• In a world that is experiencing profound and rapid change we need to work together more effectively than ever before. To do so requires bridging across silos, sectors, geographies, and communities.

     

    Converge is a network of strategists, designers, storytellers, and systems thinkers. We partner with foundations, nonprofits, mission-centered businesses, and government agencies to build collaborative networks that increase connection, learning, and action.

     

    Join us in creating a vibrant future that works for all. Learn more about our work below and through our writing or send us a note. We’d love to chat.

  • Our Services

    Following is an overview of services we offer, designed to fit your specific needs.

    Network Formation

    Clarifying shared purpose and principles, building relationships of trust, coordinating activities, advancing collaboration, and developing the necessary structures to sustain the network for years to come.

    Network Strategy and Design

    Engaging key stakeholders to articulate a network strategy and design to advance connection, learning, and action across your system.

    Convening Design and Facilitation (virtual or in-person)

    Leading transformative online or in-person convenings that bring individuals and organizations together to connect, learn, and take action to advance shared goals.

    Training and Coaching

    Working side-by-side with network leaders, weavers and coordinators to deeply understand the network you are leading, evaluating opportunities for evolution, and partnering with you to clarify the way forward.

    Search and Hiring

    Designing and leading the search and hiring process to select and onboard a new network weaver or coordinator.

    Network Evaluation

    Incorporating quantitative and qualitative research methods to assess network health, operations, and outcomes and feeding this information back into the network to support connectivity, collaboration, and impact.

  • Writings & Resources

    Click here for our latest writings and resources, or read some of our published articles below for our perspectives on how to cultivate collaborative networks that increase connection, learning and action across silos and sectors.

    To meet the magnitude of this moment we must work collaboratively in ways that promote decentralization over top-down hierarchies, relationships over transactions, and emergence over control.

    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 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.

  • Examples Of Our Work

    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 22 organizations including federal, state, and county agencies, land trusts, nonprofits, research institutes, a Native American tribal band, and timber companies in the Santa Cruz Mountain region south of San Francisco.

     

    The network has achieved significant outcomes since its launch, including an unlikely $11.7 million conservation deal brokered between the region's largest timber company and land trust, and a unique collaborative effort that is reuniting the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band with its land and returning the Quiroste Valley to its pre-colonial landscape. 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. Click here to see an impact report on the network's first two years.

    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.

  • 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 ease and rapidity with which we were able to identify potential projects for collaboration was startling and encouraging. The convening was extremely effective at facilitating trust and promoting a sense of community.” – Philippe Cohen, Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve

    "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

    “It was even better than I had hoped – we achieved so much more than I expected. Thanks again for such an amazing experience. I honestly think this workshop will lead to some really impactful partnerships.” – Maryrose Franko, Health Research Alliance

    "You cannot achieve what you did yesterday without proven techniques and well planned processes. But I personally wanted to thank you for your generosity of spirit, authentic engagement, and a belief in what is possible." – Debbie Wege, BECU Foundation

    “I cannot think of facilitators who have come close to the exemplar you demonstrated, and will certainly recommend you to anyone I know looking for the highest caliber of facilitators.” – Darcy Gentleman, DJG Communications

  • Clients

    Following are of the networks, foundations, and organizations we have partnered with since 2013.

     

    NETWORKS

  •  

    FOUNDATIONS

  • ORGANIZATIONS

  • 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 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, for Sterling Network NYC, and for the Fresno New Leadership Network. Prior to cofounding Converge in 2013, he was a consultant with Monitor Institute, worked for an early education startup, and enthusiastically shuffled papers 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 partners with cross-sector and multicultural stakeholders to build programs, collaborations, and movements that advance complex goals, from urban and rural food access to tribal sovereignty. In addition to her work with Converge, she currently serves as coordinator for a nation-building initiative with the Spokane Tribe of Indians, and teaches graduate courses on social entrepreneurship at Portland State University. Before planting a stake in the consulting field, Amelia built corporate food access programs and drove a grocery-store-on-wheels.
    amelia@converge.net

    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 was also a strategy consultant with Monitor Institute, and has worked with mission centered organizations and businesses, both small and large, to address complex social and environmental challenges. He lives in Portland, Oregon.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 connect.

    Email

    Email

     

    connect@converge.net

     

    Phone

     

    +1-650-701-7021

     

    Twitter

     

    @converge4impact