Network Design & Process
The Chesapeake Foodshed Network (CFN) supports otherwise disparate efforts across the complex food system of the Chesapeake Bay region, by intentional design & process.
The CFN aims to be robust, flexible, & responsive.
A network approach promotes self-organization & collaborative action around shared priority areas.
Collective impact provides criteria for collaborative action, including:
• Common agenda
• Shared measurement system
• Mutually reinforcing activities
• Continuous communication
• Backbone support
The CFN Steering Team sets the strategic direction for the network; Network Management provides daily coordination, planning, communications, & facilitation; Network Participants grow the CFN through Work Groups, Action Teams, & other targeted regional initiatives.
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Successful networks are designed—they don’t just happen. Knowing a network’s essential design issues—and how to make and when to change design choices—is a crucial part of the practice of building effective social-impact networks.
– Plastrik, Taylor, & Cleveland (2014)
Large scale social change requires broad, cross-sector coordination, yet the social sector remains focused on the isolated intervention of individual organizations. Leaders of successful collective impact initiatives have embraced a new way of seeing, learning, and doing that marries emergent solutions with intentional outcomes.
– Kania & Kramer (2011), Stanford Social Innovation Review