University of Wisconsin–Madison

Round One (2018/2019) DreamUp Wisconsin

The beauty of this initiative is that we have generated a portfolio of proposals for increasing shared prosperity in Dane County that we can now seek to make a reality.

Lawrence Berger, director of IRP and a professor in the School of Social Work

DreamUp is a shining example of the Wisconsin Idea in action—a true university-community partnership to improve the well-being of Wisconsin residents, with high potential to produce innovative initiatives that could be implemented in other places around the country.

UW–Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank

We continue to be thrilled with the community’s response to this initiative and with the innovative ideas for building a strong and diverse middle class.

Lawrence Berger, director of IRP and a professor in the School of Social Work

Summer 2018

DreamUp Wisconsin Resident Interviews

Resident Interview Summary, Dane County, Summer 2018
  • What makes it difficult for families to get ahead financially in Dane County?
  • What could help families decrease their expenses or increase their incomes?

These are the key questions of the DreamUp WI challenge, and understanding the needs of the Dane County community and which solutions will work for community members is crucial to our success.

DreamUp Wisconsin graduate students spent the summer of 2018 interviewing 168 Dane County residents at community centers, local businesses, libraries, schools, and public events to get their answers to these questions.  Their findings are summarized in a flyer.

IRP is thrilled to lead this bold, new initiative, and to marshal the abundant intellectual and creative resources of this campus and this community to improve the lives of families in Dane County and beyond, in concrete ways.

Lawrence Berger, director of IRP and a professor in the School of Social Work

Noted in the News

Kathryn Larson, “$13 Million Grant Proposal Hopes to Raise Wage for Dane County Childcare Workers,” Spectrum News, February 13, 2019.

Amanda Quintana, “UW launches ‘DreamUp’ initiative to collect ideas from community to raise income of middle class,” Channel 3000, May 16, 2018.

Lisa Speckhard Pasque, “UW–Madison will partner with community to raise incomes of 10,000 Dane County families by 2020,” The Cap Times, May 17, 2018.

Mark Sommerhauser, “UW–Madison joins former Google chairman’s group to boost incomes in Dane County,” Wisconsin State Journal, May 17, 2018.

David D. Haynes, “UW–Madison competing for former Google CEO’s cash in a bid to boost middle-class income,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, May 18, 2018.

Robyn Cawley, “UW administrators, Madison community join forces to seek poverty solution in Dane County,” The Daily Cardinal, May 20, 2018.

Nicholas Garton, “‘DreamUp Wisconsin’ initiative looks to bolster middle class,” Madison 365, May 21, 2018.

Other Alliance Sites

Arizona State University

Alliance sites are funded by Schmidt Futures.