Spark: Grit to Great

Innovation is not just about creating new technology. It’s about flipping your mindset, sparking new ways of doing things, and taking risks. Once a way for organizations to set themselves apart, innovation is now a necessary survival skill for organizations. At Spark 2021, learn to:

  • Flip your perspective and learn to look at challenges from different angles and view points.
  • Spark new ideas and start thinking outside the box and create a culture of creativity.
  • Leap into action and overcome the inertia of uncertainty and view failures as learning opportunities.
  • Team up and collaborate and discover how working collectively with others can yield greater impact.

Get out of your comfort zone, be curious, and start innovating.


7:30 A.M. – 1:30 P.M.

  • $75 General registration
  • $300 Organization registration (for up to 6 individuals)
  • $25 Student registration (available to current high school, undergrad, and graduate students).

Register now for access to the event on Whova as soon as it opens, including:

  • Virtual networking opportunities.
  • Full access to all of the keynote and breakouts sessions the day of the event.
  • Post-event access to recordings and ongoing networking.


Later in the day, you can carry on the conversations started online at an in-person reception. Tickets will be limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Details and registration coming soon! 

Opening keynote

Maggie Nichols, CEO & President, Eureka! Ranch

Maggie Nichols has been with the innovation company Eureka! Ranch since she graduated from Miami University in 1998. She began as an Apprentice Innovator and worked her way up through the ranks, most recently serving as President & Chief Operating Officer before being promoted to CEO and President in 2018. Eureka! Ranch has helped foster a systemic approach to innovation at companies such as American Express, Coors, Mattel Toys, P&G, and Taco Bell.

See her full bio >

Visit Eureka! Ranch online >

Fireside chat

Dr. Akram Boutros (Speaker) President and Chief Executive Officer, The MetroHealth System
Dr. Tomislav Mihaljevic (Speaker) Chief Executive Officer and President, Cleveland Clinic
Dr. Cliff Megerian (Speaker) Chief Executive Officer, University Hospitals
Monica Robins (Speaker) Senior Health Correspondent, WKYC-TV

Moving an organization collectively to a more creative, innovative mindset requires leadership to think outside of the box and gain trust along the way. Collaboration and buy-in across all levels and disciplines is necessary. Learn how the leaders of Cleveland’s health care systems responded to the pandemic through creativity and partnership to meet the needs of the community. Moderated by Monica Robins, Senior Health Correspondent for WKYC.

Closing keynote

Jeremy Johnson, President & CEO, Assembly for the Arts

Jeremy Johnson became President and CEO of Assembly for the Arts in June 2021. A native Clevelander, he returned to Ohio following two decades as a nonprofit and arts champion in New Jersey. He was Executive Director of Newark Arts, one of Newark’s leading nonprofits. The organization makes grants to neighborhood arts programs, produces the award-winning Newark Arts Festival, and advocates for policies to uplift Newark as a city of the arts. Jeremy led the creation of Newark’s first community cultural plan, Newark Creates, which resulted in the city-sponsored Creative Catalyst Fund to support area artists impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

See his full bio >



Accelerate 2021 presenters will share the progress they have made on their projects since pitching them in February, as well as what’s on the horizon.