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An exciting journey through New Orleans with GPLEX 2023

Updated: Mar 21

Key Takeaways:

  • Over 200 leaders from Philadelphia attended the Greater Philadelphia Leadership Exchange (GPLEX) 2023 in New Orleans, engaging in thought-provoking sessions, inspiring keynotes, and exploring local arts & culture. The conference focused on learning from local leaders across New Orleans’s education, housing, and workforce development sectors to inform our collective approach to addressing Philadelphia's social and economic challenges.

  • Salomon Moreno-Rosa, Managing Director at Envoy, reflects on the impactful experience at GPLEX 2023, aligning with Envoy's commitment to shared learning and cohort-based models.

  • Envoy shares GPLEX’s commitment to shared learning communities. Over the past year we have integrated peer learning into our Philanthropy and Fair Chance Employment practices, uniting organizations to exchange knowledge and work together to drive implementation and sustainability goals.


As the year draws to a close, Managing Director Salomon Moreno-Rosa reflects on the parallels between his experience at the 2023 Greater Philadelphia Leadership Exchange (GPLEX), and Envoy’s growing focus on peer learning. 

The Leadership Exchange, hosted in New Orleans and orchestrated by the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia, invited Philadelphia leaders to collaboratively explore policies and practices to fortify Philadelphia's economic fabric by exposing us to the challenges and successes of peer cities. I was inspired to join GPLEX for the first time this year, both to play a role in exploring and shaping new citywide approaches, but also to experience the value of shared learning across organizations and sectors. Over the past several years, Envoy has expanded its work with large organizations, such as national and regional trade associations, as well as smaller nonprofits and organizational leaders, to facilitate shared learning communities that help disseminate best practices across the field and drive progress towards internal and shared organizational goals. I left GPLEX energized and hopeful about the networks built and lessons learned during our four days in New Orleans. 

GPLEX 2023 saw the convergence of over 200 leaders from Philadelphia, infusing the dynamic conference with our passion and commitment to learning and sharing best practices. Against the backdrop of a constant hum of jazz that filled the French Quarter streets, hotel lobbies, and outdoor coffee shops, GPLEX 2023 unfolded with a resonant keynote from Jonathon Johnson, founder of Rooted Schools. His session centered on "Everest projects," the idea that the hardest to address social challenges require ambitious goals and bold approaches, set a compelling tone for the conference, framing the discussions and panels that followed.

The thought-provoking main stage panels and in-depth breakout sessions tackled critical issues, from community violence to city-wide resilience. I left each session with fresh perspectives and connections, inspired to translate insights into actions back home. Beyond the conference halls, GPLEX 2023 provided opportunities for exploring the local culture through regional trips, fostering connections with community leaders actively shaping New Orleans’ social and political environments.

Recognizing the immense value of shared learning communities and cohort-based models, at Envoy, we incorporate these approaches into our own partnership-based initiatives. For instance, by uniting companies to develop their Fair Chance Employment strategies, Envoy facilitates a collaborative platform for knowledge exchange to employers at all stages of the implementation life cycle. Envoy also supports nonprofit organizations through shared learning initiatives, supporting leadership teams to address issues around organizational growth, fundraising and sustainability, and evaluation. Through cohort-based models, Envoy enhances the learning experience of partners, contributing to the advancement of best practices across the field, and helping foster a culture of collaboration and innovation.

As GPLEX 2023 concluded, the echoes of its impact continued to resonate with us as we made our way home to Philadelphia. Shared learning communities are invaluable in generating lasting momentum and fostering collaborative learning environments where participants can draw from the diverse perspectives and experiences of their peers. Envoy's commitment to peer learning has enabled participants to share successful strategies for implementation and sustainability, learn from one another's experiences, and collectively identify new partners and collaborations in the field. These models have proven to not only deepen individual understanding of core issues and opportunities, but also build a sense of community, encouraging sustained engagement and fostering long-term relationships. 

We appreciate our partners at the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia for putting on another successful GPLEX and encourage everyone to check out the following brief video on this year’s convening. 



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