How Belonging, Meaning, Wellbeing, and Purpose (BMWP) Can Empower Youth and Their Communities

For more than a decade, The Opportunity Youth Forum at the Aspen Institute’s Forum for Community Solutions has been working with a growing network of urban, rural, and tribal communities across the U.S. to build and scale reconnection pathways that achieve better outcomes in education, employment and overall well-being for opportunity youth. (Opportunity Youth are young adults, age 16-24, who are not engaged in work or education.)

Based on their work with a network of 40 communities, along with thought leaders and funders across the field, OYF is advancing four key principles that, when brought together, help empower youth to lead thriving and healthy lives. These principles are: Belonging, Meaning, Wellbeing, and Purpose (BMWP).

OYF has brought together what they are learning from their communities on these core concepts, along with academic research and thought leadership. Out of this collaboration, they are developing a BMWP framework as well as a series of examples that demonstrate that when young adults are supported in an environment where they feel they can have a thriving future, the outcomes for both them and their greater community are more successful.

In this podcast conversation, we talk with OYF Director Geneva Wiki about this developing BMWP framework, what the concepts of Belonging, Meaning, Wellbeing, and Purpose mean, and how to operationalize these practices into your own work.

Ways to listen: You can listen below or on your preferred podcast streaming service, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Simplecast, iHeartRadio, Amazon, and other podcast apps.

Please find a transcript of this talk further down this page.

Resources and Footnotes

More on Collective Impact


The Intro music, entitled “Running,” was composed by Rafael Krux, and can be found here and is licensed under CC: By 4.0.

The outro music, entitled “Deliberate Thought,” was composed by Kevin Macleod. Licensed under CC: By.

Listen to Past Episodes: You can listen and subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Simplecast, iHeartRadio, Amazon, and other podcast apps.

Podcast Transcript

Welcome to the Collective Impact Forum podcast, here to share resources to support social change makers working on cross-sector collaboration.

The Collective Impact Forum is a nonprofit field-building initiative that is co-hosted in partnership by the nonprofit consulting firm FSG and the Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions.

In this episode, we are excited to talk with Geneva Wiki, about her work at the Opportunity Youth Forum, which is part of the Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions.

For more than a decade, the Opportunity Youth Forum, otherwise known as OYF, has been working with a growing network of urban, rural, and tribal communities across the U.S. to build and scale reconnection pathways that achieve better outcomes in education, employment and overall well-being for opportunity youth. (And the term Opportunity Youth means young adults who are between the ages of 16-24, and who are not engaged in work or education.)

Through OYF’s work with a network of 40 communities, along with thought leaders and funders from across the field, they are advancing four key principles that, when brought together, help empower youth to lead thriving and healthy lives. These principles are: Belonging, Meaning, Wellbeing, and Purpose, otherwise known as BMWP.

In this conversation, we’re excited to talk with Geneva about this developing BMWP framework, including defining the concepts of Belonging, Meaning, Wellbeing, and Purpose, and exploring how can we operationalize these practices into our own work.

Moderating this discussion is my Collective Impact Forum colleague Cindy Santos, who is senior associate at the Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions. Let’s tune in.

Cindy Santos: I want to start today with welcoming my colleague at the Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions, Geneva Wiki, who will have an opportunity to introduce herself. But before I do I want to set the context for today’s conversation.

The Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions is grounded in values that really inform all aspects of our work, and amongst some of those are a deep, deep belief in the power of community, and that community members can lead community change. We believe that through collaboration we can further address community and systems challenges and we hold a deep belief that we must create a just, equitable, and inclusive society where we can all reach our full potential. And as part of that we also believe in belonging and a deep love for humanity. So among our bodies of work is the Opportunity Youth Forum which is a network of over 40 local collaboratives in rural, urban, and tribal communities, and through the Opportunity Youth Forum we seek to build and scale pathways for young adults ages 16 to 24 who are not engaged in work or education.

