Drone image of Milwaukee River.

Wisconsin Idea Seminar: A traveling anthology featuring inspiring stories of collaboration

Learn about our 2024 route

River Journey: May 13–17, 2024

Along our River route we will visit the land and people shaped by Wisconsin’s waterways. Wisconsin Idea Seminar travelers—faculty and staff from the University of Wisconsin-Madison—are students of Wisconsin life, deepening their understanding of the state and reaffirming their commitment to public service and the Wisconsin Idea.

We will visit a dairy farm, meet environmental stewards and business owners, spark ideas with Universities of Wisconsin colleagues, and see the spaces and places many of our UW students call home. Experts and practitioners from across the state will join us along the way to enrich the learning throughout the week.

Learn more

The Wisconsin Idea Seminar is a five-day study experience that offers UW-Madison faculty and staff the opportunity to learn firsthand about the social and cultural contexts that shape the lives of many of our Wisconsin students and to see what the Wisconsin Idea looks like in practice. Since its beginning in 1985, the Wisconsin Idea Seminar has been an expression of the university’s commitment to serving Wisconsin and partnering with communities to co-create solutions that will benefit and enrich the lives of the people of Wisconsin, the nation, and the world.

Take a look back at the 2023 Forest + River route

The 2023 Wisconsin Idea Seminar’s FOREST + RIVER cohort greet the water in the Menominee Reservation at Big Smokey Falls.

Who May Apply

  • New faculty members
  • Recently tenured faculty members
  • New deans and department chairs
  • Lead academic staff with statewide or community-engaged responsibilities
  • University staff whose responsibilities include community engagement, student services, or other kinds of outreach

For more details about eligibility, visit our FAQ page.

Selection Process

Deans of schools, colleges, and divisions recommend candidates for selection to the Provost’s Office. By mid-April, approximately 40 people from a cross-section of schools and colleges and disciplines will be selected to participate.

To Apply

  1. Submit the application form.
  2. Circulate the application form for required signatures.
  3. Your Dean’s office will forward the completed application to the Provost’s office.
  4. Nominations due February 15, 2024.
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"Good learning stirs you up."

Kathy Cramer, Professor of Political Science, reflection on her 2001 Wisconsin Idea Seminar experience