• In a world that is experiencing profound and rapid change, the way we work together needs to change as well.

     

    Converge is a team of strategists and designers committed to social and environmental impact. We help individuals and organizations connect, learn, and collaborate together to tackle complex problems and create meaningful change.

  • What We Do

    Through our extensive experience forming multi-stakeholder collaborations we have developed a replicable and adaptable human-centered approach to bringing together individuals and organizations to tackle complex problems and create meaningful change.

     

    The key to our approach lies in building strategic networks.

     

    Strategic networks combine the structure and focus of an organization with the vibrancy and trust of a community, increasing connection, learning, and collaboration across entire systems and catalyzing diverse groups to accomplish more together than is possible alone. And by harnessing the power of social networks to scale, self-organize, and proliferate, they are fueling some of the most sophisticated, large-scale solutions to social problems around the world.

     

    As network designers, facilitators, coordinators, and evaluators, we will partner with you to create social and environmental impact in variety of ways, including: catalyzing new networks, transitioning organizations and foundations to adopt a network approach, revitalizing networks that need targeted support to reach their full potential, and amplifying the work of existing networks that have aspirations for greater levels of impact.

    Catalyze

    Build a new strategic network to catalyze connection, learning and action across organizations, sectors, and systems.

    Transition

    Transition organizations or foundations to adopt a network approach in order to leverage resources of all types—leadership, money, talent—across organizations and sectors toward a common goal.

    Revitalize

    Evaluate the health of an existing network through social network analysis and apply targeted support to help the network reach its full potential.

    Amplify

    Support an existing network, association, or membership base to increase its connectivity, improve cross-network communication, spark new collaborations, or expand its reach to amplify impact.

  • Our Perspectives

    See our writings at blog.converge.net and read some of our published articles below for our perspectives on what it takes to make networks work.

    Collaborations and networks rarely achieve their ambitious goals. Here’s what it takes to make them actually work. This feature article in Stanford Social Innovation Review was one of the top five most popular articles of 2018.

    Why learning networks are one of the most effective ways to accelerate learning and strengthen coordination across the social sector.

    Participants in a large, complex collaboration can build a capacity for finding common ground—and it doesn’t have to take years.

    Network entrepreneurs are ensuring that systems-level, collaborative efforts not only succeed, but thrive. This article introduces a nine-part blog series we curated to highlight the work of networks creating systemic impact in environmental conservation, education, economic development, and beyond.

  • Examples Of Our Work

    Since our launch in 2013 we have supported networks across a wide variety of issue areas and on four continents, taking action on issues as diverse as economic mobility, environmental conservation, human rights, and healthcare reform. Following are just a few examples of networks we have worked with in the recent past.

    Cultivating a vibrant region where both human and natural systems thrive for generations to come

    From 2014 to 2016 Converge catalyzed the formation of the Santa Cruz Mountains Stewardship Network, a region-wide, cross-sector collaboration of over 20 organizations including federal, state, and county agencies, land trusts, nonprofits, research institutes, Native American tribal bands, and timber companies in the Santa Cruz Mountain region south of San Francisco. The network has achieved significant outcomes since its launch, including a unique $11.7 million conservation deal brokered between the region's largest timber company and land trust. Read this article for additional examples of outcomes resulting from the network, and refer to this case study for more details on how the network was formed.

    Advancing economic mobility across New York City

    Converge worked with the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation to catalyze Sterling Network NYC, a diverse group of over 45 leaders from the public, private, and non-profit sectors working together to increase economic mobility across the five boroughs, with racial equity as a central guiding value. The network’s efforts address the root causes of economic inequity and build towards systems-level impact by leveraging experiences, resources and relationships.

    Protecting migrant rights across borders

    Converge has helped transition Justice In Motion to adopt a network approach to its work, including by coordinating the Defender Network, a network of human rights defenders across Mexico and Central America that ensures that migrants can quickly obtain international assistance from defenders who are closest to their home communities. During the recent family separation crisis in the United States, the Defender Network was essential to locating deported parents in remote regions of Central America and coordinating their reunification with their children, which often took place in unfamiliar capital cities.

    Providing summer learning opportunities for all children and youth in California

    Converge helped to amplify the reach and impact of the California Summer Matters Network, a program of the Partnership for Children & Youth (PCY). The California Summer Matters Network connects regional leaders and hundreds of school districts to increase and improve the summer learning opportunities for all children and youth across the state.

    Advancing the development of multipurpose prevention technologies for women worldwide

    Converge supported leaders at CAMI Health to amplify the impact of its growing network, the Initiative for Multipurpose Prevention Technologies (IMPT). The IMPT is a global network to advance multipurpose prevention technologies (MPTs) – health prevention products that allow women to simultaneously protect against more than one sexual and reproductive health risk, including HIV, other sexually transmitted infections, and unintended pregnancy. Refer to this article for more information on the powerful learning network structure of the IMPT.

