Though meds and eds get the credit for transforming Pittsburgh in the post-steel era, the more than 5,000 nonprofits in the region also played a key role.

The Greater Pittsburgh Nonprofit Partnership (GPNP) Summit, returning Dec. 3 to the Wyndham Grand Hotel Downtown, is a chance for the region’s nonprofit sector to reexamine its role today, finding ways to collectively address local challenges as well as share goals and strategies. The summit is held every two years.

This year’s theme is “Building a Region That Works for Everyone,” and features 130 speakers and 50 interactive breakout sessions.

Special guests include the Dalai Lama’s personal physician, Dr. Barry Kerzin, who will talk about trauma-informed care, and filmmaker and writer Nora Bateson of Sweden’s International Bateson Institute, on rethinking the role of data in addressing today’s complex problems.

“The economy is doing well,” says Fred Brown, president and CEO of The Forbes Funds, the summit’s host. “However, in 2008 when it crashed, it had a significant impact on all the nonprofits in the region. So we want to use this summit as a way to create a framework to look at macro-level issues that the entire region is attempting to tackle, and begin to have people talk with each other who are doing similar work … and have a sense of who’s doing what, what’s working and what’s still problematic.”

Brown also notes that our region’s transformation has impacted everything from job opportunities and educational needs to housing, health and well-being. And our communities are being retooled. “What is the role of the nonprofits in that?” he asks.

2017 GPNP Summit. Photo by Ya Momz House, Inc.

Brown cites three previously stagnant neighborhoods — Downtown, Lawrenceville and East Liberty — that are now seeing incredible amounts of investment, which has ripple effects throughout the region. Property values have increased in some of those areas by 200%.

“As a result, vulnerable people have been pushed out because of increases in rental properties, taxes and home prices,” says Brown. “People who have lived there are moving to first- and second-ring suburbs, where there are limited resources and public transportation to get to and from work.

“We want to have a conversation about how do we help those surrounding counties deal with those stresses and shocks?”

Learn more about the all-day summit and register to attend here.