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May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and we wanted to highlight the importance of recognizing and supporting mental health as a critical and necessary element of a robust and sustainable collective impact effort. We frequently receive questions from a wide variety of collaboratives that are experiencing challenges related to the mental health of t…
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For more than a decade, The Opportunity Youth Forum at the Aspen Institute’s Forum for Community Solutions has been working with a growing network of urban, rural, and tribal communities across the U.S. to build and scale reconnection pathways that achieve better outcomes in education, employment and overall well-being for opportunity youth. (Oppor…
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We welcome back members of the Healthy Food Community of Practice to hear what they learned from their multi-year collaboration and how the way they worked together changed over time. Launched in 2020, the Healthy Food Community of Practice is a network of more than 50 organizations working toward a shared goal—that communities of color across the …
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The Millers for Nutrition coalition is working with 100+ millers and other partners to achieve an ambitious goal—getting nutritious, fortified food to 1 billion people by 2026. One of the critical questions that Millers for Nutrition has grappled with is how to get private-sector partners, many of whom may be in competition with each other, to find…
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What does it mean to build a movement? How is movement building connected to organizing and practicing solidarity with others? And why are these concepts important to make progress on collective work? In this deep dive conversation, we discuss core aspects of movement-building with Adaku Utah, senior manager at Building Movement Project. In this di…
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Getting to the heart of complex problems can be tricky. How does one untangle the many threads that can be involved? How do you uncover what the real pain points are so that you can address them? In this discussion, we explore the approach of human-centered design and how it can be used to both discover and uplift perspectives to help find communit…
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Communities can be “researched,” engaged, and surveyed to explore a variety of questions such as what barriers are preventing students from graduating? What are the local economic and health impacts of having only a few grocery stores in the area? It’s important to rigorously explore these types of questions, but there can be danger in taking data …
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Addressing homelessness in rural areas has multiple complexities including scarcity of funding, support services, and shelter options, as well as facing a common misconception that rural homelessness does not exist. To better understand how homelessness was affecting their community, partners working in Mercer County, IL came together to participat…
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During the winter break, we're replaying some of our favorite past episodes. This replay episode features a dynamic discussion from the 2021 Collective Impact Action Summit, and focuses on the importance of narrative in collective social change efforts. This discussion is led by Melody Barnes of the Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions, an…
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During the winter break, we're replaying some of our favorite past episodes. In this episode from 2022, we hear from Rev. Dr. Starsky Wilson, who serves as President and CEO of the Children’s Defense Fund. Dr. Wilson reflects on the challenging times that many of us experienced earlier in the pandemic, and the ways we can reground ourselves and mov…
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In a time when many cities across the United States are facing a growing housing crisis, one community has challenged the status quo, working across divides to bring partners together to raise millions of dollars - with a goal of building 10,000 housing units by 2028 in California’s Coachella Valley. What sounds like success now, with 1,600 units a…
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To find out what contributes to an effective and sustainable backbone, the EdRedesign Lab at Harvard University interviewed backbone leaders and field-building organizations about their experiences. Earlier this year, they released a report on the most critical skills and competencies required for a backbone leadership team to succeed when doing co…
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During this holiday week, we're replaying one of our favorite episodes from last year that focused on the power of parent engagement. In this 2022 podcast conversation, we learned about the parent engagement work of Child Safety Forward in Hartford, CT - one of five demonstration sites for the federal demonstration initiative Child Safety Forward. …
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How does a collaborative effort start planting the foundation for sustainability early on? In this podcast episode, we learn about the work of Child Safety Forward, a four-year demonstration initiative that engaged five sites across the U.S. in research, planning, and implementation around place-based strategies aimed at reducing child injury and f…
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We’re excited to share with you an episode of another podcast that we think you’ll find very valuable for your social change work. System Catalysts is a show that shares compelling stories from philanthropists and change-makers who are promoting systems change in their communities. They just concluded their first season of stories and we wanted to …
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In this episode, Director of Programs and Partnerships Courtney W. Robertson talks with Jamilica Burke and Melody Freeman from Seeding Success, an organization focused on supporting the wellbeing of children and families in Memphis, Tennessee. In this conversation, they discuss how Seeding Success continues to keep equity at the center of their wor…
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Local governments can play a critical and necessary role in advancing system and policy changes to support communities, but it can be challenging to understand the complexities within local government and how best to work together. In this episode, Forum Director of Programs and Partnerships, Courtney W. Robertson explores how to partner with local…