So today my colleague is going to be talking about a framework that’s inspired by all of the learning and success that we’ve seen through the Opportunity Youth Forum, and she’ll be talking about belonging, meaning, wellbeing, and purpose. So, Geneva, I’m so excited to have you here with us today. I really want to start by opening up space for you for you to tell us your story, who are you, who do you belong to, and how did you come to this work.

Geneva Wiki: Thank you for having me, Cindy. It’s good to be here. I’m Geneva Wiki. I am a member of the Yurok Nation of Northern California. Let me greet you in the Yurok language. (Geneva introduces herself in the Yurok language.) We come from the Klamath River in the heart of the Redwood Forest. I have been a partner with the Aspen Institute’s Forum for Community Solutions for over a decade, first in my role with Wild Rivers Community Foundation, with the Opportunity Youth Network, and then I was a funding partner when I was a senior program manager at the California Endowment, funding both the local work in our Del Norte Tribal Lands community as well as part of the National Leadership Council with the Opportunity Youth Network. I’ve been with the Aspen Institute for just over a year now.

Cindy Santos: So, what brought you into the work? Like why did you decide to go into this particular field of work that you’re doing now?

Geneva Wiki: I come from a long line of renegades. My people live in the village of Rek-woi at the mouth of the Klamath River in Northern California on the Yurok Reservation in the place that we’ve lived since the beginning of time, which is really special. And so my people have always been folks who are working towards justice and living a life of cultural values which includes a responsibility to community and to family with real distinct appreciation of our connection to the natural environment to the planet, and so growing up I am named after my great grandmother, Geneva Brooks Mattz, who was one of many of her generation who was forcibly removed from her home when she was a young girl and sent to a boarding school far away where she was beaten and punished for speaking her language and for practicing her culture and religion as a Yurok person. So I grew up with that story and with an understanding that we all had a responsibility to work for the greater community good and wanted to be a good Native and with the story of and a recognition of my grandmother’s journey through boarding school and how as a federal policy and practice the boarding school era was so effective in disrupting the health and wellbeing of the social, cultural fabric of Native people that that was a political decision by our government to disrupt, to try to eliminate a group of people.

I grew up with the belief that if we could reclaim and transform those same systems to use policies and funding streams that if something like a school system could destroy and eliminate a culture and a community how might those systems and policies be used to heal and to reconcile and to grow a new generation of people who are able to live their life with their cultural values intact and how might those systems and policies be used to create more equity and justice in the world.

Cindy Santos: Geneva, hearing your story it aligns so well with the body of work that you’re doing at the Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions. I’m excited to be in conversation with you about it today because it’s really amazing to be with a colleague whose personal story, whose values, the way that you lean into the work, the way that you live your life, everything you talk about, your family is really about what you just talked about, right? Just being able to be a healer. And the work that you’re doing around belonging, wellbeing, meaning, and purpose in so many ways embodies everything that you just said.

What does it mean for you to be able to live the fullest to live out your culture, to heal, to be able to reconcile. I’m just excited for the conversation in so many ways because I want to hear from you as you came into—really what is the BMWP work? Let’s start there. We’re going to start broad with talking about what is this framework and where does it come from. And then from there we’ll talk a little bit more and we’ll get a little more granular.

Geneva Wiki: Yeah, that’s great, and let me tell one more piece of the how did I get here story. I ended up getting a master’s in public administration with a focus on education policy. Again, to think about how we might reimagine the education system to heal community. I came home to the reservation right out of grad school and worked for my tribal government and then with community encouragement we started a community-driven high school, an early college high school on the reservation in 2005.

While I was there, we were doing all kinds of innovative, community-driven, values-driven education experiments, and the California Endowment chose our community as one to invest in for a 10-year Building Healthy Communities initiative that really used a collective impact model. So it was this idea of how might we bring together a bunch of different agencies, nonprofits, government leads, as well as young people and community members to really reimagine our community to become what we were calling Building a Healthy Community. The community leaders at the time came and asked if I would be the backbone lead for this work. The Wild Rivers Community Foundation was chosen by the community to be the backbone organization and I was asked to lead that collective impact work. Started that and in that model and in that same timeline the Opportunity Youth Initiative also launched and also chose the Del Norte Tribal Lands is the name of what we called that community to be part of the Opportunity Youth National Network.

