View from the Summit

Posted Thursday, October 23, 2014 at 6:09 pm

A brief overview of key ideas emerging from the Collective Impact Summit organized by the Tamarack Institute in Toronto, Canada, from 6-10 Oct 2014

The Collective Impact Summit organized by Tamarack - An Institute for Community Engagement brought together more than 250 participants from Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Israel, and the UK for an intense five day interactive learning opportunity that left everyone brimming with new knowledge, ideas, and contacts.

Featuring a rich menu of key note presentations, breakout workshops, tools and ideas exchanges, case studies, and informal gatherings, the Summit attracted leading thinkers such as Melody Barnes, John Kania, Brenda Zimmerman, and Jay Connor who all shared their latest thinking and tested new concepts on the receptive and engaged audience.

In his opening remarks, Mark Cabaj from Tamarack suggested that three years after the publication of John Kania and Mark Kramer’s original article “Collective Impact” in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, we were now on the cusp of creating “CI 3.0”:

  • 1.0 Broad and diverse experimenting
  • 2.0 Frame the broad parameters and emerging practices
  • 3.0 Deepen the practices, capacities, and ecology required

Working throughout the week in Learning Labs of 8-10, participants had the unique opportunity to reflect and discuss in considerable depth the content and ideas being presented and to broaden and deepen their own understanding of how to move forward this difficult work for their own initiatives back in their communities. Here are some of these key ideas:

Why Collective Impact and Why Now?

Melody Barnes, former Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council (2009-2012) and now Chair of the Aspen Institute’s Forum for Community Solutions, kicked off the event by recounting her experience working for President Obama to address many of America’s most complex social problems by analysing the most successful community based approaches and discovering that what these cross-sectoral collaborations had in common were the characteristics of Collective Impact: Shared vision and agenda, effective leadership and governance, alignment of resources toward what works, dedicated staff capacity and appropriate structure, and sufficient funding.

Essential Mindset Shifts are Needed

John Kania is confident that the five conditions of Collective Impact hold and will build the foundation for creating large scale social change, but experience has shown that we need to think differently about who is involved, how people work together, and how progress happens. While these ideas are not counter-intuitive, they are counter-cultural. The first essential mindset shift is to get all of the right eyes on the problem - new eyes bring new vision and if you want to change the system, you need to get the system in the room. It is particularly important to have those directly affected by the problem and those with lived experience in the room. The second mindset shift is to change how we work together: This is adaptive work, not technical work, and solutions that emerge are not known in advance. Instead of focussing on pre-determined solutions, we need to focus on pre-determined rules of interaction and understand that it is the people impacted by the problem that need to be the ones to solve it. The third mindset shift is to understand the difference between program strategies, the traditional approach, and transformation strategies, the Collective Impact approach. Successful CI efforts “bootstrap” successful programs and outcomes are improved through emergence.

Complexity, Resilience, and “Snap Back”

Brenda Zimmerman, a Professor at the Schulich School of Business, is a noted expert on complexity and says that we have to understand that complex situations require a different approach to change, that of influencing behaviour by creating positive “attractors” and focusing on relationships, using minimum specs and simple rules rather than checklists, and engaging participants in ownership of issues rather than trying to sell buy-in to pre-conceived solutions. As in nature, resilience also works differently in complex systems where systems are self -organizing and adaptation and change are more likely to happen through creative destruction.

And finally, we have to resist the tendency to “Snap Back” to previous behaviours and approaches when the going gets tough, recognizing the need to invest the time to forge new relationships and become strategic thinkers rather than strategic planners.

Catalytic Leadership, Aspiration, and the Keystone Outcome

Jay Connor is a successful business executive who has now turned his considerable talents to creating transformational change in challenging communities like Erie County, PA. First, we need to embrace catalytic leadership: In traditional organizations leaders are responsible for the plan; in community collaborative projects catalytic leaders are responsible for outcomes. Then we need to understand the aspiration process: To get from the present to the desired state we have to think differently about structures, processes, and measures. We have to jump over the blame game and focus people on an aspirational goal to build inclusive ownership. The breakthrough comes when you mobilize multiple self-organizing teams to create transformational change. A “Keystone Outcome” refers to a specific outcome that can be found through research to be directly correlated to many other outcomes, so that by focussing on this single measureable outcome we can trigger a cascading series of positive influences to break through. To do this, you need an equal balance between “context experts” - those with lived experience, and “content experts” - those with traditional knowledge, and then leave the agendas and jargon at the door.

