Power through community
We believe that one way in which we can make systems healthier - make our regions and our cities better, fairer and more sustainable places to live and work - is by bringing together diverse alliances of voluntary and community organisations, local authorities, social enterprises, unions, universities, funders and schools.
Our current social sector is built on the unnamed assumption of ‘isolated impact’ – the best way to tackle social problems is to find and fund a solution embodied within a single organization, and hope that the most effective organisations will grow to extend their impact more widely.
Unfortunately, there is very little evidence to suggest that isolated efforts are the best way to solve social problems. Even worse, complexity thinking says that if you are operating in a complex system (as we are), individual actors (organisations) cannot produce outcomes – only the entire system can produce outcomes. We need to move from thinking in terms of ‘isolated impact’ to thinking about ‘collective impact’ - and alliances are one tool for doing this.
These alliances work in three ways to change the system and create better outcomes within local systems:
1. Campaigns – running collaborative initiatives that aim to achieve tangible social and political changes that improve the lives of people in the region.
2. Relationships – strengthening relationships between member organisations, through facilitated peer networking, mentoring, and skill-sharing.
3. Capacity – working to increase the internal capacity of all member organisations, through matched skill-sharing schemes, secondments and job swaps, and our Anti-Leadership Training.
We are currently working in the North East of England to develop the VONNE Climate Action Alliance and the NE Youth Alliance.
If you'd like to contact us to learn more about alliance-building, please click the button below. We would especially like to hear from you if you lead an organisation in the North East.