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Collective Impact Insights at the Aspen Ideas Festival

Complex social problems require complex solutions that require actors from different sectors to work together to create a common agenda. Collective impact offers a framework for solving these problems and for catalyzing scalable systems change.

Hear from New York Times columnist David Brooks, Monique Miles, director of the Opportunity Youth Incentive Fund, and FSG’s Mark Kramer, co-author of the article that codified the framework in “Collective Impact: What Is It and Why Is Everyone (Still) Talking About It?” in a discussion moderated by the Aspen Institute's Melody Barnes at the Aspen Ideas Festival in July.

Here are a few takeaways:

  1. Our social problems are the outcomes of a set of disorganized systems.
  2. Collective impact is a mechanism for changing systemsbuilding trust to change the system and change the outcome.
  3. Collective impact is not a simple, formulaic approach. It’s tailored to the problem, the people solving it, and the overall context.
  4. Racial equity must be a part of the process.
  5. Collective impact is difficultand it doesn’t always work.
  6. Data matters. Determining which data to collect informs the narrative of the problem—and its potential solutions.



Ursula Wright

Former Managing Director, FSG