The scale of complex systems we are working to change is much larger than one organization. Collaborative networks are emerging as a new way to organize work at a larger scale and create collective impact. We have found the best way to learn about these approaches is to explore stories of leading examples, as they represent a different approach to strategy and structuring collective work. We call these “firestarter” stories, that can inspire and spark ideas for designing an approach that works in your context. This blog offers links to five stories of collaborative networks focused on goals such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, building local food systems, and advancing urban sustainability.
I extend my appreciation and thanks to those who took the time to write up (and fund) these stories. It is a valuable contribution to the field to share the thinking, strategies, experiences, and learnings that arise in doing this work. Sharing these stories can inform and enhance the work of others far afield from your work. Case in point: The Monitor Institute case study of RE-AMP directly informed the systems mapping and network approach of Energy Action Network and the network approach and governance structure of VT Farm to Plate Network.
The RE-AMP network of over 150 organizations across 8 states in the Midwest is an example of a collaborative network among advocates and funders focused on clean energy. Their approach was based in aligning people around a shared understanding of the system first to find the leverage points for action. To learn more:
- Transformer -How to Build a Network to Change a System – RE-AMP case study from the Monitor Institute
- Q&A Dialogue about the case study – Conversation that shares the evolution and stories of the process. See Q&A transcript.
- RE-AMP web site