Community Change Efforts - A 20 year Perspective

Submitted by Liz Weaver on November 11, 2012 - 6:40pm
Lessons learned from the Collective Impact Institute

It isn't often that someone effectively puts twenty years of community change efforts in the US into context.  To do that is no small task.  But Anne Kubisch of the Aspen Institute, Roundtable on Community Change did just that in her presentation to the Collective Impact Institute in New Hampshire. 

Much of Anne's work has been to reflect on community change efforts.  With colleagues, she has published a number of important books and articles titled 'Voices from the Field'.  The Roundtable on Community Change has been a leader in watching the field of comprehensive community initiatives across the US and Canada, drawing lessons from decades of community change efforts. 

In her presentation, Anne reflects on the outcomes of these community change efforts on individuals, communities and population level changes.  She also reflects on the notion of Collective Impact and the contribution that this is making to the field of community change. 

She encourages the field to embrace collective impact but cautions that it is the newest iteration of community change efforts.  With this new iteration, we have to increase our capacities - including our individual, community, connecting and learning capacities.  To truly have an impact, we have to authentically engage with our colleagues, focus on the community impact of our work, become better at connecting issues both horizontally and vertically and be prepared to prototype, experiment, take risks and learn. 

Wise lessons to be sure.  Anne's presentation is available below. 

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