Front-line wisdom to make systems change happen better and more oftenRead More
In their 2016 paper Collective Impact 3.0: An Evolving Framework for Community Change, my colleagues Liz Weaver and Mark Cabaj shared a quote from Eric Bonabeau, CEO, Icosystems, who observed that:
“Managers would rather live with a problem they can’t solve than with a solution they can’t fully understand or control.”Read More
I have long been curious about the different roles that stories and narratives can play in the work of community change. I have seen how one individual story, powerfully told, has the power to instantly engage people and offer clarity and understanding of a complex issue in ways that well-researched data and analysis alone cannot accomplish.
I know that communities, like individuals, have stories about themselves that can both limit and inspire their hopes for the future. These community narratives – about who we are; how things go; what’s possible for us here – shape collective thinking and can play a role in determining the future. Uncovering current shared community narratives and inviting community members to co-create new, compelling narratives that are rooted in their shared hopes for the future can be a powerful lever for community change.Read More
As the challenges facing communities become more complex and the importance of effective collaboration across sectors and perspectives increases, the need to find simple and effective ways for people to think and learn together has never been greater.Read More
The value and necessity of engaging multiple sectors to work collaboratively to address complex issues is now a widely accepted practice. As recognition of the value and importance of engaging the wisdom and knowledge of “context experts” in Collective Impact initiatives has grown, it has also contributed to a heightened interest in better understanding how to embed authentic engagement as a practice in community change efforts.Read More
We are all familiar with the old adage that “it takes a community to raise a child”, but translating that wisdom into high-impact action is anything but simple. In particular, developing innovative and effective strategies to address the needs of the growing percentage of youth who are neither in school nor at work is an area of specific focus for many communities throughout North America. That is why we are fortunate to have to have examples such as Canada’s Pathways to Education and a new research brief, Building Partnerships: In Support of Where, When, and How Learning Happens published by the Aspen Institute, to offer a richer understanding of the interconnected factors that enable young people to thrive and demonstrate that by working together collaboratively across sectors, communities can achieve high-impact results that ensure promising futures for all youth.Read More