I first came to know Aspen’s work deeply as the local backbone lead for what the broad umbrella of the Building Healthy Communities initiative in Del Norte County, California. In that I got to see the power of what happens when you bring diverse perspectives, agencies, leaders, organizations together to really center the new ideas or the reimagination of community based on the lived experience especially of young people and others who are often left out of public discourse.

So over my decade of work with Aspen Institute’s Opportunity Youth Forum and my various other funder capacities, I was really struck by several of the thought leaders and the work of the Opportunity Youth Network, and so one being john powell’s work with the Othering & Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley.

For those folks who haven’t—aren’t familiar with john powell’s work, john has this idea of targeted universalism. It’s this idea of what if we imagine and make a definition around a big goal that includes everyone, where everyone belongs in this big goal, and then we look at who’s not meeting that big goal, and then create targeted interventions for those folks to get up to this higher goal but it’s one that includes everyone.

For especially in the context in which I was living and working which is very rural, pretty conservative community, politically conservative, and a place where most people feel like they have been left behind by the state government or the federal government because of decades of disinvestment in that community where the main road running through the county is literally falling into the ocean as an example of feeling left behind.

This idea that we are going to create goals where we would all be able to achieve greatness felt like it was so inclusive, and it was so motivating for everyone to be able to rally around. So where we are now in the Opportunity Youth work is this idea of belonging, meaning, wellbeing, and purpose which is four big ideas, four big concepts but each of them is really rooted in this decade-long learning from our over 40 rural, urban, tribal communities in the Opportunity Youth Network and these leading scholars and national partners who have been so engaged in a whole variety of issues affecting thriving youth and thriving communities including john powell with belonging. Arnold Chandler around Life Course Framework and identity-based work, and then Anthony Burrow is a professor at Cornell who has, again, a bunch in purpose.

So when we put these pieces together, we are able to see how there’s a wide variety of interventions and approaches that can be taken at multiple scales from, say, a four-year college degree to a 10-minute high school advising to what happens on the basketball court for fourth graders, that these approaches can have a really meaningful impact on the trajectory of, in our case, young people’s lives but in the communities’ lives as well.

Cindy Santos: So as you were talking about belonging, meaning, wellbeing, and purpose, we’re talking about it in the context of the way we’ve seen it operationalized in particular with the Opportunity Youth Forum for youth, for young leaders in their communities.

Why this framework? Why was it so important? Because it seems like the way that we’re approaching belonging, meaning, wellbeing, and purpose seems to be a shift from maybe business as usual, right? What does that look like? What’s the shift that BMWP is making?

Geneva Wiki:Yeah, so belonging, meaning, wellbeing, and purpose is not new work, right? There has—each of those words sits on a large body of research and evidence about how that particular intervention or that approach can have a positive impact on a whole host of life, social, education, wellbeing indicators including improved college completion rates to improved income and health outcomes later on in life.

For us, this notion of putting these four words together and casting this larger reimagination of what the world might be where everybody feels like they belong, where all people are able to access a greater sense of purpose and a purposeful career is really casting forward that vision of what it is we want to see in the world. So Dr. Shawn Ginwright is one of our partners in this work, sits on our research advisory group, and will often talk about how too often in community work we’ll talk about what we don’t want instead of the future that we do want, and especially in these politically divisive times where there are lots of folks who are feeling left out or left behind, and we’re having to choose different ways to frame work.

When we put the words belonging, meaning, wellbeing, and purpose together, it is really a response to the current political and social climate, but it casts this reimagined vision of a world that forwards strategies that are effective, often low cost and relational but also can be this idea of a community where everyone can belong, can be more accessible and more unifying as we work towards greater community change, and especially towards racial equity.

Cindy Santos: So we’re talking—we’ve been talking about how the—how each of those concepts individually come together, and I’m wondering if we can take a step back and actually pull those apart.

