A Year of Transforming (2021-2022)

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As a systems change catalyst, Inspiring Communities aims to contribute to the creation and adoption of more equitable systems. This year has seen a significant shift in our work. We have evolved our organizational structure and focus, and widened and deepened our practices around systems change, reflecting the changes in the field. Collective Impact as a practice has gone through more than 10 years of academic study, reflection and critique. It has changed, and other practices like base building have emerged as alternate tools and models.

So how do we know, and demonstrate, that we are making a difference? This is the challenge of our work, and its most rewarding aspect. With systems, we talk about “all levels all the time”: trying to keep focus on the horizon, the near horizon and the immediate at the same time. So it is, too, when we evaluate our work: we consider the small signs of change, the individuals who are inspired, whose minds and hearts have changed; the groups that are interacting differently; the equitable adjustment of power balances in communities; and, the ways that the lessons we and other practitioners have learned affect our own and each other’s work.

Inspiring Communities has fundamentally transformed over the last year; our approach has expanded from solely collective impact and network building to embrace new methods and tools; our team has increased in diversity; and we have worked hard to come to a place of collective understanding of our work.

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