We live in a world where addressing complex social issues most often involves working tirelessly to bring groups and communities together to work against existing social norms and “beat the odds,” which are stacked against us. We see small numbers of individuals work their way out of the systems that are built to work against them, yet we often don’t ever realize the results we are hoping for. What if we shifted the way we approach social change from beating the odds and overcoming adversity to changing the system itself, shifting the norms of our society to level the playing field?
I have the pleasure of serving as the Founder and Executive Director of The Civic Canopy, a community-based nonprofit transforming the way pivotal issues are solved in society. Our work connects diverse groups of people seeking change in their communities. We equip them with tools to create meaningful and lasting impact. We are starting to think more intentionally about how we can play a larger role in changing the game…in building capacity for collaborative groups to change the systems in which we work. The urgency of this approach grows with every headline that suggests to people that the systems are stacked against them, and that our ability to make a change is hampered by our polarized politics and our fragmented services.
We are excited to tackle this further as we partner with Tamarack Institute in the annual Civic Canopy Collective Impact Summit, November 30 - December 1, 2016. This Summit will bring individuals and groups from existing collaborative efforts and also those working to form collaborative efforts, together for a multi-day shared learning experience in Denver, Colorado. We look forward to tackling many of the issues we face in changing the game in collective impact, including creating a more level playing field for community engagement, bringing in unlikely partners, and measuring our progress to make our impact more meaningful.
We encourage you to join The Civic Canopy and Tamarack Institute for this learning experience. Not only will you get to connect with others in this region working to transform the way we address societal issues, but you’ll get to spend a few days surrounded by the Rocky Mountains as we drink up the last ounces of gorgeous fall weather in Colorado. Learn more about the Summit and how to register atwww.civiccanopy.org/summit. I can’t wait to see you there!