Our Mission

The Collaboratory’s mission is to connect and build capacity for community resilience leaders working at the regional and national scale in the USA. Our action learning community convenes leaders to build trusted relationships across differences, hosts learning opportunities to build organization capacity, and promotes funding of collaborative projects to build movement capacity.

As the African proverb says: “To go fast, go alone. To go farther, go together.” TRCC enables multi-stakeholder allies across cultural, racial, generational, and sector differences to find common ground amongst their many different and necessary approaches to building local resilience systems.

“Thriving Resilient” is the short-hand description for a wide range of movement builders grounded in local community resilience efforts around land, food, water, energy, economy, etc. Resilience (learn more here) is a community’s ability to adapt and thrive in changing conditions instead of collapsing during a shock. Resilience requires fixing damage, building better more adaptable systems, and practicing deep democracy. Deep democracy means that the people affected by decisions make those decisions because they live with the consequences.

TRCC is a community of ”grasstops” leaders and organizations. The grasstops are network hubs for grassroots leaders and organizations. TRCC members have both grassroots influence in the streets and institutional access in local government, regional boards, state and national legislatures, and global forums. Several members organize both locally and at global events like COP21. We create collective impact anchored in the power of the people. We consider grasstops regional-translocal resilience networks like TRCC to be the tipping point for reaching global resilience. To learn more about our grasstops theory of change, see here.

Our Strategy

Our strategy is Collaboration! in its many forms: compassionate relationships, cooperative connections, collaborative alliances, and co-creative innovation. As Meg Wheatley notes, successful communities connect to others through their diversity, creating long-term, sustainable ecosystem webs of relationships.

A collaborative movement-building ecosystem already exists in the field. There are coherent visible networks of people and organizations who belong to multiple coalitions, attend each others’ events, and work together on projects. TRCC uses leading-edge systems practices (learn more here) to better connect these leaders in a peer “collaboratory” network. Our community of practice informs and supports our work and each other as a “hope-think-do tank.” The collaboratory is a safe place for movement leaders to get to know one another and to share our news, dreams, and questions. We create more resilience-savvy friends and allies, more inclusive strategic thinking and campaigns, and more movement capacity (with less reinventing the wheel) across our multi-organization ecosystem.

The TRCC community spans the spectrum of grassroots work in rural, suburban, and urban communities. Each member brings unique assets, expertise, and community cultures to the table. They participate in the TRCC as a hub of hubs because they value the rare time and space to connect with their grasstops peers on an ongoing basis. They unanimously call themselves movement-builders. While they may work for an organization, they say they really work for the movement. See TRCC community members in Who We Are and how we work together in Community Services.