The attempt at working together can have many faces: monkey pile on a symptom (a shallow version of collective action); a Band-Aid when a blood transfusion is needed (ineffective at best, but can actually do more harm in the long run); or a deep, reflective analysis of a complex, intractable issue to avoid unintended consequences.
In times of crisis, quick action is required. Our natural inclination is to patch the dam before the wall comes down and we have a disaster on our hands – but what next? Patching may temporarily avoid disaster, but the integrity of the dam is still compromised and eventual collapse is imminent. If we continue to patch and patch, we have a chronic crisis. Without stepping back to get a broader view and the courage to disrupt the status quo, chronic problems can seem inevitable, and apathy will make sure they are.
There was a time in Fresno when many believed poverty was inevitable. People and systems adapted. When the Collaborative Regional Initiative launched in 2000, hundreds of citizens and many organizations said no more. We put a stake in the ground and cast a vision of inclusive prosperity. We believed in ourselves.
As civic entrepreneurs, we believe in the potential of our community. That belief fuels us with the passion to make it happen. The believers are showing up everywhere in our community. Take a look around – evidence is everywhere.
The momentum behind career education is building daily. New pathways, amazing collaboration between K-12 and higher ed, the SJV Manufacturing Alliance now with 600 members and interest from other industries. CART, Bitwise, the launch of Go Public Schools Fresno with a top priority Choosing Our Future 2.0 has been embraced by leaders inside and outside FUSD. Choosing Our Future 1.0 required a bulldozing. This time, all hands are on deck.
The art of collaboration is difficult to master, but Fresno is on its way. This presentation crafted by Ken Newby calls the question. Are we serious? Are we willing to tackle complex issues? Be one of those that says “yes!” If you are already involved, ensure you are connected to others. If not, explore possibilities and find your spot. It’s worth it….and so satisfying to make a difference.