The challenges and opportunities for adults and children alike in this digital age are varied and complex. Many organizations, both for-profit and not-for-profit, have been created to address these challenges. As valuable and important as such entities are in the fabric of any community, collective impact principles help us remember that “complex social problems cannot be solved by a single organization or by a simple recipe” (see Embracing Emergence: How Collective Impact Addresses Complexity). Bringing innovative, motivated people together can allow for synergistic solutions that can transcend the abilities and resources of any one organization.
Key to a successful community change effort is the deliberate involvement of beneficiaries of non-profit and for-profit organizational efforts. Including “residents with lived experience” in the process of creating and assessing solutions can provide more opportunity for sustainability, fundraising, and community buy-in.
One collective impact leader states it this way: “Not About Us Without Us.” By involving children and youth in the creative process toward a more deliberate digital culture, we increase the likelihood of success. (See How to Sustain Good Work without Fundraising and When Collective Impact Isn’t – Part 2. See also Needle-Moving Collective Impact Guide: The Next Generation of Community Participation,)