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What is Collective Impact? Class at Scripps

Collective Impact is a collaborative approach to tackling complex challenges by bringing people together in a structured way to achieve major change. By establishing common expectations around goals, assessment, activities, and resources, it is possible to form lasting partnerships that both preserve each partner’s unique identity and accomplish more than any partner could do on their own. 

First introduced under the name Collective Impact in a 2011 Stanford Social Innovation Review article, Collective Impact has been used in communities across the world to successfully tackle a variety of complicated social and environmental issues.

Key Elements of the Collective Impact Model

There are five main conditions of a Collective Impact approach: 

Common agenda

Participants have a shared vision for change, including a common understanding of the problem and a joint approach to solving it through agreed upon actions.

Shared measurement

Collecting data and measuring results consistently ensures efforts remain aligned and participants hold each other accountable.  

Mutually reinforcing activities

A diverse set of stakeholders coordinate a set of differentiated activities through a mutually reinforcing plan of action.

Continuous communication

Structured and open communication is needed across participants to build trust, assure mutual objectives, and develop common motivation.

Backbone support

A dedicated team provides ongoing support by guiding the initiative’s vision and strategy, supporting aligned activities, establishing shared measurement practices, and facilitating participant interactions. 

This video explains more about the Collective Impact approach. 

Collective Impact at UC San Diego

The Collective Impact approach is consistent with our university history, our spirit of innovation, and our inclusive aspirations.  Its collective orientation will encourage individuals or departments to flexibly address local needs, while staying connected to a network of partners for maximum impact. The focus on assessment will push us to blend the best of our prior in-person experiences with the virtual tools we have learned this year.  And its drive for greater reach and inclusivity will push us to reach campus-wide scale.

To read more about how Collective Impact will be employed at UC San Diego, please visit the CI at UC San Diego page