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Complex issues like homelessness can feel unsolvable or intractable, but that does not have to be the case. Through a commitment to a collective approach and strategies, communities can end homelessness. We take a deep dive into this collective approach required to solve homelessness with Community Solutions, a nonprofit that is dedicated to ending…
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In this episode, we discuss the practice of community-led monitoring, and how this practice can help inform and influence collaborative change efforts. To learn more about community-led monitoring, we talk with the International Treatment Preparedness Coalition (ITPC), a global network that works to achieve universal access to HIV treatment and oth…
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In this episode, we discuss the power of community partnerships, and how necessary they are when working to support better outcomes for the whole community. In this discussion, we learn about the community partnership work of JumpStart, a service organization that focuses on supporting folks re-entering society after incarceration. Partnerships are…
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What can it look like to build capacity to support authentic community listening? In this podcast discussion, we learn about the community listening work supported by Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg, based in St. Petersburg, Florida. We hear from a group of partners that worked together to establish community listening to support the South …
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How can you imagine and create a world for everyone? In this new podcast episode, we’re sharing our conversation with Krista Tippett, which was the closing keynote conversation from the 2023 Collective Impact Action. Krista is a journalist, a National Humanities Medalist, a bestselling author, and founder of the On Being Project—a groundbreaking me…
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What does it mean to create truly accessible spaces within your collective work? At the 2023 Collective Impact Action Summit, we explored this question and more in a keynote conversation with Imani Barbarin (Crutches and Spice), who is a disability and inclusion activist, speaker and content creator. In this fireside chat, Imani Barbarin and Miya C…
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What does it mean to create a culture of “belonging” within your collective work? At the 2023 Collective Impact Action Summit, we explored this question and more in a keynote conversation with Ruchika Tulshyan, award-winning inclusion strategist, speaker, and author of the bestselling book, Inclusion on Purpose: An Intersectional Approach to Creati…
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Communities of practice are a valuable way of bringing partners together to connect and learn from each other to strengthen their collective work. It can also be very challenging to navigate the complexities that come with bringing a wide spectrum of partners together. Founded in 2020, the Healthy Food Community of Practice has become a space for c…
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In this episode, we explore the topic of sharing power, which is a key component and strategy when advancing equity in collective impact work. But what can sharing power look like in practice? How are decisions made, and how is power distributed amongst a broad set of colleagues? To explore this topic, we learn about the work of Civic Canopy, a non…
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In this episode, we learn about how to build and strengthen partnerships with parent leaders so that the wide spectrum of parent voices and needs are kept at the center when supporting early relational health for families. To explore this topic and more, we learn from the national collective Nurture Connection and how their partnership with a diver…
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In this episode, we talk about building “collective power,” including what it means to build collective power and what factors can contribute to building it. To explore those questions and more, we learn about the Child Care NEXT coalition and how through advocacy work, they have developed a culture of collective power amongst their wide spectrum o…
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This episode is the second part of a two-part discussion that explores what practices can help a collaborative be more sustainable and resilient. For part 2, we welcome back our colleagues from the Tamarack Institute, Liz Weaver and Mike Des Jardins, who recently authored a new, free-to-access resource called “10: A Guide for Building a Sustainable…
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This episode is the first of a two-part discussion that explores what practices can help a collaborative be more sustainable and resilient. For this conversation, we welcome our colleagues from the Tamarack Institute, Liz Weaver and Mike Des Jardins, who recently authored a new, free-to-access resource called “10: A Guide for Building a Sustainable…
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In this episode, we talk about “trusting the messiness,” and how one can balance navigating partnerships and managing expectations while participating in a long-term complex collaboration. To explore those questions and more, we learn about the collective impact work supported by Sagesse Domestic Violence Prevention Society which is based in Calgar…
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We have a deep dive discussion about a new resource called the Racial Equity Toolkit that’s free to download and available now in the Collective Impact Forum library. The Racial Equity Toolkit is designed to support backbone staff and partners to operationalize racial equity throughout their collective impact work. We talk with toolkit authors Domi…
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In this episode, we share a discussion from this spring’s 2022 Collective Impact Action Summit. This discussion explored ways to better collaborate across differences, including different experiences and ideologies, and specifically, how funders could support grantees and partners when bridging across divides, especially in times of deep polarizati…