As we begin, just to kind of begin to create a shared understanding. We talked a little bit more globally and broadly about what brought you to the work, about why this work really matters both for young people and for communities and for social cohesiveness, and really addressing all of the polarization that we’re seeing and the way that we’re really thinking about the work and thinking about our relationship to each other, and I’m wondering so when you talk about belonging, what does belonging mean in the context of this particular framework?

Geneva Wiki:Yes, thank you for that question. When we think about belonging, we’re thinking about it as both social belonging and structural belonging. Social belonging is that feeling that you matter to the group, that you’re valued for who you are and for what you bring. The structural belonging refers to the ability to have a meaningful voice and an opportunity to participate in the design, to be able to influence the political, social, cultural structures that shape our lives. We partnered with the Othering and Belonging Institute, and part of why we appreciate that that’s their definition is that belonging doesn’t just mean I can fit in, or I can slip by. This isn’t about whitewashing. Instead this is really about can I show up and actually have some sense of agency, some ability to influence the structures, the institutions that impact my life, and that true belonging includes both that feeling that you matter to the group, that you’re valued for who you are but also that you have some sense of agency to make and influence, make a change in your community.

Cindy Santos: If you’re a person who is thinking about why, why both? Why do both really matter?

Geneva Wiki:Structural and social belonging?

Cindy Santos: Yes.

Geneva Wiki:Yeah, so for social belonging, and we think about it in terms of—we’ll talk about meaning making next but when we think about especially in the current narratives of our world today and the overall goal of healthy and thriving and well people, we can think about who is receiving messages that they don’t belong in community right now and who—and what those impacts are on those young people. We can see it in data, right? We can see it in the high suicide rates of Native young people and LGBTQ young people for instance.

So for social belonging there are ways in which we can help people see themselves in institutions that can enable better health and wellbeing outcomes. So an example is when you show up for your first day at school, are there indicators that are saying to you that you belong there, that you have a right to access professor’s office hours or therapists on campus or that after school program, and if you do feel like you can belong there and you can feel like you have the ability to make a change in those institutions, often then there’s the capacity to move forward even more systemic change to create more opportunities for more people like you to be able to feel like they belong, that they’re connected, that they can be successful there. There’s more when we talk about meaning making.

Cindy Santos:One of the things that you just said is about both the messages that are being given and the messages that are being received, and of course we’re consistently making meaning.

Geneva Wiki:That’s right.

Cindy Santos: And so in the context of the BMWP framework, what is meaning making? How do we all engage in meaning making? Why is it important in the context of all of this?

Geneva Wiki:Yes, so when we talk about meaning making in this particular context, we are often talking about interventions that address the ways in which people make sense of themselves or others in social situations. A lot of this work has been built off of the Wise Intervention work from Stanford University and Professor Cohen, and our research partners include Arnold Chandler with Forward Together and Tiffany Brannon, a professor at UCLA who studied with Professor Cohen at Stanford.

There is a large body of evidence so several randomized control trial studies across a variety of context that demonstrate that even some very short-term, low-cost interventions that can help people make meaning of their place in—especially at very specific moments of transition in their life or at strategic moments in a person’s life trajectory like that transition from high school to university or that first week on a job, that when we can help people have a different sense of whether or not they are connected or belong in that place, it can have a disproportionately positive outcome on young people. These are not like skills-based interventions, right? They’re really mindset-based interventions.

So Arnold Chandler often talks about like when we’re sitting, let’s say, just as an example like I’m a student in the first week of courses at a university. There are unconscious meanings that can either unleash my potential or can suppress my potential, right? So especially for folks who have a stigmatized racial or ethnic identity, there are—folks are flooded with various stereotypical messages about these existential questions around do I belong here or not, and so we can—these interventions are about helping folks to have a mindset shift about whether or not they belong in that place, and it has this really powerful snowball effect really.

