In 2020, we are more aware than ever that we are all connected. Given the complex and far-reaching challenges of our time, we need to step up and rise to those challenges in order to create the world we want to live in. That requires us to engage with the essence of what it means to be human: the ability to connect and work together, or put simply – we need to collaborate.
The change the world needs (think: greater justice, equity, connection, innovation) is only possible if we work together because it transcends individuals and organisations.
Passion and ideas are not enough to address climate emergency, global health inequity, epidemics of mental illness, food insecurity and lack of access to education for girls. We need to unite under a common purpose, with shared agreements, resources and understandings, and take action. These are the hallmarks of collaboration – something that is shared, that is living, that evolves and grows and gives new life to ideas, innovations, ways of working, and ways of being.
Collaboration has become the global vehicle for making change and our ability to collaborate effectively is increasingly a fundamental skill and core capability for progress and leadership. Is it easy? No. Is it worth it? Absolutely! We cannot hope to solve the world’s biggest challenges on our own.
Collaboration is everywhere; it is all around us all the time. It is both a thing we do and a thing we form – an expansive, flexible and nuanced way of describing all the ways that people come together to ‘get things done’ under a shared purpose and goals.
Partnerships are one form of collaboration. So are alliances, consortia, networks and networks of networks. From our families and communities to the places we live, work, shop, and play – we are each part of dozens of collaborations every single day where we make conscious (and unconscious) decisions, discoveries, and negotiations to ‘play together’. Whatever the form a collaboration takes, it involves a choice to come together and work collaboratively to achieve something the world needs.
For more on what it means for a collaboration to be living and how we came up with our name, head to our blog!