It’s all about Leadership and Relationship

What emerged for me as the overriding common theme from the Summit is the message that success or failure will not be based on technical knowledge or expertise, but on the human characteristics of leadership and relationship and our ability to adapt. Using “Community” as a verb and not a noun as Peter Block would say. Go with the flow. And a remarkable flow it was during the week, from the political context with its urgency to move forward now, the technical underpinnings of how we need to change our behaviour and thinking, understanding complexity and the very different dynamics it manifests that can’t be addressed by a traditional engineering approach, and the practical catalytic leadership approach needed to actually implement the change process and move towards an aspirational goal. That is why I am starting to use “Relationship” as a verb and not a noun. 

Final Reflections

The final day of the Summit was dedicated to sharing and reflection, with everyone gathered in a big circle and taking the time to talk about our experiences and what it meant to us, where we wanted to take it.

What is the Future of Collective Impact? This was my own reflection on this week’s theme:

I feel like there is a lot of confidence in the room, about new knowledge, new connections, new ideas. The interesting thing is that I don’t think anybody this week said that CI is easy, or certain, or fully evolved. So the fact that most of us seem to be going away with a positive feeling and a new level of confidence in the future for our own work and understanding is pretty impressive. 

What were your views from the Summit? If you attended the conference this month in Toronto, please share with us your thoughts and experiences in the comments.

Snapshots from the Collective Impact Summit - Day 4

Posted Friday, October 10, 2014 at 4:17 pm

Day 4 of the Collective Impact Summit in Toronto this week brings with it more deep learning and engagement. I am happy to share more Summit highlights from October 9, 2014.


Our focus: Breathing Life into Your Plans: Effective Implementation


Jay Connor of The Collaboratory for Community Support presented the keynote address, "We All Need To Work Differently to Achieve Collective Impact."

Catalytic Leadership: Strategies for an Interconnected World (

  • In traditional organizations, the leaders are responsible for the plan.  In a community collaborative project, the catalytic leader is responsible for the outcomes. 
  • Francis Ford Coppola:  “In a good movie everybody is making the same movie

Erie Together ( Working together to make the Erie region a community of opportunity where everyone can learn, work and thrive.

  • Community was galvanized by a newspaper headline in 2008 announcing that Erie County had the highest poverty rate in Pennsylvania.  Mayor, United Way, and church leaders responded, but stepped back to let the community lead organically and focus on outcomes. 
  • Inspired by other successful poverty-reduction efforts and were inspired by the work of the Hamilton Roundtable on Poverty Reduction and their Mission: Making Hamilton the best place to raise a child.
  • While focused on poverty reduction, they recognized that ultimately their work was to make the whole community a better place. 
  • Erie began defining themselves by stating what they are not.  This changed the whole sense of ownership for the initiative.  Take all of the diverse, patchwork things people were doing, and give them some alignment and coordination towards a common goal. 

The Aspiration Process: Learn - More Children become successful adults.

  • To get from the present to the desired state, we have to think differently about structures, processes, and measures.  This can be very difficult to do within existing systems structures, but by bringing the community together around an aspirational goal we build inclusive ownership.
  • The breakthrough came in mobilizing multiple self-organizing action teams to create a transformational change process that is facilitated by a small 2 person backbone.  

The Keystone Outcome (

  • Research revealed that 3rd Grade Reading Proficiency directly correlated to a large number of other outcomes.  By focussing on this single measurable outcome Erie Together recognized they could influence multiple outcomes such as economic, health, high school completion, and reductions in teen pregnancy and involvement with the justice system through a cascading series of influences. 
  • To do this, they invited people to bring their expertise but not their agendas, banned jargon, and balanced “content” experts with “context” experts from the community.