Let’s take it back to the example of it’s my first week at college, and I’m sitting there as a Native young woman looking around and there may be no other Native person in class. There may be even what if my school has a racist mascot, and I don’t see any other professors who understand my cultural identity, and I might be flooded with messages around like I don’t belong here. My life experience isn’t valued here, and then we do an intervention that helps reframe that where I see a junior at that university who is Native who shares an experience of how they were able to navigate. I use a little self-reflection on when have I navigated challenges in the past, my mindset shifts, and then when I look at the resources available to me at my campus, I can think about those as I belong here, I deserve to access these resources versus if I access those resources, I’m admitting defeat or that doesn’t—I don’t deserve to be here or those aren’t meant for me or aren’t designed for me and so then it can be as simple as I go to the professor’s office hours, I take advantage of that extra internship. What their interventions can demonstrate is that they can often have a disproportionately positive, outsized positive impact on, say, grades, degree completion, job assessment afterwards, income later. It even can demonstrate decades later a more positive marital happiness status as well as other health benefits, all coming from those targeted moments in our life where we’re deciding where we’re going to go in our life path and do I belong in this place or not.

Cindy Santos: You know it’s interesting because if we think thinking about the whole person, thinking about who we are and all of our parts and what it means to be in a space where we belong, that has to contribute so much to how well we feel, right? To our wellbeing, to the way that we’re able to show up in the world, to the way we’re able to socially connect with others. How are those two things connected? We’re talking about belonging, we’re making meaning, and now we’re really thinking about wellbeing so how are all of these things interconnected?

Geneva Wiki:Well, in some ways we can say belonging, meaning, and purpose to really lead to wellbeing outcomes but in this context, we are really thinking about wellbeing as both an outcome and as a framework in and of itself.

So for us at the Forum for Community Solutions, our wellbeing work has really been led by young researchers and young researchers of color. A few years ago when during the height of the pandemic as there was lots of conversation around youth wellbeing and youth mental health, our young people said who gets to define wellbeing, and when do young people, especially young people of color, get to define wellbeing for ourselves?

And so in partnership with Annie E. Casey Foundation and Johns Hopkins University and lots of other partners, we have supported a group of young people who are paid professional researchers as members of the Aspen Institute, consultants to us, to define wellbeing on their own terms, and they have separate cultural identity groups, Alaska Native, American Indian, Black, Latinx, and in those cultural identity groups there are common themes around wellbeing. They’ve identified seven domains but what’s in those domains there are nuances about how wellbeing—what wellbeing means to them, and also like how would they even measure wellbeing, and so there’s a report that we can I’m sure share a link to of those wellbeing definitions, and the next iteration of that work will be rolling out a youth-centered tool to actually measure wellbeing in community.

But I want to note one I think important piece or differentiation around how the young people identified wellbeing which included that—of course there was part of their definition included that wellbeing is achieved when adolescents have the support and confidence and resources to thrive in the context of secure and healthy relationships, and realizing their full potential and their rights but they also named that wellbeing, to really truly have a sense of wellbeing, there has to be the absence or the healing of intergenerational trauma and racial trauma.

I don’t know how many other wellbeing definitions how we talked about like the trauma that stems from systemic racism, from historical oppression, and that what we don’t want to have happen is that wellbeing turns into individualized outcomes and individualized like you need to improve your self-care routine. You just had better eating habits but instead the young people are very clear that their wellbeing is absolutely tied to the wellbeing of their community and the legacy of systemic racism.

Cindy Santos: Yeah, and I love that the young people were able define for themselves, right? And really think about their particular experiences, from their particular expression, their cultural expressions, and what you’re saying is so important. If you’re thinking about cultures that are traditionally communal, to be able then to think about yourself in the concept of community is so crucial to our wellbeing and to how we are able to show up in the world and show up for others and show up in our communities.

So putting this all together you talk about belonging, meaning, and purpose really leading to wellbeing and we’re kind of moving on to purpose now but just kind of pulling it all together, we’re continuing to kind of pull the threads so for the purpose of the framework, what does purpose mean?

Geneva Wiki:Purpose really comes from our partnership with Anthony Burrow at Cornell University, and again, Dr. Burrow is sitting on this large body of evidence and research that says when a person has a sense of purpose, and let me define that quickly.

