Impact Collaborative

The Impact Collaborative provides an innovative, structured, and supported process to create measurable local impact through projects that advance how whole communities address their complex issues, through leveraging the broad resource expertise of the extension system [CES]. Check out the results to date…

Extension professionals at member institutions are eligible to form teams, especially ones that include community partners, around an idea that will make a difference for the people they serve. Apply for one of the 2018 Impact Collaboratives…

diversity & inclusion issue corps designathon december 2016Why Did eXtension Create the Impact Collaborative?

We believe:

  • Cooperative Extension and the Land Grant system brings tremendous value when partnering with communities to address complex issues.
  • There is a greater sense of urgency than ever to increase the speed and efficiency with which an engaged, co-creative approach replaces the “expert model”.
  • Measuring and communicating impact requires new approaches and measures when working co-creatively. Even very collaborative extension professionals often struggle to articulate the value of extension in this new model.
  • A connected, inspired, and engaged extension workforce builds system-level capacity. This is a catalyst for attracting additional solution partners and creating a positive feedback loop for addressing complex issues.

In 2018, Collaboratives are being formed around the topics of Food Systems, Behavioral Health, and Diversity & Inclusion [Visit the 2018 IC site]. One “open” Collaborative is also being supported for extension professionals outside of those program areas. These topics were chosen with the help of the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP), Directors and Administrators throughout the Cooperative Extension System, and USDA-NIFA.

two people talking about their concept mapPriority topics for regions and multi-state collaboration can be addressed as sub-themes or as region-specific Collaboratives.  It is our goal to work with 35+ professionals at every eXtension member institution as part of Impact Collaborative cohorts in 2018. Fund development is underway to leverage the investment of member institutions and increase the visibility of CES among those we serve. Premium Members receive significant discounts on registration fees for the Designathon events.

The Impact Collaborative Process

The Impact Collaborative is constructed around six phases. Each phase is designed with tested tools and approaches. They are woven together to create a systematic and repeatable process for efficiently getting good ideas on the ground.

Impact Collaborative Background

Since early  2016, eXtension has successfully engaged hundreds of  Cooperative Extension professionals in the development of impactful projects addressing topics such as local food systems, climate, small business development, enhancing rural capacity, equine biosecurity, financial management, backyard poultry, women in agriculture and diversity and inclusion. These efforts were part of the eXtension Issue Corps program.  In 2017, the eXtension Foundation rebranded the Issue Corps as the Impact Collaborative.

Past Impact Collaborative Cohorts

Check out some of the results and also success stories about Impact Collaborative projects.