About Us A partnership focused on deeper impact and system-wide progress though promoting collective impact approach to addressing social issues..

In 2011, The City of Ottawa, United Way Ottawa and Ontario Trillium Foundations convened a group of partner agencies to organize a conference to promote understanding of collective impact initiatives and showcase local initiatives which have the potential to make large scale social change.

The partners realized that many of our community’s most pressing and complex social problems could be solved more quickly and effectively if non-profits, foundations, governments, and businesses coordinated their efforts to focus on a common agenda.

Paul Born and Tim Brodhead were engaged for an introduction to the Collective Impact framework and approach in a plenary session on June 13, followed by in-depth community conversations on June 14.

The two-day conference brought together over 190 community development practitioners from non-profits, foundations, funders, corporations, and government officials to:

  • Explore the challenges and opportunities of collective impact and discuss how to accelerate the adoption of collective impact efforts in our community
  • Present an excellent and affordable opportunity for community leaders, staff and volunteers to broaden their understanding of collective impact
  • Acquire new skills to initiate and sustain collective impact initiatives for large-scale social change
  • Provide an opportunity to network and share information

Conference Objectives:

  • Understand the implications of the current economic crisis on Canada’s community sector;
  • Explore opportunities for the community sector to embrace innovation and re-assert its role as a catalyst, community builder and creative problem solver;
  • Raise awareness about collective impact initiatives and other strategies for large-scale social change;
  • Start shaping the conversation about potential collective impact initiatives in the Ottawa area;
  • Identify mutually supportive activities and programs; and
  • Provide opportunities to learn more about developing shared measurement systems.

The conference:

  • Offered a mix of speakers and relevant topics, community conversations on local collaborative initiatives, with plenty of time for Q&A and networking opportunities for those interested in advancing their collaborative efforts.
  • Brought together a cross-section of senior-level practitioners, front-line staff and community members to explore the challenges and opportunities of working together and to discuss how to accelerate the adoption of joint initiatives.
  • Provided an opportunity to not-for-profits, funders, community associations and organizations as well as various levels of government to develop a common understanding of the key conditions for successful collective impact initiatives.
that large-scale social change comes from better cross-sector coordination rather than from the isolated intervention of individual organizations. Evidence of the effectiveness of this approach is still limited, but these examples suggest that substantially greater progress could be made in alleviating many of our most serious and complex social problems if nonprofits, governments, businesses, and the public were brought together around a common agenda to create collective impact. It doesn’t happen often, not because it is impossible, but because it is so rarely attempted. Funders and nonprofits alike overlook the potential for collective impact because they are used to focusing on independent action as the primary vehicle for social change. ~John Kania & Mark Kramer, Stanford Social Review, Winter 2011 .

The planning committee will remain engaged with conference participants to:  

  • Share reports and other products from the conference;
  • Gather feedback for improving quality and relevance of the 2013 conference;
  • Identify follow-up activities;
  • Share information and show case local best practices, successful partnership initiatives and lessons learned; and
  • Identify challenges and capacity building needs;