Collective Impact 3.0 | Liz Weaver & Mark Cabaj

As part of Tamarack’s 2016 Community Change Series, Tamarack thought leader, Mark Cabaj, and myself decided to review the Collective Impact framework with a new perspective. When Collective Impact first hit the scene many years ago, it was viewed as a revolution in the world of social change. And although the framework has strong bones, we believe that it’s time for an evolution in the revolution. Just like any framework, there is always room for improvement.


Our goal in developing Collective Impact 3.0 has not been to simply fine-tune the original framework but rather to begin upgrading it to reflect important nuances that Tamarack has encountered in our community change work.   In our recent paper, Collective Impact 3.0 | An Evolving Framework for Community Change, Mark and I explore the future of Collective Impact while revisiting the foundation of the framework. We propose 6 major ‘evolutions’:


  1. From a managerial paradigm to a movement building paradigm
  2. From continuous communication to authentic engagement
  3. From common agenda to shared aspiration
  4. From shared measurement to strategic learning
  5. From mutually reinforcing activities to a focus on high-leverage opportunities
  6. From backbone support to a container for change

The success of the next generation of community change efforts depends, in part, on the willingness of CI participants not to settle for small revisions to the original version of the CI framework. Instead, they must take on the challenge to continually upgrade the approach based on ongoing learning of what it takes to truly transform communities. The CI approach is – and always will be –unfinished business something that through practice, evolves and is continuously improved.


As such, Mark and I invite you to explore our paper and share your feedback. If you are interested in lending your voice and diving deeper on this topic we also invite you to join us at The Civic Canopy’s Collective Impact Summit happening November 29th – December 1st  in Denver or email us with your comments, suggestions and reflections.

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