Social Innovation Certificate / Courses / Collaboration and Innovation Beyond Organizational Boundaries


Collaboration and Innovation Beyond Organizational Boundaries

Collaboration is hard work. Yet to get at the roots of social problems, it’s essential to include multiple perspectives, particularly the voices of those marginalized within systems. Without understanding injustice or the systemic dimensions of social or ecological problems, we cannot navigate toward durable solutions. Moving from conflicted or entrenched situations to spaces of openness and possibility requires issues to be addressed honestly, people to feel heard, and risk-taking to be supported.

In this module, you’ll apply tools for collaboration, as well as practices to build trust, listen deeply and find common values, even amidst conflict. These skill sets are integral to building innovative organizations while simultaneously supporting wider partnership with allies and unusual suspects.

You’ll practise the relationship skills and perspective-taking needed to move beyond personal experiences of conflict and build alignment across diverse perspectives. You’ll study cases of cross-sector collaboration that illustrate both successes and failures, to help you consider the unique strengths and contributions of different actors and sectors in advancing change.

This course is available at the following time(s) and location(s):

This course is available at the following time(s) and location(s):

Campus Session(s) Instructor(s) Cost Seats available  
3 TBA $995.00 0 -

What will I learn?

By the end of the course, you’ll be able to do the following:

  • Understand how relationships, collaborative practice and networks can advance innovation and system change
  • Evaluate the pros and cons of collaboration and assess more effectively which strategies and partnerships to pursue
  • Practise perspective-taking to help build and sustain relationships across difference 
  • Identify your own and others’ conflict styles
  • Distinguish between different forms of stakeholder power and scope of authority, and consider appropriate and ethical engagement strategies
  • Distill lessons from successful examples of cross-sector collaboration and innovation, and apply insights to your own strategy development
  • Analyze and provide real-time feedback to your peers on strategies for deepening impact
  • Recognize the role that social finance, market-oriented solutions and social enterprise can play
  • Use somatic, awareness-based and experiential practices in support of social innovation

How will I learn?

  • Advance readings
  • Individual and group exercises
  • Case studies
  • Mini-lectures
  • Group discussion

Who should take this course?

This course is suitable for those in the public, private and non-profit sectors who want to explore and apply tools for collaboration and practices to find common values, even amid conflict.

How will I be evaluated?

You will be evaluated based on your class participation, in-class assignments and a post-class reflection assignment. 

If you are taking this course as part of the Social Innovation Certificate program, you may need to complete additional assignments outside of class time in order to graduate.

Textbooks and learning materials

The following books are strongly recommended for certificate students and for individual registrants. The required readings will be provided through Canvas, your online learning platform. 

brown, adrienne maree. Emergent Strategy: Shaping change, changing worlds. AK Press, 2017.

Etmanski, Al. Impact: Six Patterns to Spread Your Social Innovation. Orwell Cove Publishing, 2015.

Kimmerer, Robin Wall. Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants. Milkweed Editions, 2015. (We suggest the audiobook, read by the author to capture the beauty of the storytelling and oral tradition).

Sutherland, Kate. We Can Do This! 10 Tools to Unleash Our Collective Genius. Incite Press, 2017.

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