Registration will open June 2021. 

Come join the Collective Impact Forum for Champions for Change 2021, a three-week online workshop that will feature a mix of weekly online sessions, online learning, and virtual office hours with faculty.

The Champions for Change workshop provides professional development to backbone teams, steering committees, and partners, and shares new insights on the work of backbones from the field.

When is Champions for Change 2021: This year's virtual workshop will be held over three weeks, from September 21 through October 5, with learning sessions every Tuesday afternoon (Sept. 21, 28, and Oct. 5) and virtual office hours on Wednesdays and Fridays (Sept. 22, 24, 29, and Oct. 1.)

What is the Purpose of Champions for Change? Champions for Change provides practical advice, tools, and support for backbone teams working in collective impact initiatives. The backbone team—whether it is part of one organization or formed across multiple organizations— are dedicated to guiding a cross-sector group of stakeholders toward a common goal. The backbone is a critical component of collective impact, and this workshop is focused on supporting people in this role to move the collaborative forward.

Who is Champions designed for? Champions for Change is designed specifically for those in the beginning/early stages of their collective impact work. If you are considering how to start an initiative, are prepping to launch your collaborative, or are in the first few years of your initiative, this workshop is specifically designed for you.

What’s different about this year’s Champions for Change? In the past, we have hosted this workshop over three consecutive days, but our virtual setting allows us to offer a more flexible format where participants can join learning events live with others or wait to watch later on their own, depending on their schedule. We’re also adding more time for Q&A and coaching from faculty, with four participant-only virtual office hours during the workshop.

What Are the Focus Areas for Champions for Change 2021?

Workshop topics include:

  • Launching and getting started in collective impact
  • Incorporating equity in your collective impact work
  • Clarifying the roles and leadership characteristics of the backbone, especially when navigating through current times
  • Fostering community collaboration and co-ownership in your initiative
  • Evaluating collective impact
  • Using data in collective impact work
  • Discussing the different ways collective impact can support communities during times of uncertainty and change, and how collective impact work will need to evolve during these times.

Key Components of Champions for Change 2021

  • Weekly learning sessions held on September 21, September 28, and October 5, to allow an easier balance with joining Champions and managing other priorities throughout the week. These sessions include plenary keynotes with leaders in the field, concrete “how to” sessions that dive deep into how to support collaboration, and practical tool sessions to learn techniques and practice with resources.
  • Recordings of all sessions so even if you miss a session, you can watch it before the next week’s gathering.
  • Virtual office hours twice each week to answer your questions and provide coaching on specific topics, including building collaborative leadership, embedding equity practices, and designing governance structures.
  • Chance to meet other participants via the workshop site to share what you are working on and hear from others in the collective impact field.

Join us this September 21 to kick-off a three week learning experience where we dive into all the various complexities that the backbone role holds.

Have you attended Champions before?

This training is similar in theme and content to previous years of successful Champions for Change workshops. If you have attended our annual Champions for Change workshop in the past, we would recommend this opportunity if you are looking for a refresher of the content, or as a new learning opportunity for your teammates or stakeholders. If you are not looking for a refresher, but for a completely new workshop, we recommend our annual Action Summit  instead. The 2022 Action Summit will be held in Spring 2022.

Virtual Workshop Platform:

Champions for Change 2021 will be held using the online video-conferencing platform Zoom as well as a workshop app and website to share resources and connect with other attendees.

What Attendees have said about Champions for Change

“I've attended and planned plenty of conferences, and this was one of the best designed and managed I've seen. The pace was brisk without being exhausting, and it was highly interactive throughout.”

“Excellent conference - provided much needed content and dialogue on the role and structure of the backbone organization.”

Note that this workshop is designed for staff playing the backbone function and steering committee members of collective impact initiatives demonstrating or working to implement all five conditions of collective impact (common agenda, shared measurement, mutually reinforcing activities, continuous communication, and backbone support).

Have Questions?

Have questions in the meantime? Please reach out to Tracy Timmons-Gray at: