The Collective Impact framework (first introduced in the Stanford Social Innovation Review in January has certainly captured the attention of the nonprofit world. On September 25, a webinar was hosted by FSG, the drivers of the Collective Impact (CI) framework movement. The webinar focused on introducing funders to CI and over 300 people attended. Among the folks that have been attempting to utilize the CI framework are those working in teen pregnancy prevention and adolescent sexual health. Recently, however Emmett Carson, writing in The Huffington Post challenged readers and nonprofit leaders to “rethink” CI, especially in relationship to teen pregnancy. (Be sure to also check out FSG’s response.) If you are a professional working in teen pregnancy prevention or adolescent sexual health AND you’ve been attempting to use the CI framework to engage your constituents and sustain your work, I’d like to hear from you. Take a couple of minutes to review the Carson article and FSG response. Then, I’d love to hear from you on the following questions: First, briefly, how have you been attempting to use the CI framework? Second, have you encountered challenges, like those mentioned by Carson, related to setting a common agenda? Third, if so, how have you addressed it? Finally, in light of your experience in teen pregnancy prevention/adolescent sexual health, how do you evaluate Carson’s criticism?
Copyright 2012 by Thomas W. Klaus