Forging the Future with Forward 48

Forward 48 is the region's premier leadership development program. We're building a robust and diverse civic leadership succession strategy through experiential learning, professional development, and exclusive networking opportunities.

Utilizing the best practices for engaging virtual learning, Forward 48 provides:

Live Instruction

Direct virtual engagement with the city’s top business and community leaders

Curated Networking

Private events, networking opportunities, and unlocked Forward 48 content exclusively for alumni

Skill Development

Advanced skill development and toolkits to spur economic growth and civic impact

Forward 48 faculty

Fall 2020 Faculty

What is Forward 48?

Forward 48 is the region's premier leadership development program. We leverage the insightful stories of today’s community leaders to create unique, hands-on growth experiences for those that will define this city’s future.

Forward 48 is building a robust and diverse civic leadership succession strategy through experiential learning, professional development, and networking.

  • Live instruction and direct engagement with the city’s top business and community leaders
  • Advanced leadership skill development and toolkits to spur economic growth and civic impact
  • Access to an extensive network of mentors and other trusted thought-leaders in Milwaukee
  • Exclusive access to follow-up events, networking opportunities, and Forward 48 content
More About Us

Class details

Here is the critical information you need to know:

  • How much does it cost? Tuition is being offered at an introductory rate of $2,000.00 (includes all course materials).
  • When does the course take place? Classes will be every Wednesday starting November 4th until December 16th.
  • How long is each lesson? The lessons are 3 hours long, running on Wednesdays from 3-6pm.
  • Who will instruct the courses? Your instructors will be eight of Milwaukee's business and civic leaders who have laid the foundation for much of Milwaukee's growth.
  • How does the application process work? You either apply or are nominated by a leader in your organization or professional network. Your application must include a letter of recommendation from a leader within your organization or the individual who nominated you.

Who should apply for Forward 48?

We’re selecting a group of 48 of Milwaukee's absolute best and brightest. Those that not only show promise within their field of work, but are actively working to impact their own community.

The ideal candidate has:

  • A minimum of 6 years professional experience
  • Proven to be a young leader within their corporation
  • Engaged civically in their community
  • Been born after 1980
  • Desire to network with the region's best minds
  • Desire to learn from and implement strategies from today's leaders

If you know - or are - this person, Forward 48 is the next step in becoming an impactful civic leader. 

Application Deadline: October 30th, 2020
Nomination Deadline: October 30th, 2020

What are the benefits of being a Forward 48 Student?


  • Access to 8 foundational leaders of the community
  • Fast track yourself as one of the key leaders growing the region
  • Elevate your brand as a thought leader in the community
  • Curated network among 48 other regional leaders
  • Three months free of the Milwaukee Business Journal ($100 value)
  • Transferrable masters credits at Marquette University ($1250 value)
More About Us

Who benefits from Forward 48?

Are you on a leadership track within your organization?

Are you seeking to get more connected and involved in your community?

Are you curious about how leadership skills translate from the boardroom to the neighborhood?

We’re looking to develop Milwaukee’s next generation of civic leaders and if you answered “yes!” to any of those questions, we want to hear from you.

As an HR leader or corporate exec, you know that emerging leaders aren’t always defined by their age, but rather that moment in their career when they’re poised to do big things.

We’re seeking the person that’s leaving strong impressions on their company and in their community.

We’re not looking for corporate climbers.

Our ideal candidate is a rising star who is passionate and determined to make a difference, and someone equally interested in developing others as much as him or herself.