Emerging Questions:

  • John Kania: “The people aren’t broken, the system is”. But if the system is broken, how do we fix it?
  • How can you identify a Keystone Outcome indicator?


Throughout the Summit, attendees are adding their collective impact questions and thoughts to a growing "learning wall." Questions posted so far include:

Complexity = Messiness

  • Embrace the messiness of the process
  • This Summit has introduced a disturbance in my thinking.  I like it!
  • Have a belly for the big Issues
  • Deliberate Ambiguity
  • Complexity of relationships

Community Engagement

  • We are all responsible
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Need Diverse Perspectives - at least 50% context expertise
  • How can we create conditions of safety?
  • How to handle the power dynamic?
  • What are the competencies of the key leadership?

Define the Bull's Eye

  • What are the tipping points?
  • What else is going on?  - Scoping is critical
  • Scoping around what you can influence
  • Problem-solving needs to be pragmatic and interdisciplinary

Catalytic Leadership

  • Inter-organizational vs. hierarchical
  • Provides catalyst vs. Taking Charge
  • Right question vs. right answer
  • Coordinated action vs. Follower efforts
  • Ownership vs. Buy-In
  • Responsibility for community outcomes vs. Responsibility for strategy and tasks


Throughout the event, attendees are sharing thoughts, questions, and photos on social meda. To see what's being shared, follow #CISummit2014 on Twitter.

Leena Sharma ‏@Elation_State
Jay Connor: "The best disinfectant against maliciousness is visibility and conversation." #embracedifficultconversations Jay Connor: Catalytic community leadership vs. Traditional organizational leadership:  #CISUMMIT2014

Vibrant Communities ‏@VC_Canada
A picture tells a story with Elayne Greeley - creativity in action. #CISummit2014

Trevor Sheppard ‏@trevorcarl
How I see + options I perceive = choices I make. #CISummit2014

Cindy Chatzis ‏@cindychatzis
"We just need to throw a dart at a place we can hit and it will cascade through"-Ken South Dallas #CISummit2014

Strong Roots ‏@StrongRoots_SK
Sorry to miss #cisummit2014 but glad to eavesdrop on the tweets!

leah stephenson ‏@burnerLeah
We want your expertise. We don't want your agenda. - Jay Connor #CISummit2014

Kerry Graham ‏@kerry_change
@jcrubicon communities know what their aspiration is, CI helps them with the structures, processes & measures to get there #CISummit2014

Mattonz ‏@mattonz
Phoebe: "I have a Masters in Streetology" & "You don't need to be perfect to do this work, there's no perfect way to do it" #CISummit2014


If you are participating in the Summit, please share your highlights here on the Forum. We'd love to hear what's resonating with you throughout the conference.


Snapshots from the Collective Impact Summit - Day 1

Snapshots from the Collective Impact Summit - Day 2

Snapshots from the Collective Impact Summit - Day 3

Snapshots from the Collective Impact Summit - Day 3

Posted Thursday, October 9, 2014 at 4:22 pm

Day 3 of the Collective Impact Summit in Toronto brings with it more great discussions and learnings. I’m happy to share more highlights from the sessions held on Wednesday, Oct. 8.


Our focus: Snap Back: Experiencing the Challenge of Resilient Systems


Brenda Zimmerman of York University's Schulich School of Business presented the keynote address, "Complex Problems Require Collective Impact Solutions."

 “Stop trying to change reality by attempting to eliminate complexity.” David Whyte

What we need to understand about Complexity

  • There are several types of problems, each requiring a different style of thinking and leadership:
    • Simple (Known eg Making Soup)
    • Complicated (Knowable eg Sending a Rocket to the Moon)
    • Complex (Unknowable eg Raising a Child)
  • Understanding Change in Complex Social Systems:
    • Behaviour of the system can be largely explained by understanding “attractors.”
    • Relationships and coordination among parts can be more important than the parts themselves.
  • A “Checklist” approach to managing works for Simple problems, but Minimum Specs/Simple Rules work for complex systems because of their changing and unknown patterns. Engage participants in collective Ownership, not passive Buy-In to preconceived solutions and assumptions. 

