Resources for Small Groups in Turbulent Times

The last few weeks have left a lot of people feeling overwhelmed and concerned about proposals and policies addressing issues and values they hold dear. A request came through a list serve I’m on asking how to create small groups to help people deal with a sense of overwhelm and take action. I’m sharing here… Read more

Uncovering the Blind Spots of White Privilege

The phrase “privilege is blind” is one I think about often. I’m participating in Food Solutions New England’s 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge for the second year because I need to see beyond the blinders of my experience. I recognize that a person of color would not have to set an intention to learn about racial… Read more

Finding New Ways to “See Systems”

The imperative to work for change at a deeper more systemic level is arising in many areas, such as addressing the systemic roots of racial inequalities, or making large scale system transitions away from fossil fuels. Many recognize that we need to get beyond quick fixes and shift deeply ingrained patterns if we are to… Read more

Building a Shared Understanding of How Systems Work

I’ve just returned from the kick-off gathering of a collective impact initiative with the United Way of Greater New Bedford. A series of three community gatherings for input (as described in this blog) and other meetings with stakeholders led us to focus of how can we help families thrive, with a focus in one neighborhood. We… Read more

Open Sourcing Social Change

Most philanthropic work for social change is focused on investing grants in organizations as the unit of getting work done. The challenge is that for many issues and places, multiple foundations and/or government are investing in organizations pursuing disconnected initiatives, leading to silos that don’t talk to each other and competing organizations working in the… Read more

Roles in the Transition from Old to New

We are pleased to share this guest blog post by Peggy Holman, which originally appeared as a guest blog on Jesse Lyn Stoner’s blog.  Like a great wave, cultural stories carry us along, creating a coherent view of our world. For example, the phrase the “American Dream” evokes a story that has inspired generations to… Read more

Networks for Systems Change – Five Stories

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… Read more

Humility as a Core Leadership Quality

A recent New York Times Fixes column about promising social change initiatives highlighted the story Blue Engine, an initiative in New York City schools that has a new model to boost the rates of high school students getting into college. Instead of going with the tide of reformers focusing on individual teacher accountability and pay… Read more