“Nothing is impossible. Everything is possible – impossible just takes more time.” Last week, Johan Ernst reminded a room of 600 global leaders from over 60 countries that persistence and stepping outside your comfort zone are the keys to achieving your dreams.

We couldn’t agree more. At Tides we cross boundaries, embrace risk, and leverage every tool at our disposal to accelerate the pace of social change. Which is why we were excited to attend the 2018 Nexus Global Summit in New York City. Nexus is a global effort designed to bridge communities of young investors, social entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and allies to catalyze new leadership and advance needed political, indigenous, environmental, and equal justice solutions.

Nexus Global 2018 Summit opening plenary in the UN trusteeship council chamber.

This summit connected young people from diverse backgrounds and linked communities that would have otherwise never met. This approach really resonates with me, as the world’s complex social problems simply can’t be solved by a single funder or organization. The challenges we are facing on a global scale seem impossible to solve and demand a coordinated network of partnerships rooted in equity, trust, and relationship building to achieve systems-wide change.

Over the course of three days, I had the opportunity to hear from experts on the ground who are leveraging collaborative frameworks to activate partners around common issues. I learned about the power of scale from Tiffany & Co., who are working with the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation and The Wildlife Conservation Network to launch the Elephant Crisis Fund that unites 63 organizations in 32 countries. This powerful leverage allows them to coordinate the efforts of 175 different projects around the common goal of ending the ivory poaching crisis. I also had the chance to learn about the Four Freedoms Fund, a national donor collaborative working toward full integration of immigrants as active participants in our democracy.

In addition to meeting dozens of talented leaders in the social sector, I had the honor of facilitating a conversation on maximizing impact through collaborative initiatives featuring three inspiring leaders, Amol Mehra of The Freedom Fund, Rena Greifinger of Maverick Next, and Dayo Okewale of Who’s Got Game?

Session on maximizing impact through collaborative initiatives, led by Director of Special Initiatives, Roxana Shirkhoda.

True to form, we started the session by hearing from folks in the room who themselves have a wealth of experience leading challenging collaborative efforts. Our guests asked poignant questions including:

  • How do you begin bringing siloed work together to have collective impact?
  • How do we create economies of scale in this work?
  • How do we bridge the gap between what is necessary to develop and what actually gets funded?
  • How do we learn from the indigenous tradition of repeating stories to pass on learnings in the collaborative space so the work can grow?

As a group we had an honest conversation on this approach to social change, acknowledging both the benefits and challenges of these structures, and we identified outcomes that result from this approach.

To finish the article and learn about the outcomes identified through the above approach, visit here: https://www.tides.org/accelerating-social-change/impossible-just-takes-more-time/