Summer is upon us, and in the U.S. the weather is hot, and the days long. I spent my childhood in Alabama, where the often-unbearable summer heat made us appreciate cold drinks, shade, and air conditioning. The hot weather sapped our desire to run around outside, so in the evening we’d fire up the grill, gather fresh tomatoes from the garden, watch the lightning bugs flutter across the yard, and enjoy one another’s company. In this setting, stories were shared, wisdom was imparted, and we generally got to know one another a lot better.
So, in that spirit, I’d like to invite all of you to a virtual BBQ with experienced backbone leaders. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be posting interviews that my colleagues Hollie Marston, Robert Albright, and I had with a handful of experienced backbone leaders. Some are leaders we’ve previously profiled on the Forum, and others you may not have heard from. Our goal with these conversations was to ask some common questions we hear from CI practitioners, such as “Where have you seen progress?”, “How have you sustained your initiative?”, and “What advice do you have for new initiatives?” We also asked the backbone leaders open-ended questions such as “what are you feeling most excited about regarding your initiative,” which led to some very interesting discussions.
FSG and others have written extensively about various aspects of collective impact. But, it’s important to hear directly from experienced backbone leaders. So, sit back, relax, grab a cold drink, and enjoy learning from your fellow CI practitioners. We hope that you’ll not only find something practical in these conversations over the next couple months, but also find some common cause with the backbone leaders, whether it be a shared challenge or a bit of inspiration.
Interviews in this Series
- Ellen Kahler of Vermont Farm to Plate
- Chekemma Fulmore-Townsend of Project U-Turn (Philadelphia, PA)
- Kat Allen of Communities that Care Coalition (Franklin County and the North Quabbin region, MA)
- Paul Doyle, Lynne Ferrell, and Pamela Parriott of KConnect (Kent County, MI)
- Gabriel Guillaume of LiveWell Colorado
- Lynda Petersen of The Road Map Project (South King County and South Seattle, WA)