Because we can no longer meet the challenges we face alone.
The biggest challenges we face today are the direct result of fragmented thinking. Whether we are talking about our crumbling education and non-profit sectors, climate change, population growth, and the increasing scarcity of adequate energy, food and water, we got here because we fragment our organizations, our actions, and our learning into separate and competing disciplines. Our actions are sub-optimized to advocate and achieve our individual agendas. The result is a deepening divide between us as we increasingly struggle with growing problems that no longer respond to traditional solutions.
But these issues are different than any we have faced before and cannot be solved by any one expert, leader, or point-of-view. Solutions to these "wicked" problems need to transcend individuals or individual organizations and include us all. They are complex multi-stakeholder dilemmas that we all have a part in creating and therefore all share a responsibility in resolving. We can no longer afford to act from a single point-of-view or idea, but must learn instead how to discover a larger WE that utilizes the wisdom within and transcends our differences.
Historical precedent and experience has prepared us to know how to:
- Organize ourselves into scalable hierarchies to solve large scale problems.
- Work independently and compete effectively to get individual rewards.
- Take individual action to address a specific issue that is important to one point of view.
- Compete and advocate for our point-of-view solution in order to win.
Now we are being challenged to learn how to:
- Come together as empowered individuals and individual organizations to work effectively as a collective in order to address larger scale work and complex multi-stakeholder issues.
- See ourselves as empowered individuals and individual organizations that have an important unique voice that needs to be heard as part of a contribution toward a larger effort. We have been taught to see ourselves only as replaceable doers of repetitive tasks defined by a higher authority. Many of us eventually grow weary of being and acting so small.
- Change the dysfunctional system we are all part of in order to transform it into a system that is capable of supporting and nourishing us in this new environment of relentless change.
- Find a way for us ALL to win.
Co-ignite dedicates itself to:
- Helping us to reimagine how we can work together to improve our communities and prepare our citizens to engage in a democratic society.
- Providing the infrastructure, learning, and methods for moving beyond the traditional thinking of ME to the power of the collective and diverse WE in order to creatively invent the future WE most want for ourselves.
- Helping people move beyond being only a replaceable part in a machine of action to acting in the world as a whole human being that seeks to make an important impact.
- Encouraging each of us to more deeply understand and develop our own individual voices, so that we may listen more deeply to others in order to transcend our differences and collaborate on creating solutions none of us can reach alone.
Even though we are not very good at it yet, we need to begin learning how to work together in a different way. We need to learn how to get better at working as a network of interdependent free-agents instead of a top-down driven hierarchy. We need to learn how to expect that each member will have an important voice; that they have a creative contribution and a responsibility to the whole organization and to the whole effort we are collectively addressing.
We won't be able meet our collective challenges if we expect each person to figure this out on their own. However:
- We don't currently have the needed infrastructure for taking effective action collectively.
- We don't have a backbone organization that can effectively lead collaborative efforts.
- We haven't developed the individual and collective skills required for acting interdependently.
Because there IS a better way to make our communities better, and we can co-create it together.
We are all facing an unprecedented challenge right now to find a different way of coming together to get things done. Most of us have a sense that our institutions and organizations are no longer working as they once did, but aren't sure what we can do about it or what an alternative method of working together in community might look like. Co-ignite provides clear leadership in how we can work together for our individual an collective good.
Click here to read more about our Co-ignite CollaborAction Projects
Co-ignite is the next paradigm in increasing our Collective Impact.