June 26, 2015
The latest EPIK Alliance community collaboration meeting was held at the West Jordan library on June 26, 2015 from 12:00-2:00. An optional lunch was also provided before the meeting. Many thanks to Carrie Rogers-Whitehead for hosting the meeting.
Every EPIK meeting includes the following elements: Welcome, Gounding (where we’ve been and where we are in the collective impact process), Working, and Wrap-up/Insights and Impressions/Next Steps.
Collective Impact is different from much of the typical work that is done. Often, social issues are tackled with an eye toward programs as solutions. Although there are many good programs that exist, no one program can address the complexity of what it means to raise children in a digital world. We need multiple people with their experience and expertise coming together to create solutions that transcend any one organization’s viewpoint or initiative. To do this takes time. Deliberately phased work (see below) can be helpful in pacing the process.
At the last EPIK community meeting in April, we discussed how the work of EPIK Alliance has moved into Phase II (although community conversations and outreach continue on a regular basis). We also discussed that in order to effectively work in this phase, we needed more understanding of what is already happening in the “landscape” in Utah related to kids and technology.
We are realizing that in order to help people get accustomed to working in a collaborative way across sectors, there is work that can be done to help transition from an isolated impact mindset to a more systems-oriented, collective mindset.
In the spirit of doing such transition work, at the last meeting, cross-sector community leaders created network maps to visually analyze their own networks and potential network contacts who might be important to include in this community work. Some examples of network maps that were created in that are in the slide below. (As a side note, if there is anyone in our community interested in creating a network map, contact michelle ‘a’ epik ‘d’ org)
After EPIK board and staff attended the Champions for Change conference in Calgary Canada, it became clear that focusing on some “quick wins” work projects would be an important way to help us build more energy and excitement around the potential of collective community efforts, strengthen relationships in the community, and also help us collectively be more aware of what is already happening in our state around the opportunities and challenges of raising children in a digital world.
So what are “EPIK Quick Wins”? We used the word EPIK as an adjective in this meeting (rather than in reference to EPIK as an organization or alliance). An “EPIK quick win” builds on something that is already in motion in the state or community, and that could benefit from expanding to include more buckets….
…and/or more sectors.
An EPIK lens, therefore, seeks to bring a cross-sector, multi-bucket, systems-minded mindset, with an eye toward longer-term potential for impact and improvement.
Meeting attendees brainstormed a list of 18 potential quick win opportunities, and then voted on what the group could spend more time fleshing out in the meeting so that we could leave the meeting with some clear work that could be done by smaller groups of people. (This list represents only some of the potential quick win opportunities that exist; as we continue network weaving, we are finding many opportunities presenting themselves!)
- HB 213
- Hack-a-thon; Mar/SLC County Waterford, Utah County–5 votes
- Maker (low tech) Faire; Oct. 3rd/ West Valley Library, Waterford–1 vote
- Summer – Software Program Utilization; Herman Elementary, can earn prizes
- STEM Program – Herrman City Engineer
- Multi Cultural Youth Summit – Oct. 13, Claudia Niccano
- STEM Grant Opportunities – All ages —2 votes
- SLCo Housing Authority – Refugees – Early Literacy – I-pads–2 votes
- LIA Service groups
- Youth Leadership–SLCo–1 vote
- SHARP Surveys – Bill that evaluates this – this year–1 vote
- USOE – Grants for alternative education (technology/foster care kids) —1 vote
- Jordan School Dist. – Grants for gifted and talent
- Private sector — partnership with Industry Leaders – Robyn’s Contact (SFA)–3 votes
- Companies focused on Educational Technology
- Togetherness Conference
- UCAP Conference
- STEM action Center expansion
Helping with the implementation of HB213 was already an “EPIK quick win” in motion. This bill actually made changes to an existing law to include mandates around internet filtering and digital citizenship education in schools. As it stands, digital citizenship is often thought of as internet safety alone. An “EPIK quick win” approach to digital citizenship education would add to already-existing efforts to help school community councils bring digital safety and media literacy programs to schools. EPIK digital citizenship would also emphasize positive, productive use of technology, such as those that could facilitate positive contributions to the community through service, civic involvement, economic development, STEM career preparation, and more.
The top two other potential quick wins were fleshed out further in the meeting, along with HB213: a Utah County Hackathon and more partnerships with private sector industry leaders.
With each potential quick win, we first assessed what buckets and sectors were currently involved in the work already in motion. We then considered what other buckets and sectors could be added with an EPIK lens on.
As we processed what had happened in the meeting, as always, there were several Insights and Impressions that emerged. We also made work group assignments for each EPIK short-term win that was fleshed out in the meeting.
We are excited to move forward with these short-term wins, and to continue building a portfolio of these types of projects that can happen in parallel to moving forward with the work in the collective impact phases. We believe that as we work on these short-term wins, we’ll continue to find cross-sector community leaders and passionate parents and youth — champions — who will join with those who are already doing so much to help move the collective impact work forward.