Standing Beside Alaska's Non-Profits

The Foraker Group Blog

Join us at the Leadership Summit on April 3 & 4.  David Ehrlichman and David Sawyer’s workshops will guide you in establishing and maintaining complex collaborations.

David Ehrlichman, Converge for Impact

At Converge for Impact, David works to catalyze others to make their greatest contribution. Specializing in designing, leading, and evaluating networks and other forms of complex collaborations, he has helped build impact networks across the environmental, healthcare, education, economic, and civic sectors.

He was previously the lead Network Manager for the Santa Cruz Mountains Stewardship Network, as well as the Network Manager for the James Irvine Foundation New Leadership Network. He recently helped to design and launch the UCSF Health Coordination of Care Network, the Financial Advantage Network, and the Government Performance Consortium, and has supported and evaluated numerous other complex collaborations across the country. He is also the author of multiple published articles in Stanford Social Innovation Review including Five Steps to Building an Effective Impact Network and The Tactics of Trust.

David holds a B.S. in Management Science & Engineering from Stanford University and lives in Seattle, Washington.

David Sawyer, Converge for Impact

David is a strategy guy for a better world, specializing in strategy, leadership, culture, networks, design, and systems thinking. His work focuses on helping teams, groups, and organizations function with peak effectiveness to achieve outstanding results. He is active across all sectors and has played key roles in a variety of fields: education reform, national service, social entrepreneurship, women and girls, venture philanthropy, and environmental preservation.

David’s contributions include facilitating The New Generation Training Program and other national leadership programs, helping to launch the nation’s AmeriCorps program, and leading a community delegation to the Presidents’ Summit for America’s Future. Sawyer spent four years working with energy company BP, coaching senior leaders, designing the cultural integration of the BP/ARCO merger, and facilitating a conference on global climate change in Washington. He lives in Portland, Oregon.


D. Ehrlichman & D. Sawyer sessions: 

How to Make Complex Collaborations Work

We live in a world of problems that are so complex — so tangled up with other problems, so non-linear, ambiguous, and volatile — that they defy solutions and cannot be effectively addressed by any one organization or even by any one sector. This session will demonstrate, through a series of experiential exercises, how to make complex collaborations work, both within organizations and across sectors. The session will begin with an overview of the network roadmap including key strategies and design components necessary for effective collaboration. We will then lead you through an interactive simulation demonstrating how to establish a strong foundation upon which collaborative efforts can live up to their potential and drive sustained impact on complex social issues.

How to Build Trust for Impact – The Critical Ingredient of Successful Collaboration

The single most important factor that determines the long-term success of networks and collaborative efforts of all kinds is not strategy, structure, systems, or technology, but rather the quality and strength of the relationships that develop between its members. Contrary to popular belief, participants in a complex collaboration can build a capacity for finding common ground—and it doesn’t have to take years. Through a series of experiential exercises and simulations, our session will demonstrate how to rapidly and effectively develop trust for impact between diverse stakeholders to catalyze meaningful collaboration on complex social issues, even despite intense personal disagreements and professional differences.



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