Transformative Collaboration

There is consensus that there must be cross-sector collaboration if we are to tackle seemingly intractable social problems. In addition, there is a special role and a special opportunity for the diaspora in the community transformation.

We believe that the underlying values that guide the way in which we choose to engage will impact the success of our work in Jamaica. So, we invest significant time and resources into building healthy and trusting relationships as we work with other individuals, organizations, and with our community-based partners on the ground in Jamaica.

We are slow and intentional because we believe that time invested early in the game in relationship building will pay off in the end. Our Transformative Collaboration Framework begins and ends with stories: our stories and the stories of our partners. Everyone involved in the process – whether rich or poor, old or young, male or female, local or overseas – will all bring complex and, oftentimes, complicated stories to the work we are setting out to accomplish. We believe we must take the time to listen and understand our individual and our shared stories if we are to work together effectively for real and sustainable change. We will be required to get outside of ourselves, to question our biases and assumptions and to experience discomfort about conditions that have nothing to do with us.

Individuals and organizations must remain open to growth and development and embrace opportunities for personal and organizational change as we walk through the collaboration experience together, embracing social empathy and the fight for social justice..

As solution seekers, [we] can choose to focus on a piece of the problem and tackle just that piece, or we can engage multiple stakeholders to craft solutions that are complex enough and possess the various perspectives and resources necessary to adequately address the challenges.
— Jeanine Becker & David B. Smith, Stanford Innovation Review, Winter 2018.