The Impact Collaborative, powered by eXtension, seeks to be a strong resource for institutions, project teams and their community partners, and Extension professionals nationwide to help solve problems, measure behavior change, and accelerate innovative ideas towards implementation for local impact. The Impact Collaborative also aims to be a key partner for the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) as it addresses critical issues nationally.
Why Did eXtension Create the Impact Collaborative?
The Cooperative Extension System (CES) is a valuable resource for addressing complex issues. There is a sense of urgency in the CES to increase measurable local impact and find new partnerships and solutions.
eXtension increases the efficiency of CES through creating partnerships, professional development, and adopting successful practices by providing a foundation of innovation for extension professionals.
The eXtension Issue Corps
The Impact Collaborative started in 2016 as the Issue Corps Program. The three cohorts of the Issue Corps program were Climate & Food Systems, Community, and Diversity & Inclusion.
In 2016, the first cohort of the Issue Corps focused on the issues of climate and food systems. The members of this cohort represent Extension professionals who were already working on issues related to climate and food systems. They self-identified as having a strong desire to work “hands-on” to create new methods for addressing critical issues. Representing 70 projects, 126 corps members were selected. Read about some of the successes of the Issue Corps…
The second Issue Corps cohort focused on communities affiliated with eXtension, the Community Issue Corps. Eight projects with 27 members participated in a Designathon to develop concept maps and interact with key informants to refine their program plan.
The third cohort of the Issue Corps is focused on diversity and inclusion and includes 39 projects with over 80 team members participating in a Designathon and a series of professional development activities. Twenty-one key informants are mentoring the Corps in their project plans.
The Impact Collaborative
As the Issue Corps honed its practices and procedures, it evolved into the Impact Collaborative and shifted its focus to innovation and design-thinking. The Impact Collaborative is now focused on issues for 2019 and beyond. This years’ issues include: