Collaborative Action and Visionary Leaders (Newsletter)

February 3, 2017 0 By mbiggar

It has been a difficult start to 2017 in our country. Feelings of despair and anguish have been mixed with feelings of hope and connection through a growing wave of activism. A variety and abundance of organizations locally and nationally are working together and at the center of keeping hope alive for a just, sustainable society. I am grateful to be able to support organizations that value and leverage partnerships for social change and the environment.

Collaborative Solutions for Social Change: Presentation
Collaborative work across organizations is so important yet challenging to initiate, implement and sustain. Fortunately, there is a growing body of research and knowledge on effective collaboration and many practitioners invested in applying this research. In December, I presented on this research and its application, ‘Collaborative Solutions for Social Change’, in Ryan Cabinte’s and Wendy Weiden’s course at the Presidio Graduate School. Visionary leadership is one critical element for catalyzing collaborative approaches and helping sustain coordinated efforts.

San Francisco Bicycle Coalition: Strategic Planning
The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is one of the largest bicycle advocacy organizations in the country with over 10,000 members. With the mission of promoting the bicycle for everyday transportation, the coalition works with other organizations and local government to create safer, more livable streets. In their recent newsletter, Executive Director Brian Wiedenmeier articulated the need to ‘embrace the struggles ahead’, look outward, and find opportunities to bridge with other movements. I am supporting the bike coalition’s strategic planning process in 2017.

Cities Connecting Children to Nature- San Francisco: Planning and Implementation
The Cities Connnecting Children to Nature Initiative in San Francisco began planning work in the middle of 2016 and now has over 30 organizations and government agencies involved. Damien Raffa of the Presidio Trust has long championed the importance of nature in children’s everyday experience, recruited many to join the collaborative, and is now part of the shared leadership model designed to sustain the collaborative.  In 2017, Damien, the other members of the Steering Committee (Curtis Chan, SF Department of Public Health; Laura Rodriguez, Youth Outside; Teresa Arriaga, Seven Teepees; Tamar Barlev, SFUSD) and I continue our work together to support the development of the collaborative.

San Mateo County Office of Education: Strategic Goals and Action Planning
Central to its mission and role, the San Mateo County Office of Education partners with districts, schools, community organizations, agencies and others to support high quality education for the nearly 100,000 students in San Mateo County. They are embarking upon a set of strategic goals that build on these partnerships including an environmental education and sustainability initiative. Superintendent Anne Campbell, Deputy Superintendent Gary Waddell and STEM Director Rebecca Vyduna are supporting and catalyzing this collaborative effort to promote environmental literacy and stewardship for all San Mateo County students. I work with their leadership team to support their action planning on this and other strategic goals.

Bay Area Climate Literacy Impact Collaborative (BayCLIC): Presentation
BayCLIC supports climate literacy and action in the San Francisco Bay Area. Coordinated and supported by Oksana Scherba, Catherine Carlton and the Institute of the Golden Gate, this collaborative has brought together organizations from around the region involved in environmental education. In support of their developing climate action campaign, I presented at their January meeting on ‘Facilitating Behavior Change for Climate Impact’. It’s great to see a collaborative approach to behavior change taking root.

We need visionary leaders and organizations who catalyze and lead collaborative efforts towards a more just, sustainable society especially in this most challenging of times. I’m energized to support such individuals and organizations through planning and facilitation services that link collaborative strategies with social and behavioral change.

Be well,
Matt