Resilience 101

  • There are 2 very distinct types of resilience:
    • ENGINEERING RESILIENCE: Bouncing back to the status quo
    • ECOLOGICAL RESILIENCE: Adaptation and deep change through creative destruction which allows the system to continually learn
  • Self-organizing happens in living systems. What are the simple rules for relationship that are influencing the system? When things aren’t working we should strive for coherence rather than consistency and allow for constant adaptation and innovation.

Snap Back - How can we mitigate the risks?

  • Relationships are Key - Choose your “Audience of Significance” that you will look to for validation
  • Pay Attention to Engagement - Ensure resources are available for listening and engaging on an on-going basis.  Protect space in your calendar and reward others that take the time to do this.  Listening, engaging, and pattern recognition must be supported forever – not just at the beginning.
  • Be Strategic Thinkers, not merely Strategic Planners - Reinforce strategic processes that recognize the iterative nature of profound strategic thinking, and always look for the small differences that could create a tipping point.
  • Don’t Confuse Quick Wins with Quick Fixes - Success is not a destination in complexity. Make resources available for safe-fail experiments and value context expertise as much as content expertise. 

Emerging Questions

  • How can you eliminate or bypass negative attractors? 
  • Does taking an ecological approach run the risk of losing focus?


Throughout the Summit, attendees are adding their collective impact questions and thoughts to a growing "learning wall." Questions posted so far include:

Engaging “context” expertise

  • In the machine world, content trumps context. In Living systems context trumps content.
  • More people to bring their gifts and wisdom to the table.  

Preventing “Snap Back”

  • Snap back can happen at any level (individual, organizational, sector or system)
  • Identify the rules of the dominant system that will cause snap back
  • How can we deepen the trough of CI? Make it more resilient.

Building personal capacity

  • Lot’s of time needed prior to starting any CI to examine the players
  • Knowing your audience of significance can be critical in navigating rough times
  • Leadership is important. But paradoxically, so is self-organizing.

Embracing Complexity

  • Embrace and explore complexity.  Don’t try to control it. Ride the wave.  
  • Water flows through the path of least resistance

Best Practice is an Anti-Innovation

  • Don’t try to import solutions
  • Create Ownership vs. Buy-In
  • Constantly seek data to validate solutions
  • Allow for risk and experimentation (SafeFail

Sustaining Change

  • Until the pain of not changing is greater than the pain of change - it’s not likely to change
  • Important to have courage to act while learning
  • Working with complexity requires strategic thinking not strategic planning.
  • Success is never a destination. It’s about getting things roughly right.


Throughout the event, attendees are sharing thoughts, questions, and photos on social meda. To see what's being shared, follow #CISummit2014 on Twitter.

Jo Cavanagh OAM ‏@JoCavanaghAU
#CISummit2014 Subversive idea- Iterative learning through innovation trumps replicating best practice.
Subversive idea 2 - promotion emergence does not need a strategic plan to progress forward @collabforimpact
Subversive idea 3 - leadership for CI requires not being the decision maker (: Hooray. Hear this team @FamilyLifeAU :)

Marci Ronald ‏@mronald75
I think I'm officially a Collective Impact groupie #CISummit2014

Kerry Graham ‏@kerry_change
Prof Brenda Zimmerman: quick wins do not equal quick fixes #CISummit2014 #collectiveimpact @collabforimpact

Enrique Robert ‏@Robert2Enrique
Great quote #CIsummit2014 "Time is too short & things are too bad for pessimism" (Dee Hock)

Kailey ‏@whatkaileysaid
Interesting... "managers would rather live with a problem than have a solution they can't understand or control."

