In 2011, two of us, John Kania and Mark Kramer, published an article in Stanford Social Innovation Review entitled “Collective Impact.” It quickly became the most downloaded article in the magazine’s history. To date, it has garnered more than one million downloads and 2,400 academic citations. More important, it encouraged many thousands of people around the world to apply the collective impact approach to a broad range of social and environmental problems. Independent evaluations have confirmed that the approach can contribute to large-scale impact,1 and a global field of collective impact practitioners has emerged. Their efforts have immeasurably deepened our understanding of the many factors that can foster or stymie collective impact’s success.

Fortunately, many collective impact efforts around the world have already made progress in centering equity. In studying equity-focused collective impact efforts across regions and issues, we see five strategies in particular emerging as critical to centering equity:

  1. Ground the work in data and context, and target solutions.
  2. Focus on systems change, in addition to programs and services.
  3. Shift power within the collaborative.
  4. Listen to and act with community.
  5.  Build equity leadership and accountability.

Read the full article about centering equity by John Kania, Junious Williams, Paul Schmitz, Sheri Brady, Mark Kramer and Jennifer Splansky Juster at Stanford Social Innovation Review.