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The InCommons Initiative: Courageous Leadership Across Boundaries

By Leah Lundquist

Here at the Center for Integrative Leadership we're committed to supporting leadership that acts courageously - particularly leaders willing to cross sectors to directly address the complex issues of our time. That's why we're proud to an operational partner in the InCommons collaboration with the Bush Foundation and a number of other Minnesota organizations: Ashoka's Changemakers, Minnesota Community Foundation, Minnesota Council of Churches, Minnesota Public Radio, The Saint Paul Foundation, Twin Cities Public Television, Walker Art Center, Wilder Foundation.

Check out this video introduction to InCommons produced by Twin Cities Public Television:

The statewide InCommons leadership initiative will grow and evolve over time and many details are yet to be finalized. The operational partners are clear, however, that the leadership work done through InCommons will be guided by seven core principles:

Co-creation. InCommons will grow and develop through the participation and input of the people who use it.

Local. The InCommons network brings people together online and face-to-face. Lessons learned in one community become starting points for addressing similar issues in other towns and cities in Minnesota and the region.

Get and give. Ideas advance through energetic collaboration. Everyone has talent and insight to share. Everyone has a need that a community of peers can address. InCommons will grow through the mutually beneficial exchange of ideas and best practices.

Listening. Dialogue begins with listening. InCommons encourages active listening and the learning and open exchange of ideas that follow. The InCommons network itself functions as an open feedback loop, soliciting input from stakeholders and using the input for ongoing systems improvement.

Diversity. The communities that come together through InCommons grow in strength and resilience by weaving together the unique contributions of all constituents.

Safe. The best learning environment is also a safe environment. InCommons is committed to the highest standards of respect and civility in both online and offline forums. Published InCommons standards will help shape a tolerant, self-governing environment.

Transparent. The agenda, goals and plans of the non-partisan InCommons initiative are open and accessible to all.

One of the first actions taken by the Initiative has been to launch the InCommons Collaboration Challenge. From Tuesday, November 30 to December 10, 2010, the public has the opportunity to vote on three finalists selected by a team of evaluators from the Citizen's League and an independent panel of judges. The collaboration that garners the most votes will receive $25,000 to continue, expand or replicate the effort described in the entry. By signing up for email notifications from InCommons, you can be sure you're notified when voting goes live.

Be watching for the InCommons web-based platform to go live later this year!

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