Rachel ‏@rachelsmind
Plan 1st then act does not lead to lasting change. Continue to listen and adapt over time to prevent snap back to old systems #CISummit2014

Jaime Brown ‏@_Jaibles
"Buy-in" problematic in #collectiveimpact - should focus on shared "ownership". Very important distinction! #BrendaZimmerman #CISummit2014

Kailey ‏@whatkaileysaid
Value-added to the #CISummit2014 is being able to get to know other twenty-somethings in this sector. Interesting to hear shared challenges.


If you are participating in the Summit, please share your highlights here on the Forum. We'd love to hear what's resonating with you throughout the conference.


Snapshots from the Collective Impact Summit - Day 1

Snapshots from the Collective Impact Summit - Day 2

Snapshots from the Collective Impact Summit - Day 2

Posted Wednesday, October 8, 2014 at 6:41 pm

We're now into day 2 of the Collective Impact Summit in Toronto this week, and I am very happy to share highlights from sessions, keynotes, and from attendee learnings from Oct. 7, 2014.


Our focus: Essential Mindset Shifts for Collective Impact


John Kania of FSG presented the morning's keynote address that focused on the question, "What makes collective impact work?"

The Five Conditions of Collective Impact build a foundation – Mindset Shifts Are Also Needed to Do the Work

Mindset Shift One: Who is Involved?

  • Get all the right eyes on the problem – new eyes bring new vision
  • Move from what is obvious to what is not obvious. 
  • This work is not counterintuitive, it is counter-cultural
  • What if each of us could see what everyone sees, what if we had collective vision?
  • How much we can accomplish in this world depends how much we can see
  • If you want to change the system, you have to get the system in the room

Mindset Shift Two: How People Work Together

Getting things to scale requires a different way of working together:  Collective Seeing – Collective Learning – Collective Doing:

  • This is adaptive work, not technical work. Solutions that emerge are not known in advance
  • The people who are impacted by the issue need to be the ones who solve it
  • CI offers a structure to organize and make this work 
  • The dominant paradigm assumes that pre-determined solutions and emerging rules of interaction are needed for large scale change – Collective Impact focuses on pre-determined rules of interaction and emerging solutions

Mindset Shift Three: How Progress Happens

  • It is important to discern between Program Strategies and Transformation Strategies
  • The four Strategies for Transformation are:
  1. Increasing Coordination: finding ways to re-align existing programs and stakeholders to maximize system efficacy
  2. Enhancing Services: bringing in previously unnoticed practice, movement or resources to enhance existing local services
  3. Policy: advocating for policy change at local or state levels to improve major components of the systems
  4. Learning through Pilots: start small with willing partners, learn from the experience, and then to expand
  • Successful collective impact efforts “bootstrap” successful programs and outcomes are improved through emergence.

Emerging Questions:

  • Whose “eyes should be on the problem” but aren’t currently?
  • Are your CI strategies program- focused or systems focused?


Throughout the Summit, attendees are adding their collective impact questions and thoughts to a growing "learning wall." Questions posted so far include:

Relationships are the Foundation of Change

  • Who’s in the room? Do we have the right eyes on the problem?
  • When the cast of people is constantly changing, it’s difficult to gain momentum. What are our rules for engagement?
  • People need TIME to talk to each other – often we don’t allocate time for this
  • How can we involve “enemies” without comprising our values?
  • How do we evaluate levels of trust?


  • Adaptive work is organic and emergent
  • Transformation is counter-intuitive. Going beyond the physical, almost spiritual
  • Are we doing it right? Validate. Course correct. What does “right” mean?

Program vs. System Focus

  • Shifting to see things differently
  • Where do programs fit in system change work?
  • Where do we delineate the scope of a system?


  • How do we change the paradigm so that those who hold resources understand the values of being relational/co-creating?
  • Change costs money…lack of money becomes the first excuse for not doing something…often when things get started the money will come


  • Collective Impact is a strategy for collaboration that requires system thinking
  • When you hear great ideas they seem so obvious. So why didn’t I think of that?
  • Have patience to do a deep dive not knowing the answer. Embrace the unknown.