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In this episode, we hear from Rev. Dr. Starsky Wilson, who serves as President and CEO of the Children’s Defense Fund. Dr. Wilson reflects on the challenging times that many of us are experiencing, and the ways we can reground ourselves and move forward, so that we can shift from states of languishing, disconnection, and numbness to a place where w…
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Parents can be powerful advocates in supporting the wellbeing of children and families in their community. But sometimes collaboratives and organizations that focus on supporting children struggle with building and maintaining parent engagement and authentic power shifting and sharing with parents. In this podcast conversation, we learn about the p…
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What is “community authority,” and what are ways to authentically build it within place-based collaborative work? In this new podcast discussion, we learn how one group in Northeast Oklahoma City changed course and reset their collective work so that they could better partner with community members and embed community authority as a part of the col…
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How can community anchor institutions, like hospitals, help launch and strengthen community investment initiatives? In this episode, we learn about how Nationwide Children’s Hospital and the nonprofit housing organization Healthy Homes worked to support affordable housing and home repair in Columbus, Ohio. Through their work building deeper communi…
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What kinds of dedicated skill-building can help prepare system leaders for the monumental job of coordinating complex collaborations? In this episode, we learn about Advance Together, a cohort of collective impact initiatives in Texas that focus on education and workforce development. Organized by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, with support fr…
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How can a backbone build structures and processes that can better support and retain its staff? In this new podcast episode, we’re doing a deep dive discussion to learn about the work of United Way of Salt Lake and the Promise Partnership, a cradle-to-career initiative to support Utah youth. In this talk, we learn about the Promise Partnership’s go…
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How can collaboratives build and ensure clarity of purpose as partners work together? In this episode, we’re doing a deep dive discussion into a specific collaboration tool—the project charter—and how this tool can help bring partners together to clarify roles, accountability, and a shared vision. To share their own experiences using a project char…
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In this episode, Collective Impact Forum senior advisor Junious Williams talks with Erika Bernabei and Theo Miller who co-lead the consulting group Equity and Results. Erika and Theo share what they’ve learned supporting organizations that want to embed anti-racism practices in their collective impact work. They also discuss a set of core principle…
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In this episode, Collective Impact Forum senior advisor Paul Schmitz shares what he’s learned through supporting many collective impact initiatives, including some specific challenges that he has seen repeatedly come up and block progress. We dive into the dangers to avoid and also explore three key lessons that can help navigate through these chal…
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In our new episode of the Collective Impact Forum podcast, we’re talking with Justin Piff from Equal Measure about his recent article Data in Collective Impact: Focusing on What Matters. This piece was featured online in the Stanford Social Innovation Review and is part of the online series Collective Impact, 10 Years Later. In this chat, we talk a…
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What are ways that funders can foster trust and support relationships with community partners? In this episode, Fay Hanleybrown, John Harper, and Victor Tavarez of FSG stop by the podcast to share from their own experiences supporting funders doing place-based work. In the discussion, they highlight four key practices that are effective in building…
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In this episode, we feature an unabridged roundtable discussion amongst a group of leaders who are part of United Way organizations from across the United States. In this talk, we get to hear what they have learned using the collective impact approach for collaborative, place-based change, and how they have seen their roles transition from a tradit…
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In September 2021, Melody Barnes, chair of the Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions, led a conversation with four social change leaders who for more than a decade have used collective impact to create collaborative, place-based change. Participants included Jennifer Blatz, president and CEO of StriveTogether, a national network of local co…
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How can the collective impact approach put anti-racism at the center of its work? How can collective impact work authentically center Black and Pacific Islander families, as it focuses on improving infant and maternal health? In this podcast interview, FSG Senior Consultant Miya Cain, MPH, explores these questions and more with the Executive Direct…
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In this episode, we’re talking about the findings from a new article in the winter 2022 edition of the Stanford Social Innovation Review titled, "Centering Equity in Collective Impact." We’re doing a “behind the writing” deep-dive discussion with several of the articles’ authors to hear about what lessons they learned from collaboratives who are pr…
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How can collective impact initiatives leverage advocacy and community organizing to create more equitable systems and policy outcomes? In this episode we look into the findings of the new research study Rebalancing Power: Examining the Role of Advocacy and Organizing in Collective Impact. In this candid “behind the research” discussion, Rebalancing…
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We share a deep dive discussion on the topic on how funders can support frontline community organizing and activism. This discussion was part of this past spring’s 2021 Collective Impact Action Summit. In this deep dive, we explore lessons learned from communities organizing for transformational change, and how funders can cede power effectively to…
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