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Collective Impact Strategies





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The societal and cultural issues facing humanity are far greater than any nonprofit, for-profit, university, or government agency to address adequately alone. Whether poverty, water shortages, socio-economic inequality, natural disasters with lasting effects, or any number of other challenges facing our communities, organizations must band together to secure the impact needed to truly create change. Increasingly, communities are turning to collective impact as an approach that brings together the collective resources of multiple institutions to address a community-identified problem or need. While a somewhat new approach, there is a growing body of evidence of supporting the effectiveness of using the collective impact approach to addressing wicked problems (Bridgeland et al., 2012; Christens & Inzeo, 2015; Kania, Hanleybrown, & Splansky Juster, 2014).

As anchor institutions, Metropolitan Universities have a unique opportunity and responsibility to initiate and promote social change in a way that also advances their mission. Unlike other institutions for higher education, Metropolitan Universities are most suited for targeting social change because of the type of communities they serve and their location within large municipalities. Participating in collective impact is increasingly seen as one approach to this. This issue includes case studies and practical papers to prepare Metropolitan University administrators, faculty, and staff to initiate, facilitate, and strengthen collective impact initiatives in their communities.


© 2017 The authors. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (

This original article can be found here:, hosted by Metropolitan Universities journal (

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