Chancellor Zimpher, New York Times Best-Selling Author Dan Heath Kick Off SUNY Conference on Collective Impact

October 29, 2014

Thought Leaders Discuss Benefits to Colleges and Universities Adopting Collective Impact Strategies At Scale

 

Albany – The State University of New York this week is convening its fourth annual Critical Issues in Higher Education Conference, Higher Education Reconsidered: Executing Change to Drive Collective Impact. Successful models of collective impact are being explored by thought leaders from higher education, healthcare, public policy, economic development, business, and other sectors in order to identify opportunities for its use in education.

“Collective impact takes tremendous discipline, patience, and trust building, and it requires a mindset shift that is not easy to accomplish,” said Chancellor Zimpher. “But from what we’ve seen so far, collective impact is the most promising way forward in solving some of our society’s most daunting problems—health care, environmental issues, homelessness—and in our sector, improving education outcomes from kindergarten through college.”

In her welcoming address, Chancellor Zimpher convened 500 leaders, thinkers, and innovators to explore collective impact as the framework in which colleges and universities can effect successful social change at scale. Attendees will come away with tools, resources, and contacts to begin implementing collective impact strategy in their own places of business and fields of expertise.

Dan Heath, a senior fellow at Duke University’s CASE center and co-author of the New York Times best-seller Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard, delivered the keynote address and commended participants on their commitment to improve the future of education by adopting some of the successful strategies for change used in other sectors.

Collective impact is an effort in which a group of dedicated leaders work toward a common goal. The process involves assembling the right people at the table, identifying specific and measurable goals, committing to evidenced-based decisions through the use of data, and creating a sustainable environment where stakeholders are likely to remain engaged with the work over time.

“Taking collective impact to scale across our universities and systems of higher education, we have infinite capacity to expand access to college, increase degree completion among students, and ensure that we are producing career-ready graduates to answer workforce demand and drive the economy,” Chancellor Zimpher said.

Additional leaders participating in the conference include:

  • James Kvaal, Deputy Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council
  • U.S. Deputy Secretary for Education James Shelton
  • Carnegie Foundation President Anthony Bryk
  • Jeff Edmondson, StriveTogether Managing Director
  • Retired U.S. Navy Captain David Marquet
  • Jason Helgerson, State Medicaid Director and Department of Health Deputy Commissioner

The SUNY conference, Higher Education Reconsidered: Executing Change to Drive Collective Impact, is being held today and tomorrow at the TimesCenter in New York City. A full list of speakers and additional information about the conference is available at: www.suny.edu/sunycon/2014.

 

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, with 64 college and university campuses located within 30 miles of every home, school and business in the state. In 2015–16, SUNY served nearly 1.3 million students, including nearly 600,000 in credit-bearing courses and programs and more than 700,000 through continuing education and community outreach programs. SUNY students and faculty across the state make significant contributions to research and discovery, resulting in nearly $1 billion of externally sponsored activity each year. There are 3 million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit www.suny.edu.


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