Kicking Off Carnegie's Integration Design Consortium

What do you get when you put 20 innovators, researchers, and changemakers each focused on solving the challenge of fragmentation in communities into one conference room for a day in downtown Manhattan? An emerging foundation to learn from and share with one another, for one, and the sense that we’re on the cusp of some really exciting work to build sustainable progress in education in communities across the country.

Check out this graphic that visual artist and storyteller Rachel Brian did while each of the teams presented - an amazing summary of everyone’s work (and wonderings) to date!

In early October we were in that conference room, spending the day with new friends and colleagues at Bellwether, Education First, FSG, and The Teachers Guild. Collectively, we make up a group called the Integration Design Consortium, developed and funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, that looks to support prototypes in “silo-busting” across the education landscape. As we’ve officially each begun our work, we came together to kick off our first of many quarterly meetings, facilitated by the Business Innovation Factory (BIF).

The goal of this first meeting was to bring all of us participating in the consortium together to hear about each other’s projects’ progress and goals, and get a chance to learn, play, make meaning, and build relationships across the group. We were excited and inspired by the project updates each team shared, from FSG’s focus on changing the conditions that hold a problem in place to Teacher’s Guild leading from a place of teacher as innovator within a community.

Although each organization has a different entry point into the work of de-fragmenting our educational system, there were also many similarities and similar problems of practice and questions being asked across the projects. Our project at 2Rev focuses on building innovative, integrative community. Shifting and building mindsets is a big part of this work. So when we saw other teams diving into questions around mindset, as well, we were psyched. Questions like: “What does it look like to measure a shift in mindset?” or “How can we create metrics for brand-new approaches that have never been measured before?" will be tackled and puzzled with across many teams, and that’s a huge win for the field. That’s one of the elements that is so exciting about the design consortium: the strength of learning together as a network and community.

 
Another main objective for the day was to synthesize how our work fits together. This illustration demonstrates one of the groups' conversations. As practiced facilitators, it's always helpful to take a step away from the driver's seat. We're thankful to BIF for creating this day of learning!

Another main objective for the day was to synthesize how our work fits together. This illustration demonstrates one of the groups' conversations. As practiced facilitators, it's always helpful to take a step away from the driver's seat. We're thankful to BIF for creating this day of learning!

 

We'll reconvene next as a group in January, which will be an exciting timing for us at 2Rev: we will have selected our community partner in December, and so we will have just officially launched our partnership when we reconnect. Follow along with us here on the blog as we share more insights and learnings from our journey towards authentic integration.