The Collaboration Engine seeds collaboration through short-term cycles with feedback loops, similar to agile or scrum methodologies used in other disciplines. This iterative “Phase 1” collaborative research and development (R&D) supports strategic learning and action by taking incremental steps with low risk and high potential. Phase 1 collaborative R&D can create uniquely valuable cross-sector tools and approaches and can also lay a strong foundation for larger-scale Phase 2 and 3 collaborations. In 2013, for example, a co-lab led by the PostCarbon Institute surveyed TRCC members to create the Building Thriving Resilient Communities resource guide. In 2014, Threshold then funded PostCarbon and the Conversation Collaborative to interview movement leaders to build a greater shared understanding of the challenges and opportunities of the new economy and community resilience movements. A prominent theme that emerged was the need for a profound shift in the way philanthropic funding is distributed. Read more in “Weaving the Community Resilience and New Economy Movements: Voices and Reflections from the Field” which was included as one of just two resources for Confluence Philanthropy’s “Facing Revolutionary Change”gathering of more than 50 influential philanthropic leaders in February, 2015 and was cited as one of the “Top 12 Wellbeing Resources” by Network of Wellbeing.
Key dimensions of the Collaboration Engine are an annual rhythm of next-step activities (horizontal axis) and circles of governance and participation (vertical axis). The specific activities and schedule are evolving each year; a conceptual model is below.