Common Good Collaborative
The Common Good Collaborative is the umbrella under which ALF brings the resources of its vibrant network and its organizational philosophies and practices to the larger community.
In 2012, ALF introduced a new publication, Common Ground/Common Good, based on its learnings from the first three years of the Common Good Collaborative initiative to help changemakers leverage their work.
Common Good Collaborative Context:
The current culture of advocacy and polarity has compromised the public space for dialogue. ALF and the James L. and John S. Knight Foundation formed the Common Good Collaborative in June 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 rather action that is not grounded in a deep understanding and use of diverse views.
The Common Good Collaborative is working with community partners to develop dialogues, forums, an initiative around state reform called "Reviving California" and the "Uncommon Exchange" conversation series. These events are addressing pressing societal issues, exploring principles of the common good anddeveloping a framework for setting priorities in the community. The goal is to create a new way for Silicon Valley to address issues and affect positive change.
Over the course of the first year, ALF held a series of Public Square Dialogues which explored topics of importance to Silicon Valley: immigration, global markets, religious extremism, race and global warming. These small group dialogues, open to Senior Fellows, not only provide a forum to delve into the complexities of the topics, but they provide the potential to spark further action among the participants.
Also in the first year, ALF held the forum: Realizing the California Dream. This two-day forum provide Senior Fellows with the time and space to discuss in-depth the seemingly intractable barriers in our state government that are prohibiting meaningful progress on many of California’s most pressing issues.
These events inspired several actions that are being carried forward with the assistance of the Common Good Collaborative. Additionally, ALF is participating in community change efforts that have been championed by Senior Fellows and in which ALF can play a specific role.
ALF launched the Uncommon Exchange conversation series, a new take on the traditional speaker series, structured around a general theme of courage in leadership; what it means to make difficult decisions in a high-profile environment, especially when they might seem unpopular. Acting in the interest of the common good does take courage, and this is a topic to explore more deeply, utilizing the ALF concepts of dialogue.
As part of the effort to engage the Silicon Valley community around the issue of reforming California’s governance and budget structure, ALF built on the energy and ideas of the Realizing the California Dream forum and created Reviving California with specific goals to:
- Bring diverse groups of people into a common dialogue and collaboration through nurtured community partnerships;
- Be an actively engaged Silicon Valley community that remains a strong voice for the common good;
- Join forces in engaging the community on the issue of California reform in 2010 and beyond; and
- Inform organizations proposing reform about Silicon Valley ideas and collective input in a “bottoms-up” approach.
Reviving California organized Town Hall meetings, Public Square Dialogues, monthly speaker lunches and a series of community dialogues. ALF has also partnered with more than 25 Silicon Valley organizations to form the Silicon Valley Collaborative for Reform to educate, engage and empower the community on issues related to reforming the governance of California.
The Common Good Collaborative was involved in the following projects, some of which were in an exploration phase.
- Reviving California/California Governance
- Green Tech as a Path Out of Poverty
- Safer San Jose
- Corporate Social Responsibility
- Education/Eliminating the Achievement Gap
- Step Up Silicon Valley Campaign to Cut Poverty
For more information, please follow the links below.
REVIVING CALIFORNIA, a project of the Common Good Collaborative in collaboration with Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network in partnership with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation powered by ALF.
Reviving California Hosts Community Summit II at De Anza College
September 23, 2010
American Leadership Forum - Silicon Valley Hosts George Lakoff
January 12, 2010
In July of 2009, ALF began a series of monthly working session to discuss California state reform. Below is a video of Dave Mills, ALF Class XXI, former Knight Foundation Program Officer, from the first session.
Follow this link for subsequent sessions and videos.
On January 20, 2009, a group of nearly 500 members of the Silicon Valley community gathered at the Mexican Heritage Plaza in San Jose to witness the inauguration of President Barack Obama and to discuss how this historic presidency can positively affect our community. Participants came from various sectors of the community. High school students, teachers, non profits workers, corporate executives, religious leaders, community organizers, government employees, and more, came together for this singular occasion.
After the inauguration ceremony, participants gathered in small groups for discussion. Each group was facilitated by a volunteer from one of three organizations: American Leadership Forum - Silicon Valley, GenerationEngage, and ACLU - Northern California. Facilitators adhered to principles of dialogue championed by American Leadership Forum - Silicon Valley. These principles include: diversity of perspective, openness to be influenced, and inclusiveness.
The groups addressed two questions:
• What does President Obama's speech and presidency suggest about the change we can expect to see?
• What do you believe are the possibilities for constructive change in our community?
After the small group discussions, everyone came together to share highlights from the conversations. Key points are summarized here.
ALF's work with the Common Good Collaborative began in early 2008 with a series of Public Square & Community Dialogues that addressed significant Silicon Valley issues and include facilitated dialogues within the ALF network. Below is a list of these topical conversations (updated links coming soon).
- California Special Election Dialogue (May 5, 2009)
Understanding American Muslims (February 24, 2009)