Throughout the event, attendees are sharing thoughts, questions, and photos on social meda. To see what's being shared, follow #CISummit2014 on Twitter.
Diane Dyson ‏@Diane_Dyson
"We need to trust each other enough to collaborate to solve these complex, messy problems," @CEO_TorontoFdn #TVS2014 #CISummit2014

PCMH ‏@PCMHontario
Adaptive leadership is creating the conditions for others to make progress. System leaders catalyze collective leadership. #CISummit2014

Jeff Loomis ‏@loomisyyc
'We are program rich, but system poor'. Focus on how people work together and interact to create system change by J Kania #CISummit2014

Rachel ‏@rachelsmind
2nd #collectiveimpact mindshift: how people wk together matters. When people get along, change happens. Relational trust! #CISummit2014

Mark Holmgren ‏@mjholmgren
Who shares the "change" table is important. Many voices, many minds, many ideas and questions. From #CISummit2014

AllysonHewitt ‏@AllysonHewitt
Love that the #CISummit2014 starts with music and play allowing us to tap into other parts of our brains

REACHedmonton ‏@REACHedmonton
"Remember why we do this work - it's not for fame." - Phoebe, CISummit Delegate #CISummit2014


If you are participating in the Summit, please share your highlights here on the Forum. We'd love to hear what's resonating with you throughout the conference.


Snapshots from the Collective Impact Summit - Day 1

Snapshots from the Collective Impact Summit - Day 3

Snapshots from the Collective Impact Summit - Day 1

Posted Wednesday, October 8, 2014 at 6:10 pm

While "on the ground" at the Collective Impact Summit in Toronto this week, I'm happy to share quick highlights from sessions, keynotes, and from attendee learnings.


Our focus: Why Collective Impact and Why now?

We’re now at Collective Impact 3.0

  • Collective Impact 1.0 - Broad an diverse experimenting with CI approach
  • Collective Impact 2.0 - Frame the broad parameters and emerging practices
  • Collective Impact 3.0 - Deepen the practices, capacities, and ecology required

The two questions that matter:

  • Can it be effective?
  • What are the practices, capacities and enabling ecology behind the principles?


Melody Barnes of the Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions presented the keynote on Monday, Oct. 6 on the topic of, "Collective Impact for a Changing World."

Solutions to the problems facing America were not going to be found in Washington, but in local communities

  • Collective Impact provides the best available framework to understand, create, and implement change to complex community problems.
  • Even for problems we thought were intractable, it shows us a way forward.
  • Still believes in a role for government, but success will happen at the community level.
  • People have been doing collaborative work for generations. Collective Impact brings a greater level of discipline and focus to collaborative work.
  • The work of Collective Impact is about a new narrative for communities that positive change is possible
  • The work is fulfilling and rewarding but it’s also difficult and slow

We have seen the results!  We know that these strategies can work.

  • The Aspen Institute is committed to finding and sharing knowledge and best practices on a global scale through its partners FSG and Tamarack and through the Collective Impact Forum.
  • We are still in learning mode, and the framework is being refined through experience.
  • Engaging citizens and youth up front in these initiatives is absolutely critical.

Why now?

  • It’s important that we invest as building this field of practice
  • Building the field connects people and accelerates everyone’s work 
  • Lessons from the rolling suitcase - Collective Impact is a form of collaboration for addressing intractable issues, but now there is also a readiness in the broader environment to tackle these issues.

Emerging questions

  • How to engage funders in this work?
  • How to get the right system leaders engaged in this work?
  • How do we get better at evaluation and policy change?


Throughout the Summit, attendees are adding their collective impact questions and thoughts to a growing "learning wall." Questions posted so far include:

Timing & Process

  • When is the right time for collective impact?
  • If you can’t demonstrate change quickly, how do you keep funders engaged?

Thinking and Working Differently

  • How can you merge two or more mindsets?
  • What is the difference between Collaboration and Collective Impact?
  • CI is a commitment to small actions
  • Culture shift from competition to collaboration


  • How do we find the balance between adherence to the Collective Impact framework and allowing for innovation?  
  • Rock the boat, but make sure no one goes overboard!
  • How do we keep everyone playing in the sandbox for the long term?


