Is Collective Impact as an engagement framework taking off?


I've been hearing more about collective impact as a trusted method to engage on critical decisions to complex social issues. Are you hearing that as well? Do you have a successful use case and can Convetit be an enabler to this framework?

Collective Impact
Social Change
Complex Problem Solving
Conflict Resolution
Change Management
Thomas O'Malley
14 months ago

5 answers


My response is to Don's comment, but there wasn't enough room in the answer box for my reply. I agree that top-down engineered outcomes are almost never successful, and have spent many years working in communities around the world to build the kind of buy-in Don refers to. However, I would argue many of America's social challenges to which Don not-so-obliquely refers can be traced to a shameful history from slavery to Jim Crow to segregation to mass incarceration. I'm a little disappointed too, as I thought Convetit was a place for more politically-neutral discussions, and I find Don's comments to be blatantly right-wing, judgmental, and borderline offensive.

Elisa Speranza
14 months ago

Greetings. The Collective Impact framework is a compelling approach to tackling complex social issues. I have yet to see it deployed at scale in the environmental/water field, which is my main realm, so I don't have a successful use case to offer. However, the systems approach embedded in the Collective Impact framework should be applicable to many complex environmental issues and I wold venture to say there are successful use cases that employed CI before there was a term of art for it. I think Convetit could be a catalyst to encourage wider-scale adoption of this more sophisticated--and likely more effective--method of turning challenges in to opportunities.

Elisa Speranza
14 months ago
No - Dr. David E. 6 months ago
Aspirational and Theoretical! - Dr. David E. 6 months ago

Didn't mean to offend you, Elisa. I was raised in a deeply integrated community and have never seen Jim Crow, slavery, or mass incarceration in action during my lifetime or in the accounts of my parents either. This gets us back to 1930 in America. My lack of politically-correct language might represent a challenge, but my view that families are the foundational building block for a healthy republic, not top-down social engineering to "address complex social issues", doesn't seem to be at issue based on your response... so I'm confused.

Don Barefoot
14 months ago
Agree - Dr. David E. 6 months ago


Collectivism is the moral stance, political philosophy, ideology, or social outlook that emphasizes the significance of groups—their identities, goals, rights, outcomes, etc.—and tends to analyze issues in those terms.


A BIZARRE QUESTION?: Would you subtract one day off your life to collectively help solve the domestic health care crisis?
A crazy question; perhaps not so much as the blog-o-sphere is asking a related query.

THE R.B.G QUESTION?: If it were possible, would you subtract one day off you life and add it to Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s life for one extra day of good health?

So, forget business solutions and marketplace strategy, SDOH, competitive forces, economics, taxation, SWOT analysis, Medicare-for-All, and potential new-wave disruptors such as ABJ Health Ventures and related initiatives.

THE HEALTH CARE COLLECTIVISM QUESTION?: If it were possible, would you subtract one day off you life and add it to another’s life for one extra day of good health?

THE HEALTH CARE COLLECTIVISM RESULTS: If just 10,000 people did this, it would add about 27 productive years, in the aggregate, to all participating individual citizen lives.


Dr. David E. M
6 months ago
The freedom for affinity groups to collaborate has always been part of free market economics. Forcing others to somehow honor the unique view of such groups (especially collectivists who covet the redistribution of material resources from others... forcibly) should never be tolerated in America or by any society seeking to honor the principles God set forth when providing the Ten Commandments. - Don 6 months ago
Thank you. - Dr. David E. 6 months ago

Not a fan. Snippets that I've seen related to this particular term come out of the social engineering ranks (sociologists, urban planners, leftist educators, the collective/village) that produced the gross dysfunctional trends of the past two generations in America under various euphemisms for elite smart folks collaborating with government and universities as the primary avenue for social progress. The superior traditional alternative is healthy nuclear and extended families operating as the true foundation for a high-functioning, aspirational, high-trust culture. Of course, collaboration with others along the way is necessary as a society/economy/company grows and interacts in interdependent ways, but our first priority must be a healthy underlying foundation for families, free enterprise, and lawful/accountable government and justice... not top-down engineered outcomes that people and families don't truly "own" or trust to be administered effectively or fairly to social engineers with abstract agendas.

Don Barefoot
14 months ago
Well said - Dr. David E. 6 months ago
Thanks, David. - Don 6 months ago
U R welcomed - Dr. David E. 6 months ago

Have some input?