“’We all do better when we all do better.’ It’s the most succinct way to say something I’ve always believed, and my position creates the opportunity to influence that, especially for our neighbors at the margins. My work sits at the intersection of supporting front-line heroes and using the stories heard through that work to influence policy so people can have a chance at success. That I get to do this work with the amazing staff and volunteers I spend my days with is beyond rewarding. We had a coat give-away (in December) when schools were closed for a snow day, and all of our volunteers – all neighbors, many of whom use our services when they need a little help – figured out childcare so they could come in and make sure the give-away was a success. When our volunteers are that invested, it’s incredibly inspiring. Seriously, how cool is it to get paid to do that?” – MICHAEL COLLINS | executive director of Syracuse Northeast Community Center
For more reflections by our Steering Committee, click here. Interested in getting involved with the Steering Committee? Send us an email at email@example.com.
In January of last year, we re-launched Northside UP as a program administered by CenterState CEO’s Economic Inclusion team (link to blog post), under the guidance of a community-led steering committee and with staff support from Stasya Erickson and Jonathan Link Logan. We’re grateful for the team we’d established in our first year – a committee of dedicated, passionate individuals working collaboratively towards outcome-oriented solutions, rallying around a shared vision for our neighborhood and helping advise projects. We’d like to spend some time highlighting the members that have been part of this journey with us, as well as sharing new faces as they join us over the next few months.
“I’ve always believed in the power of collaboration, but in our increasingly diverse, connected and complex world, I now think it is absolutely fundamental to positive change. Effective neighborhood revitalization can’t be done without true collaboration, which leads to broad resident and business engagement, identification of synergies, and addressing conflicting interests.” – MARK CASS | executive director of the North Side Learning Center
Interested in getting involved with the Steering Committee? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Over the last decade there has been an explosion of interest in collaboration, open innovation, and crowd engagement. Many companies are moving away from a model in which products and services are created through a closed, top-down, expert-biased process and toward open, crowdsourced, user-driven strategies. Nonprofits, philanthropists, and community groups are also embracing cocreation as a response to the challenge of tackling pressing problems in an increasingly complex world.
And yet, while the language of cocreation is en vogue, relatively few organizations are applying cocreative strategies to innovate boldly. We celebrate the solutions resulting from design competitions and open innovation processes, yet few of the results lead to systems change or profoundly shake up what is considered possible. Despite all the rhetoric of cocreation as an important tool for innovation, it appears that the majority of such efforts are doing little to challenge the basic structures of problem-solving. Meanwhile, our world cries out for designs that reimagine the way we do pretty much everything if we are to solve pressing problems like climate change, extreme inequality, and poverty.
After a two-year interdisciplinary research study exploring cocreative design processes in the nonprofit and for-profit sectors, we have concluded that only a small percentage of cocreation efforts are actually creating systems-changing solutions aligned with the stated needs and priorities of the participants, let alone with the possibilities for innovation that such approaches offer. We were left wondering why the majority of cocreation endeavors fall short of their promise and potential, so we set out to find an answer.”
Read “Creating Breakout Innovation” in its entirety.