by Jama Adams
I was leaving for a work trip to launch a new organization when my four-year-old dolefully asked me why I had to go. I explained that my “work friends” and I were trying to create good jobs so that everyone can spend more time with their families.
He approved the trip.
The simple idea made sense to him, which I take as a good sign that it might also make sense to people older than four.
At SidePorch, we believe that social impact starts with individuals – and we help leaders take concrete steps to narrow the gap between the way the world should work and the way we live on a daily basis.
We partner with mission-aligned innovators across the spectrum to drive impact into everything they do. We leverage networks in an intentional way to tackle big, complex problems. We create a vision and a strategy for real impact. We align the right leaders and pull together disparate threads to create better outcomes.
What does this really mean? Let’s use Accelerator for America as an example.
Accelerator for America launched in South Bend on Election Day 2017 and SidePorch has been part of the group’s strategy development since our founding. (You’ll see our facilitation in action in these CBS and NBC clips.)
We convened a group of diverse leaders around a simple – and transformational – goal: fund local problem solvers creating fulfilling jobs to help people build their future, achieve their dreams and live great lives. The group approved an initiative to help other cities create thousands of good jobs by passing ballot initiatives to fund major community infrastructure projects like Los Angeles’ $120 billion Measure M.
At the next meeting in February, we’ll find and support more of these transformational ideas, according to the group’s shared values:
* Invest in a future of inclusive and sustainable prosperity.
* Work at a scale commensurate with the challenges.
* Lead and build capacity of local leadership.
* Collaborate with cross-sector partnerships, build a sense of belonging.
The potential for real, positive impact is huge with such a diverse and powerful group that includes mayors (Chair Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles and the mayors of Nashville, Dayton, South Bend, Columbia), social entrepreneurs (The Arena and Echoing Green), union presidents (Carpenters and Operating Engineers), billion-dollar startup founders (Dollar Shave Club) and policy icons (Policylink, Brookings).
Each member leverages what’s made them successful to help make everyone successful, narrowing the gap.
At SidePorch, we work with good people who know what is important to them and to the world. We start by asking “to what end” and we are always looking at impact and values alignment, whether we are helping to conceive and articulate a vision for how to integrate impact into GE’s corporate strategy or analyzing ecosystems for USAID’s Private Capital and Microenterprise group. (I’ll share more about those in future posts.)
I love that my job is to bring big visionary ideas to the level of practical action.
We do it in a way that my four-year old understands.
And we do it because we owe it all the four-year olds.
+++Read more in our ongoing series Views from the SidePorch and reach us at email@example.com.