Catalysing collaborations for systems change

28 October 2021 | Catalyst News, Collaborations

Catalyst 2030 Collaboration Overview

Neelam Chhiber, Collaborations Working Group Chair writes:

Back in early 2020 when we gathered in Althorp in the UK to launch the Catalyst 2030 network, we had a sense of hope and excitement for what a global movement like this could achieve. And what an action packed year it’s been. A year of learning and growing and truly seeing the power of collective intelligence at work.

We knew that there were doubters who thought that Social Entrepreneurs couldn’t and wouldn’t work together. In the really early days I also watched from the sidelines, but was soon pulled in by the truly membership-focused movement it was! Adding to our own organisation’s agendas and learnings, and looking at the bigger picture together, it’s clear we can achieve anything.

After the two years of the incubation phase of Catalyst 2030, we now have over 1000 members which is a great achievement. The organisation’s 16 working groups, 11 issue-based groups along with the numerous task forces and growing country and regional chapters are all examples of collaboration in action.

As the Collaborations Working Group we have spent our time focusing on the different ways that we could bring our global members together, build connections and inspire collective action. From launching Conversation Cafés and Co-Labs, partnering with Lean Impact, matchmaking and ideating “offers and needs” to anchoring learning journeys for collaborative thinking such as the Societal Platform, we have experimented with different approaches to bring members together. Some have worked better than others and we have learned a lot, which is always the fun part of the process!

Initiatives like Creative Dignity and the Covid Care Monitoring Coalition were direct responses to the global pandemic, and brought members together to work in agile and devolved ways to help those most in need. The pandemic has shown us both the need for, and the power of collective action as it has tested and exhausted us in equal measure. Collaboration is not easy. Our conversations with our members have taught us that collaborating for systems change is even harder, but it’s worth it.

Today we’re really excited to launch the new Collaborations pages of the Catalyst 2030 website. It’s great to be able to showcase the work that is happening across the community, but most importantly, this is an opportunity for more members to get involved in the work that is underway already. It is a starting point rather than an exhaustive list and we welcome you to tell us about the activities that you and other members have underway so that we can showcase those too. You’ll see that each Collaboration Card has “offers” and “needs” because Catalyst 2030 is about action. Please do take a look at those sections as that really is the gateway to getting involved.

We have also included a resources section which will see more content in coming months. We would love your input so that we can create a collective knowledge hub so please let us know not only what you need, but also if you have great resources that we can share.

Finally, as we reflect on how far the movement has come, we know that it’s the spirit of service, of a common belief that by working together we will achieve the structural and systemic change that all our organisations are working towards. There is a lot of work still to be done, but I have no doubt that we’re in the right movement to do it.

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