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Now What?!

Invitations Blog

October 12 - November 20, 2020

Collaborative Funding for a Just Transition

Updated: Dec 14, 2020


Be a witness to the gestation of a new initiative via a series of "appreciative interviews" with leaders pioneering the use of collaborative and democratic processes for gathering and distributing money, in service to a Just Transition to a more equitable and regenerative future. During each call in this series, you will first listen to the live interview and the conversation that follows it, after which you will have an opportunity to ask questions and/or offer your own reflections.


Invitations are currently being extended to a number of leaders, and calls will be scheduled on an ongoing basis through December 8th and perhaps beyond. If you have an interviewee suggestion, please email Ben Roberts of the TRCC. Here are the calls that have either taken place or are on the calendar so far (check back for updates):

Purpose and Intended Results

The Thriving Resilient Communities Collaboratory (TRCC) -- a Now What?! Partner -- is using this discovery process to provide essential guidance for the design of an action-learning lab being planned for 2021. The lab is intended to support a cohort of networks already involved with or wanting to develop the capacity for collaborative funding (co-funding for short). See the proposal draft here.

The networks supporting a Just Transition are growing rapidly, and can offer an infrastructure of trust and relationships that can gather and move the vast resources needed to drive fundamental change. We envision a diverse array of collaborative funding approaches arising and attracting multiple pools of funding. An ecosystem of networks can fund ecosystems of change, and this kind of ecosystemic approach is exactly what is required to address the intersecting crises we face.

The TRCC has been running an experiment in co-funding since 2015, facilitating a council-based process to allocate a pool of grant money gathered from multiple funders in the US. Through this work, $1.5 million has been provided to over 90 projects, with the recipients of that money and their networks, rather than the funders, having the primary control over the funding decisions that were made. Through the proposed lab, the TRCC intends demonstrate that it is possible to build on the existing movement infrastructure of networks and trusted relationships to dramatically scale co-funding in service to Just Transition work at regional, national, and trans-national scales.

This discovery process is similar to the one the TRCC used in their 2014 partnership with Post Carbon Institute and New Economy Coalition, in conjunction with the first CommonBound conference. That process included interviews with eighteen leaders plus a series of group conversations. The resulting “Weaving the Community Resilience and New Economy Movement” report inspired TRCC leaders to develop the TRC Co-funding initiative the next year (and was cited as a key resource by Confluence Philanthropy and Network of Wellbeing).

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