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Community Summits


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For More Information: Community Summits, www.gilsteil.com/communitysummits

Purpose:
 
To help communities and large organizations invested in a complex issue quickly find the common ground necessary to support action. 

Outcomes: 
  • Alignment of the broad community around a specific course of action 
  • The mobilization of energy for implementation 
  • The enlistment of individuals and organizations in follow-up 

When to Use: 
When community alignment and participation around a course of action is required for the success of a change initiative 

When Not to Use: 
When all critical decisions have been made, and there is a desire to present the appearance of participation 

Number of Participants: 
64–2,048 

Types of Participants: 
All stakeholders, internal and external, necessary to achieve action around the central issue 

Typical Duration: 
  • Plan: 2–4 weeks 
  • Solicit participants: 10–12 weeks 
  • Summit meeting: 2–3 days 
  • Follow-up: 6 months 

Brief Example: 
United Way of Rhode Island used summits involving a microcosm of the state to build support for change from a dispersed funding model to a concentrated impact project model. 

Historical Context: 
Created in 2003 by Gil Steil and Mal Watlington. Emery’s Open Systems Theory and Search Conference, 
Weisbord and Janoff’s Future Search, Dannemiller’s Whole Scale Change, and Harrison Owen’s Open 
Space.