Patron saint of vulnerability, researcher Brene Brown, once said that a secret killer of innovation is the fear of being vulnerable.
“That deep fear we all have of being wrong, of being belittled and of feeling less than is what stops us taking the very risks required to move our companies forward, […] but vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity, and change.”
For us at IP3, this hits close to home. As the hearts and minds behind Community Commons, we’ve lived at the nexus of innovation, creativity, and change for many years. Through the beauty of collaboration, we’ve been able to cobble together funding and keep the Commons alive and well. But, in the spirit of vulnerability, the hodgepodge of partnerships have not yielded the long-term sustainability needed for the Commons to head in the direction the field demands.
When we dreamed up this idea of the Commons with our partners at CARES and Community Initiatives, open source data and technology was new and emerging. Few platforms offered what we did. However, over the years, open data has exploded, making it easier for communities to access tools that power change and advance equity. For that, we’re grateful. It means that communities like yours are getting better-quality data, but improving communities requires more that just access to great data – which is where the new version of Community Commons comes in.
We know that data without context are just noise, there is need for an infrastructure of connection among those creating a culture of health and equity. And with that knowledge, there is so much more that can (and should) be done to leverage our collective impact. So, in an effort to remain ahead of the curve in this ever-changing landscape, we’re taking a risk and heading down a slightly different path than what you may be used to seeing on the Commons. We believe this is the best way to support all communities working toward a common good. We’re creating a space where data meets context, where knowing moves to action, and where stories are data with souls attached.
We’re asking for your patience – and maybe even some grace – as we launch a new version of Community Commons, one that is probably a little less than perfect, because it’s something we believe in. Innovation (and collaboration!) is messy; we don’t always want to show how the sausage gets made, but it’s time. Rest assured there’s one thing that hasn’t changed: it is still all of us, together for the common good.