  • Our Clients

    Some of the networks, foundations, and organizations we have partnered with to create social and environmental impact include:

     

    NETWORKS

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    FOUNDATIONS

  • ORGANIZATIONS

  • Testimonials

    "Thank you for being the most thoughtful, empathetic active listeners, shepherds, and network-formation guides we could have wished for. Very excited, grateful, and proud for how far the group went together with your guidance in just 1.5 days!!" - Cristin Dorgelo, LISTEN (Leaders in Science & Technology Engagement Networks)

    “I keep getting accolades for choosing you, Converge, as consultants. Everyone was so impressed and appreciative of the design meeting and what we ended with! Thank you!” – Nazaneen Khalilnaji-Otto, California Summer Matters Network

    "This was no common facilitation experience. You bring extraordinary preparation and awareness of the landscape, great wisdom, and an uncanny method for calling forth our better angels. I am confident our momentum will result in fruitful actions." – Kathryn Jean Keller, Financial Advantage Network

    “This effort has been really different. It has been really engaging, and I think we nailed it. What we’ve come up with is as close as I can possibly imagine to the optimal vision and direction this organization wants to take, and to the role we can feasibly play in the systems transformation that has to occur, to get to the point that we all know is possible.”Thomas Locke, Arcora Foundation

    “The Santa Cruz Mountains Stewardship Network has tremendous potential to create resource synergies and raise political awareness which could lead to future stewardship funding that will benefit people and our landscape. Without the continuity and accountability managed by Converge it is unlikely this Network would have advanced beyond the concept stage.” – Terry Corwin, Santa Cruz Mountains Stewardship Network

    “The New Leadership Network has already exceeded what we’d hoped for or expected. And NLN members feel they are getting much more back than they put in—in terms of their own professional development, the relationships they have formed, and the ideas that have come forward about how to advance their own work.” - Amy Dominguez-Arms, James Irvine Foundation

    "We have been showered with compliments and excitement. For many, including me, it was one of the most rewarding professional experiences ever. Honestly, this is how I feel about the experience. Thank you for being on this journey with us." – Cathleen Caron, Justice in Motion

    "Thank you so much for your leadership and expert facilitation today and for all the legwork and thought you put into this process. We hit a home run today - and that's quite an outcome for our first time at bat. Today was just superb!" – Steve Pantilat, UCSF Health Coordination of Care Network

    “Converge provided experience, ideas and outstanding facilitation for us as we launched our first ever all-network gathering of 140+ social sector leaders in Santa Barbara County. As we try to live into what it means to embody network leadership, it’s been very helpful to work with Converge.” - Ken Saxon, Leading From Within

  • Our Network

    Zach Anderson

    Zach works at the intersection of business, sustainability, and human potential. His diverse work experience includes leading executive team retreats in Europe and China, advancing renewable energy development in Guatemala, and teaching public school in rural Japan. In his work with Converge he has had the privilege to help develop networks addressing landscape conservation, migrant justice, and income inequality. He is an optimist despite the evidence, a mediocre athlete, and a devoted husband and father. zach@converge.net

    David Ehrlichman

    David Ehrlichman (aka "E") has dedicated his career to helping others create social and environmental impact through a collaborative network approach. He specializes in network strategy & design, coordination, and social network analysis, and has worked as a network coordinator for the Santa Cruz Mountains Stewardship Network and for the James Irvine Foundation New Leadership Network. Prior to cofounding Converge in 2013, he was a consultant with Monitor Institute, worked for an early education startup, and interned at Sub Pop Records. He lives near Seattle, Washington. ehrlichman@converge.net

    Gabriel Grant

    Gabriel helps senior level executives create high performance cultures of purpose, trust, and belonging. He is an international bestselling author, social entrepreneur, facilitator, and coach, whose leadership pedagogy is taught at Cornell and MIT. His PhD research at Yale illuminates when and how purposeful work contributes to the flourishing of people and organizations. He lives in Seattle with his wife, Sarah, and daughters, Ariana and Madeleine—with whom he shares a mission of creating unconditional love and powerfully contributing to others. gabriel@human.partners​

    Elsa Henderson

    Elsa Henderson is a facilitator, coach and educator. Her expertise lies in conflict facilitation and training development. She is a diplomate of Process Oriented Psychology and loves the predictable and unpredictable ways of people. Passionate about meeting the challenges of our current times, Elsa focuses on uncovering the emerging dynamics in individuals and groups, mapping complexity and deepening collaboration. elsa.henderson.studio@gmail.com

    Kelly Jarvis

    Kelly is a social scientist who believes that data should be used to improve systems, support health and well-being, and ensure justice. She works with nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and service systems to assess the impact of program and policy initiatives that address a wide range of social issues. She makes evaluation research accessible for service providers, by ensuring that data meaningfully support program development, improvement, decision-making, and messaging. When she’s not analyzing data, you can find her on a hiking trail in one of Oregon’s beautiful forests or in the boxing gym. jarvis@npcresearch.com