For us in this context, purpose really refers to a desire and an intention to achieve something that is significant to one’s life, and that is of consequence to the world in which one lives so it is not a specific goal, like I want to run a marathon but instead it’s like what is my bigger intention about what I’m trying to achieve and my consequence to the world. In that, with that definition in mind, the evidence and research demonstrates that if a person does have that greater sense of their contribution and consequence to the world, that they are likely to have greater life satisfaction, increased social connections, greater cognitive functioning, better hearing, lower instances of chronic disease, and an overall other kinds of physical wellbeing indicators.

Cindy Santos: So what’s very specific about the framework is not—that the concepts in and of themselves can be standalone. I think what’s very special about what we’re doing is really combining them, understanding that they’re all really so necessary and interconnected, and how do you envision this being operationalized? What does this look like in practice? If we’re doing this well, what would change?

Geneva Wiki:I love that question. Thank you so much. I love this question so much because there is a big, bold, radical imagination answer and there can be very small concrete examples. So let me just name who’s in our work thinking about this with us.

One, we have referenced several academic researchers, so we’ve got this group of—a research advisory group that includes some of the most incredibly bright, talented, influential researchers on the planet in this space which is so exciting. We also have a group of—in addition to the 40 Opportunity Youth communities across the country, we have a subset of communities who are going deeper as grantee partners in the belonging, meaning, wellbeing, and purpose approaches, and it’s a really wide range of communities, everyone from like Hawaii who is reimagining their juvenile justice system using indigenous values to Atlanta who is using belonging, meaning, wellbeing, and purpose to improve their apprenticeship programs for young people and employers to Denver, Colorado. Oh, it’s a wide range of partners which is really exciting.

We’re learning in real time on the ground with young leaders and their community partners in their community collaboratives using collective impact models. So we’ve got researchers, grantee partners, and then this group of funders so we had our first convening a few months ago with over 80 funders coming together, exploring the ideas of belonging, meaning, wellbeing, and purpose.

The funders are holding a wide range of ideas as funders do around what their stake in the game is, and we co-convened that funder community of practice with six other philanthropic-serving organizations, many of whom were holding an important piece of this work, and I’ll just talk through a few to give an example.

So there’s the FAST group, the Funders for Adolescent Brain Science Translation, and they have been funding folks at UCLA’s adolescent science research center to really look at the incredible opportunity of adolescence and brain development and how these concepts of belonging and identity and purpose impact their wellbeing. Another is the Funders Collaborative on Youth Organizing so healing-centered, trauma-informed transformative youth organizing models absolutely hit all the components of belonging, meaning, wellbeing, and purpose as young people understand their role in their community and how they might make a change and come together to do systems analysis and then run a community campaign for change.

Another is Native Americans in Philanthropy obviously doing deep work promoting tribal sovereignty and self-determination but also really deep healing work around healing historical trauma in tribal communities. And so when we think about the potential of especially combining these four words all together, we can think about it any of the five systems that we talk about at the Opportunity Youth work including like our partners in L.A. are really working with young people who are involved in the child welfare system and transitioning out of foster care into youth adulthood, and so they have reimagined a lot of their programs, systems, pathways, for transitional-age foster youth to reimagine what that might look like with a belonging, meaning, wellbeing, and purpose frame.

Another example would be our partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation specifically looking at advising on how we might imagine. So imagine like a 20-minute meeting with your high school to college advisor, and adapting the principles of belonging, meaning, wellbeing, and purpose in that interaction with the advisor as a way in which to improve outcomes for youth and young adults and so we’ll be testing some of those ideas and concepts and then putting forth a learning document around lessons learned to inform the field as another example.

Cindy Santos: So we just talked about what it might look like (a) in really bringing all of those concepts together and beginning to operationalize it and test it and see what does it really mean as we begin to operationalize this in settings and what outcomes can we achieve for young people, and you were excited as you talked about it about your wildest dreams could be for this work. Sort of in the near future in the next two years, what are your hopes and your next steps for using BMWP?