  • How do you convince people to buy in?
  • How do you get all the stakeholders to embrace the strategy?
  • How do we mitigate power dynamics?
  • Everyone has voice

Evaluation & Measurement

  • Measurement is important - How do we get the right data and evaluate it?
  • How do we agree on common measurements and keep it fluid if focus changes?
  • Discipline and aggregation makes for better data


  • How do we ensure “nothing about us without us”
  • If you are not at the table, you are on the menu
  • Everyone can find a role and make a contribution


Throughout the event, attendees are sharing thoughts, questions, and photos on social meda. To see what's being shared, follow #CISummit2014 on Twitter.

Rachel ‏@rachelsmind
Are you ready for Collective Impact? Ask the right questions.  #CISummit2014

Karen McCullagh ‏@kmccullaghbgcc
#CISummit2014 That ah-ha moment when we shift from "what can I get out of this, to what can I give to this?" Paul Born @CIForumTweets

Jeff Loomis ‏@loomisyyc
Collective Impact is not new. The innovation is greater discipline for collaboration. @MelodyCBarnes #CISummit2014

Liz Weaver ‏@weaverworks
Government moves slowly + is partisan but needs to be at the #collectiveimpact table - they have levers to advance this work #CISummit2014

The Philanthropist ‏@Phil_journal
Role of philanthropy in #CollectiveImpact - funding that recognizes risk, incorporates data, understands the time it takes. #CISummit2014

Jillian Witt ‏@jillwitter
Who better to identify the cracks in the system than those experiencing them? #CISummit2014

Alison Robertson ‏@robertsonalison
Impossible to be community based without meaningful involvement with community members - @MelodyCBarnes #CISummit2014

Community Base Camp ‏@communitybcamp
Who advances and who survives? Those who are adaptively responding to the challenges we face. - #CISummit2014


If you are participating in the Summit, please share your highlights here on the Forum. We'd love to hear what's resonating with you throughout the conference.


Snapshots from the Collective Impact Summit - Day 2

Snapshots from the Collective Impact Summit - Day 3

Snapshots from the Collective Impact Summit - Day 4

View from the Summit

Attending the Collective Impact Summt in Toronto this week?

Posted 6 years ago at 12:38 pm

We hope all our Forum members who are in Toronto this week for the Collective Impact Summit are having a wonderful time! We're sure it will be an inspiring and rejuvenating experience.

And for those on Twitter, you can follow Summit updates with the hashtag #CISummit2014. It’s been great to see what’s been discussed already!

We look forward to sharing news and updates from the Summit, but also, feel free to come share your thoughts and learnings! We’d love to hear what highlights you’re taking away from all the sessions.

Upcoming Webinars and Events on Collective Impact

Posted 6 years ago at 12:38 pm

There are some neat learning opportunities coming up related to collective impact, both virtual and also in-person.

August 8, 2014: Why Collective Impact and Why Now? – Tamarack Institute (Tele-Conference)

Join Melody Barnes (Aspen Institute) and Paul Born (Tamarack Institute) for an interactive tele-learning session on August 8 at 11:00am ET in which they explore the theme of collective impact and why it's crucial that leaders embrace this framework.

August 12, 2014: How to start a Collective Impact Initiative – Collaboration for Impact (Webinar*)

Presented by Kerry Graham, this webinar will build your knowledge and provide you with practical tools and tips on how to apply the collective impact framework to a complex social problem your community is grappling with.

* NOTE: This free webinar will be at 12:00pm Australian time on August 13, or 10pm Eastern US time on August 12th.

August 13, 2014: Collective Impact: A Powerful Framework for Transformative Change in Communities
(Cincinnati, OH)

Join Jeff Edmondson (StriveTogether), Shiloh Turner (The Greater Cincinnati Foundation), and Mary Stagaman (Agenda 360 and Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber) for this Master Class on collective impact, a part of the American Chamber of Commerce Executives Cincinnati conference on August 12-15, 2014.

