setting the table for deep conversations among LRI’s alumni

LRI connections: A cure to loneliness epidemic

Read the Surgeon General’s Report on Lonelieness

How can we cultivate a sense of belonging?

From developing vision into reality with Papitto Opportunity Connection’s Transform RI Scholarship winners, Mariam Kaba and Siya Singhal, to deepening connection to place through the Statewide Scavenger Hunt, we foster investment, belonging, and connection in the Ocean State.

Sam Bergbauer broadens LRI’s reach as first Director of Community Engagement

Exploring the Greatest Little State

How can we serve as beacons of change?

Recognized as thought-leaders on the national stage, LRI received an innovation award at the Association of Leadership Programs 2023 National Conference

Director of Communications and Events, Chris Donovan implores us all to  be stewards of an “Age of Authenticity” prioritizing the uniquely human virtues of humility, curiosity, self awareness, and empathy.

Dive Deeper →

Executive Director Michelle Carr’s “Call to Courage” challenges us to slow down, embrace vulnerability, and prioritize human connections. 

Dive Deeper →

I was exploring and experimenting with ChatGPT during the session and will be taking it back to help my whole team learn how to use this tool. Thank you for helping us stay ahead of the curve with this session – we NEED to learn about this to keep up and stay relevant.

Michele Howard

EVP, Programs & Leadership Development, Cobb Chamber, Atlanta, GA


Do you believe?

In making your team stronger?
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You don’t have all the answers?
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We can make change together?
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