    Yingzhao Liu

    Ying Liu has a practice of integrating deep spiritual practice with our complex modern life. Drawing from Buddhism as well as the Native American path, Ying supports others in their journey of inner and outer transformation by shifting consciousness to deeper and deeper levels. As a user experience design leader and educator in Silicon Valley, she also draws from a deep investigation of human and organizational processes. She has lead experiential education for over a decade and loves to facilitate group processes in nature. yingzhao.liu@gmail.com​

    Paula Manley

    Paula supports leaders, organizations, and communities working for a more just, equitable and creative world. She is a group facilitator, strategist, and leadership developer who partners with clients to advance arts and culture, conserve and restore our environment, foster health and wellness, and support democratic participation in the life of our communities. She is the founder of Paula Manley Consulting. Every summer she can be spotted around the Pacific Northwest in her kayak. paula@paulamanley.com

    Dana Menlove

    Dana serves at the nexus of awareness and impact, supporting and challenging individuals and groups to collaborate with purpose and presence in this time of world complexity. She inspires vulnerability to generate connection and deepen awareness, compassion, and trust. In addition to supporting leaders 1:1 and small teams, Dana designs and guides strategy sessions and leads transformational retreats in wild places. Her work spans sectors from social enterprise and high-tech to manufacturing and medicine. She is devoted to relaying the beauty of being alive on Earth and thrives in the mountains and rivers of Idaho and Patagonia. dana@danamenlove.com

    Carri Munn

    Carri is a systems strategist and facilitation ninja with a career spanning 25 years in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. She partners with visionary leaders to design thriving organizations that operate like ecosystems — purpose-driven, collaborative networks that utilize collective intelligence to respond wisely and efficiently in an ever-shifting landscape. Carri provides consulting, coaching and training to conscious businesses and multi-sector collaborations committed to making game-changing transformation a reality. She is also principal at Context for Action. carri@contextforaction.com

    Amelia Pape

    Amelia is a storyteller, strategist, and social entrepreneur. Her experience includes founding a social enterprise to reduce food insecurity in Portland, Oregon, building Whole Foods Market’s first food access initiative, developing the Portland Metro’s inaugural food prescription program, creating a community health strategy for a Tribal Nation, and teaching graduate-level courses on social entrepreneurship and storytelling for social innovation. Amelia specializes in integrating mission and business imperatives with the power of strategic storytelling. She is also co-founder of ALICE Strategy. amelia@alicestrategy.com

    David Sawyer

    David Sawyer (aka "Sawyer") has played key roles in a variety of fields: education reform, national service, social entrepreneurship, venture philanthropy and environmental stewardship. He specializes in networks, strategy, design, and systems thinking. Prior to cofounding Converge he helped launch the Americorps program, received The Servant Leader Award from the National Youth Leadership Council, and served as the first Executive Director of Social Venture Partners Portland. He lives in Portland, Oregon with a cat named String Theory. sawyer@converge.net

    Matthew Spence

    Matthew is a specialist in finding and organizing information to support effective decision making. He conducts market research and analysis as an essential step in formulating organizational and network strategy. As president of Spence & Company, he also teaches professionals in a broad range of industries how to organize and communicate complex ideas and information. At Converge, “spence” is used as a verb, meaning "to make clear and concise." matthew@converge.net

    Nick Viele

    Nick has been working with mission-driven organizations for more than two decades, as a volunteer, an executive director and a consultant. He has worked in the areas of education, conservation, social services, tourism and homelessness, to name a few, and has facilitated over 1,000 meetings in the process. When not facilitating a meeting or filling a white board, he can be found digging in the garden or enjoying the snow on Mt. Hood. Nick says that process is his content and he lives by the rule that ‘your mission is his client.’ He is also the founder of c3strategy. nick@c3strategy.com

    Jane Wei-Skillern

    Jane is a Senior Fellow at UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business and previously served on the faculty at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Harvard Business School. For nearly the past two decades she has conducted research on trust-based networks for social impact and taught graduate level courses on network leadership and culture, social entrepreneurship, and nonprofit strategy. jane@converge.net

    Neo Anderson

    Neo is the resident futurist at Converge where he leads research on emerging trends and advises the team on scenario planning. He keeps the team focused on what really matters - relationships, integrity, and dropping everything to jump in pillow piles. Neo is keen to pursue his certification in Lego Serious Play and also tends to his burgeoning career in the arts. neo@future.earth

    Shasta

    Shasta oversees all aspects of strategy, business development, operations and herding. She is also the lead facilitator, content engineer and heel nipper. Shasta has an undergraduate degree from the Oregon Humane Society and can typically be found at the feet of her staff team. shasta@good.dog
  • Connect

    Send us an email or give us a call. We’d love to hear from you.

    Email

    Email

     

    connect@converge.net

     

    Phone

    650-701-7021

    Twitter

     

    @converge4impact