A few months ago, we learned about Civilla, a small nonprofit and design studio in Detroit on a mission to rethink the way that “change work” happens.

As you may know, Independent Sector has recently gone through a number of changes including welcoming a new president and CEO and restructuring the organization. Add to that the change happening in our country and political system, it is easy to see how many people might feel uneasy with the unknown. On our first call exploring a potential partnership with Civilla, they suggested that we send up one person to get immersed in their program focused on human-centered design and managing change. This person would live and work in Detroit for one month.

Our response? “What if we sent four people?” And so, here we are.

Four Independent Sector staff (Pickett Slater-Harrington, Marie LeBlanc, Troy Adkins, and Christian Clansky) have just begun their four-week tour at Civilla. We hope they will bring back what they learn about human-centered design, share it with the rest of the staff, and start applying it to the design of our conference, the development of our core engagement philosophy and strategy, and the development of an improved membership/business model for IS.

From the get-go there was a clear desire by Civilla to be transparent and open about the process we were engaging in, and we welcomed that objective. As IS staff learn, we look to share those learnings with you: individuals and organizations in the charitable sector.

Here are the ways for you to get more information:

  1. Civilla is documenting this partnership through season two of their podcast, One Billion. Listen to the preamble and episode 1. You can also subscribe on iTunes.
  1. Our colleagues are sharing their experience using #ISontheRoad.

  1. Pickett has shared several videos including the one below.
    Civilla Makeshift Design Space from Pickett Slater Harrington on Vimeo.

  1. We will post a blog post with progress on this effort each Friday. This is our first!

We’d love to hear your feedback on this work. What do you think?

Jeff Moore is chief strategy officer and Victor Reinoso is the chief operating officer at Independent Sector.


Types: Blog
Global Topics: IS Staff, Leadership Development, Upswell