Photo by M.P. King

Photo by M.P. King


Kathe Crowley Conn is an author, creative professional and recognized leader in the areas of education, public programming, institutional management, philanthropy and communications.

As a nonprofit and philanthropy leader, she is responsible for the establishment and growth of several award-winning organizations and institutions, ranging from nature and science museums to innovative education partnerships and initiatives.

She currently serves as CEO of the nonprofit catalyst organization, WeThinkBig, where she leads visionaries and key stakeholders in nurturing innovation, entrepreneurship and partnerships among the education, business and philanthropic communities.

Inspiration for creative work:  Her interest in the history and ecology of the Midwest began during a childhood spent roaming the shores of Lake Michigan and the open fields near Chicago.  Her love of connecting children and families to the land became a hallmark of her unique award-winning approach at the Aldo Leopold Nature Center in Madison, Wisconsin.  She also founded the collaborative Nature Net: the environmental learning network to foster a love of the land and the thrill of discovery in children.

She was the writer and producer of the award-winning documentary, Aldo Leopold: Learning from the Land; has designed several well-loved interpretive programs and popular exhibits; and is the author of the biography, Juliette Kinzie: Frontier Storyteller.

Her most recent project, LRNG:Badgerland, uses an innovative technique to combine her love of place and community with educational opportunities for students.