An Invitation to Contribute to Living Cities’ 2014 Annual Report

Recently, Living Cities’ CEO Ben Hecht wrote a blog outlining our vision for a new urban practice aimed at dramatically improving the economic well-being of low-income people faster. This vision did not purport to have all of the answers for what the new urban practice would look like, but rather focused on the need for cross-sector leaders to come together to articulate, test, adopt, apply and build it.

What will it take to achieve dramatically better results for low-income people faster? Add your thoughts 

We believe that the new urban practice is not about reinventing the wheel, but instead builds on the work of and successes achieved by leaders and innovators in the social sector. It is about harnessing, leveraging and reimagining this work for the future, with a focus on accelerating it through a renewed commitment to collaboration, real-time knowledge sharing and networking.

Living Cities has begun to articulate what we think some of the core elements of the new urban practice are, and what our role might be in it. Now, we want to hear from you: our innovation partners. Our goal is to contribute to a rich dialogue that can help to move us closer to an ambitious, vibrant, inclusive, and comprehensive vision for the future of social change, and the role that different sectors, organizations and individuals can play, individually and collectively, to accelerate and deepen it.

Towards that, we are asking others—from our member institutions, to grantees, to a diversity of thought leaders, dreamers and doers in our broader networks—to share their thoughts, insights, lessons and ideas. We will be collecting this content (blogs, infographics, photo essays-whatever format you feel best conveys your point of view) over the next month (deadline: November 26th). We will be sharing submissions on our blog; using them to inform conversations/sessions at upcoming events; and compiling them into a bigger story that will make up the substance of our 2014 annual report.

To participate, please write 250-500 words or develop a creative presentation focused on the following big question: What will it take to achieve dramatically better results for low-income people faster?

To stimulate your thinking, we propose that you focus one or more of the following supporting questions:

  • How do we get to a place where social change is transformative rather than incremental?
  • What does it look like for the public/private/philanthropic/non-profit sectors to be oriented towards transformative results for low-income people? How can the sectors work together differently for greater impact?
  • How must we all change to better address today’s realities?
  • How do we need to change our understanding of the communities we serve and their needs? How can we ensure that communities are engaged in shaping and advancing solutions?
  • What are issues/trends/realities that you think are too often overlooked when it comes to advancing transformative social change?
  • What innovations/solutions/practices are you seeing and/or working on that give you hope that change is possible?
  • What does a ‘job finished’ look like? How do you define success for your work?

Please submit content to me: nowusu@livingcities.org

We look forward to hearing from you and engaging with you!