Geneva Wiki:So our work over the next few years, we’re thinking about this first three years as a learning period, and so we are working with our three core stakeholder groups, community, research, academics, and funders to do almost real-time shared learning around what does it look like to put these principles into practice. So first really grounding us in experience of our young leaders and their collective impact community collaborative tables that are sitting around them in the Opportunity Young communities as we’re learning from, again, different cultural context, different systems, and different stakeholder groups of young people around what it looks like to operationalize belonging, meaning, wellbeing, and purpose in community. Those lessons will also be lifted up and tested and refined in partnership with our research advisory group, and so like I shared the example of Professor Anthony Burrow, the purpose guru from Cornell University.

One concrete example is he’s testing this idea around a contribution experiment where young people are given resources, financial resources, and other mentoring to create a particular project around their ability to contribute in some purposeful way with a lot of reflection and best practice built in. We’ll be learning more about that work and then bringing that learning forward as well as we are doing a deep dive with a set of postsecondary partners so community college and four-year institution leaders who have already employed some practices around belonging or meaning, wellbeing or purpose including Dr. Russell Lowery-Hart from Texas who reimagined Amarillo Community College with the vision of love. What would it look like and feel like for all students at that community college to deeply feel loved and to operationalize love, and they found in a very short amount of time that they really improved—significantly improved degree completion.

So we will be learning together both putting academic research and translating it into tools for practitioners what’s happening on the ground, and then the engagement of funders and what are funders seeing across the field as well as what do funders want to support as we test the application of these principles in various contexts and also all together.

Cindy Santos: So as we close our conversation today, is there anything that you recommend for folks to check out? We’ve talked a lot about some of the research that’s being done, the wellbeing report, and a lot of it we’ll be able to link to. Is there anything in particular you want folks to really think about or check out as they’re thinking about these concepts and practices?

Geneva Wiki:We will have a soon-to-be-debuted field assessment and guide. We have a first cut of a resource guide that includes a lot of the background information and previous conversations that we’ve had through the Forum for Community Solutions so we can include a link to that. I would say stay tuned to the Forum for Community Solutions website for additional resources as they come in the coming months.

Cindy Santos: Geneva, thank you so much for joining us and for distilling what’s like just this huge body of research for us, distilling it in a way that I hope our listeners are able to both understand and become more interested in. We really do look forward to seeing how this is all operationalized with young people and just even thinking about this example that you just mentioned in Amarillo, and just how impressive that is to really be able to do this work in a way that centers love and what we want to see for ourselves and for communities, so this is really wonderful. Thank you so much, Geneva.

Geneva Wiki:Yeah, thank you and thank you for all your good work, Cindy. It’s fun to collaborate with you.

And this closes out this episode of the Collective Impact Forum podcast. If you are interested in learning more about what was discussed, you can find links to resources in the footnotes for this episode. And if you’re enjoying all that we share at the Collective Impact Forum podcast, we encourage you to rate us on your preferred podcast platform, and share your favorite episodes with colleagues.

We would like to acknowledge that this episode was produced and edited on the unceded, traditional lands of the Coast Salish people, including the Duwamish, Suquamish, Stillaguamish, and Muckleshoot tribes. We honor with gratitude the land itself and the past, present, and futures of these tribes.

The Intro music for this episode was composed by Rafael Krux and our outro music is composed by Kevin Macleod.

In Forum news, we’re excited to share that registration is now open for our upcoming online workshop Facilitating Collaborative Meetings that will be held on July 16 and 17. This is a fantastic workshop that is especially designed for those who are new to facilitation. The workshop is being led by my colleague Courtney W. Robertson, and in it he will be sharing guidance and tools to support your facilitation work. If you are interested, please visit the events section of to learn more and register.

This is Tracy Timmons-Gray, Associate Director here at the Collective Impact Forum, and your podcast producer. I want to say thank you so much for listening, and we look forward to connecting with you more in our next episode. Until next time, let’s keep working towards collective impact.


Sign Up to Download

You will also receive email updates on new ideas and resources from Collective Impact Forum.

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Confirm Your Registration

You will also receive email updates on new ideas and resources from Collective Impact Forum.

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.