September 16 – 18, 2014: Achieving Collective Impact: How Partnerships Change Community Outcomes – Forum for Youth Investment and FSG (St. Louis, MO)

Join this three-day institute to learn how to create the five conditions for collective impact through clear, sequenced steps: from partnership creation, community engagement, goal-setting and problem analysis to intervention design, implementation, evaluation and improvement

Have an upcoming event related to collective impact?

Come share it in our Events section. We're happy to highlight both virtual and in-person learning opportunities so Forum members can better connect to expertise in the field.

Videos available from the May 2014 Funders Convening

Posted 6 years ago at 12:38 pm

Videos from the May 2014 convening Catalyzing Large Scale Change: The Funder's Role in Collective Impact are now available for viewing on the Collective Impact Forum, including presentations on leadership, community engagement, and sustaining the collective impact movement.

Whether you attended the event in May 2014 or are interested in these topics, we welcome you to view these videos and continue the discussion of how funders can help catalyze collective impact efforts and serve as a partner for social change.

Convening Videos

Leading for Results with Patrick McCarthy

What does it take to get government, nonprofit, and community agencies to work together effectively on behalf of communities? What skills do leaders need to move this work forward?

Patrick McCarthy (Annie E. Casey Foundation) talks about the type of leadership funders can embrace working in this approach and how the skills used are beneficial to collective impact. Watch now.

Leading for Results Panel Discussion

Ben Hecht (Living Cities), Patrick McCarthy (Annie E. Casey Foundation), Stacey Stewart (United Way Worldwide) and Junious Williams (Urban Strategies Council) discuss the mindset shifts that need to happen when working with the collective impact approach. Moderated by Fay Hanleybrown (FSG). Watch now.

Embracing Emergence and Collective Impact with John Kania

John Kania (FSG) discusses how funders can take advantage of emergent strategy to better support and lead collective impact efforts. Watch now.

Embracing Emergence Panel Discussion

Karen Pittman (Forum for Youth Investment) and Sterling Speirn (Poverty Interrupted) join John Kania to further explore how funders can approach emergent strategy when engaging in collective impact efforts. Watch now.

Putting Community in Collective Impact with Rich Harwood

Rich Harwood (The Harwood Institute) leads a conversation about engaging communities in collective impact efforts, the importance of civic culture, and how funders can work within civic culture to achieve success for their collective impact initiatives. Watch now.

Sustaining the Movement: Promoting Quality Collective Impact

Jeff Edmondson (StriveTogether) and Ana Tilton (Grantmakers for Education) lead a discussion with Ryan Chao (Annie E. Casey Foundation), Wynn Rosser (Greater Texas Foundation) and Doug Wood (Ford Foundation) on how collective impact work is distinguished from traditional collaborations, and what emerging standards of practice are being developed in the field. Watch now

Upcoming Collective Impact Webinars

Posted 6 years ago at 12:38 pm

There are some upcoming webinars related to collective impact that we wanted to flag for Forum members.

May 13 - Performance Partnership Pilots: Aligning Policy to Improve Outcomes, hosted by the Forum for Youth Investment

May 15 - Evaluating Collective Impact: 6 Simple Rules, hosted by Tamarack – An Institute for Community Engagement

June 11Evaluating Collective Impact, hosted by FSG and the Collective Impact Forum

And if your organization is hosting a webinar, workshop, conference, or other kind of event related to collective impact, we invite you to share them in the Forum’s events section. All members are able to add CI events to the Forum.

Attending next week's backbone workshop in Vancouver?

Posted 7 years ago at 12:38 pm

The Forum team is very excited about attending next week's "Champions for Change" backbone workshop in Vancouver on April 1-3! The Tamarack Institute has a learning agenda on their workshop site, which gives a great understanding of what will be discussed.

Are there other CI Forum members attending the workshop next week? Let us know! It will be wonderful to meet you all in person. (And if you are attending, what are you looking forward to discussing and learning at the event?)