American Leadership Forum-Silicon Valley pursues its mission of "joining and strengthening leaders to serve the common good" through various programs and activities.
Now in its 23rd year, American Leadership Forum-Silicon Valley's Fellows program is creating a strong regional network of key leaders across private, public and nonprofit sectors, as well as bridging ethnic, gender and geographic boundaries.
Characterized by its focus on the human capacity for collective intelligence, the ALF program begins a process of uncovering the principles of a different kind of leadership. When people who represent high achievement in different spheres of influence come together to learn and think, their creative and problem-solving power as a group can lead to highly effective coordinated action.
Program graduates - called Senior Fellows - are empowered to serve as catalysts in their communities, bringing stakeholders from other sectors together to collaboratively address the most urgent public concerns. In ALF Founder Joseph Jaworski's words, Senior Fellows are thus able to "break legislative and bureaucratic gridlock and get things done."
The Common Good Collaborative
ALF and the James L. and John S. Knight Foundation formed the Common Good Collaborative in the spring of 2008 to develop the skills and leadership capacity needed to nurture participative dialogue in Silicon Valley. The work of the collaborative is based on the belief that ineffective and/or unsustainable outcomes are rarely the result of too little action, but action that is not grounded in a deep understanding of diverse views.
The Common Good Collaborative is partnering with other community-based organizations to work across sectors to address complex issues of importance to Silicon Valley. It provides a framework for ALF to play an expanded role in the community change process. The Collaborative is the manifestation of the "A" in ALF's DNA model (Developing, Nurturing, and Activating the network).
By leveraging its core competencies (dialogue, convening a diversity of perspectives, and collaboration among unusual partners) into change efforts, ALF is helping to establish crucial, and often absent, practices in addressing the most pressing issues facing Silicon Valley. In this way, ALF can increase its impact on the community by capitalizing on its strengths to play a larger role in positive community transformation endeavors.