Place-based Partnerships for Social Change (Newsletter)

December 7, 2018 0 By mbiggar

Three years have quickly passed since I started Connected to Place. I feel so fortunate to work with great clients who care about improving the quality of their communities, cities, regions and states. While I initially focused on education and transportation behavior due to my background in both fields, I now support place-based partnerships for a range of social change initiatives.

Save Lives Unite Oklahoma is an emerging statewide initiative in Oklahoma­­ with the goal to increase the live release rate of dogs a­­­nd cats from animal shelters across Oklahoma to 90% by 2025. This past week, the Kirkpatrick Foundation gathered leaders from government agencies, non-profit organizations and universities for a two-day strategic planning retreat. I facilitated the retreat and earlier this Fall, I led planning sessions at the Kirkpatrick Foundation’s wonderful Animal Conference. With the passion and commitment of these cross-sector partners now armed with a common agenda and plan for aligned action, they have great potential to achieve their shared goal and much more.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has recently launched a dashboard that illustrates the progress they have made on a number of indicators in the first year of their new strategic plan. This dynamic non-profit is having a very positive and measurable impact on the livability and health of San Francisco communities. I was pleased to support their strategic planning process in 2017 and am so impressed with the staff’s ability to put the plan into action and track, monitor and publicly share the results. I’m also proud to a member. If you are in San Francisco, please join me at their largest party of the year, Winterfest, this Sunday.

I had the wonderful opportunity to connect with leaders, supporters and advocates for Safe Routes to School and Vision Zero at the Walk/Bike/Places Conference earlier this Fall. Both programs utilize place-based partnerships to make cities and communities safer for biking, walking and non-auto modes of travel. National support is provided for each program through the Vision Zero Network and Safe Routes to School National Partnership.

Earlier this Fall, I enjoyed watching presentations by high school students involved in the Citizens Environmental Council (CEC) of Burlingame Intern Program. These students researched sustainability topics and presented their plans for making their schools more sustainable. I had spoken with this passionate group of students at the start of their internship and was inspired by their progress and creative plans to make a difference.

Upcoming Events (supported by Connected to Place)

  • San Francisco Children & Nature Steering Committee, November 30th
  • Campus and Community as a Learning Laboratory (A Collective Impact Project in San Mateo County) Kickoff Workshop, San Mateo County Office of Education, December 4th
  • San Francisco Children & Nature Work Groups Convening, December 12th

Be well and enjoy the holiday season!

Matt