Leading Large-Scale Change for Ontario Youth: Innoweave’s Youth CI Program

Mary Rose blog photo enIn December, the Foundation’s Innoweave initiative launched Youth CI, an exciting new partnership with the Laidlaw Foundation and Government of Ontario. Youth CI builds on Innoweave’s Collective Impact module to help communities across Ontario learn about, develop, launch, and implement Collective Impact initiatives that directly improve outcomes for youth.
Across the community sector there is a growing recognition that large-scale change can’t be achieved by organizations working in isolation. Youth CI provides organizations facing complex challenges (like youth homelessness) the space and the resources needed to develop a collaborative plan using the Collective Impact framework.Youth CI

Collective Impact: The commitment of a group of important actors from different sectors to a common agenda for solving a specific social problem  

To date, Youth CI has engaged hundreds of youth-serving organizations across Ontario and has helped develop more than 25 collaboratives responding to challenges ranging from mental health to literacy and essential skills. Five collaboratives have already launched including one working on graduation rates of racialized youth in Toronto and another focused on significantly improving youth employment rates in Ottawa.
“The Collective Impact framework has helped structure and clarify the engagement and input of our community partners, including youth, generating a clarity of focus on the outcomes they want to achieve and the pathways that take us from activities to outcomes. The coaching from YouthCI has been extremely useful in upping our game related to the clear articulation and communication of our vision and what’s required to get there.” – Stoney McCart, CITY
The program includes in-person information sessions to learn about how the Collective Impact approach can be used to build strategies to address complex problems, full-day workshops to develop a common population level outcome goal, and development coaching to generate immediate action plans.
A first round of 20 Youth CI collaboratives is full steam ahead, having attended Workshop 1 this winter and now beginning customized Development Coaching.  As the next phase of support for Cohort 1, Youth CI Coaches will work one-on-one with groups to advance their specific Collective Impact objectives leading up to Workshop 2 in November. Over the coming months, this cohort of collaboratives will focus on refining their intended impact objectives, building immediate actions plans and developing stakeholder engagement strategies.
Innoweave will launch a second round of Youth CI beginning with a series of info-sessions in June (visit Innoweave’s Events page to learn more about specific dates and locations). A small Fast Track cohort of Youth CI groups dove into Youth CI Planning Coaching in January. To date, the Fast Track groups have made great strides working with their coaches and will be receiving launch or execution grants to implement their Collective Impact initiatives over the coming year.
Over the coming months, Innoweave’s Youth CI initiative will share its experience leading large-scale change by generating positive outcomes for youth. To receive the latest news, sign up for Innoweave’s newsletter or email info@youthci.ca.