Drone image of Milwaukee River.

River Journey 2024

Rivers will shape our learning on the 2024 Wisconsin Idea Seminar. Our five-day journey will include stops at some of Wisconsin’s large and small river cities. We will hear Wisconsin residents describe how their communities developed at the water’s edge and how their orientation toward local rivers has evolved over time. Through both theme and device, the river will be our entrée into a host of broader Wisconsin realities, challenges, and pleasures.

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 where many of our UW students come from. Experts and practitioners from across the state will join the journey at various points along the way to enrich our learning throughout the week.

Throughout our journey we will hear directly from Wisconsinites who show how their communities thrive when people come together with respect, creativity, and a desire to work for the collective good.

Join us!

We encourage eligible members of the UW-Madison community to apply now.

The application process

Highlights of the 2024 River Journey

  • Introduction to Ho-Chunk cultural land and waterscapes
  • Culturally-responsive healthcare with Amish communities
  • Learning from the land at Maa Wákąčąk, sacred landscapes at the foot of the Baraboo Hills
  • Participatory art experience with Ho-Chunk artists
  • Conversations with UW-La Crosse faculty about integrating community-engaged research into undergraduate curriculum
  • A creative placemaking walking tour at the banks of the Wisconsin River

Our team is busy weaving together many more elements of our journey, so stay tuned for more updates.