Perhaps more than ever before, addressing common, knotty problems in our modern life requires navigating across the government, business, and non-profit sectors; society’s most difficult problems increasingly cannot be solved by one sector alone.
We operate in a system that has become a stifling scheme of overlapping, conflicting, and constantly expanding rules, regulations, and practices that often defy understanding. Government is held hostage by bureaucracy, special interests, and gerrymandering; businesses suffer from aggressive lobbying, careerism, and excessive compensation; and non-profits are generally too narrowly focused.
The Intersector Project was created to illuminate and propagate the intersector process — the process through which government, business, and non-profit sectors share authority, expertise, and resources to address public problems. The intersector process draws attention to the reality that good processes are essential to effective public-problem solving and that good policy comes from good process. In fact, government and governance are themselves processes.
Over the past decade, I have been involved in efforts to understand the origins, impetus, and efficacy of collaborative governance. Since its beginning, I have been working to help The Intersector Project translate that work into simple, replicable tools and principles that can be used by virtually anyone trying to solve a problem that defies easy answers.
I invite you to explore this work: to find tools and relevant examples that may apply to your own interests and to whatever concern may have brought you here.
Our case studies, categorized by issue and geography, should enable you to find relevant examples that illustrate where, why, and how intersector collaboration works. The Toolkit is a guide that practitioners can apply to virtually any situation that may require collaboration.
Despite the fact that very few people have thought about this subject in these terms, the number and range of intersector collaborations going on right now across the country is growing rapidly.
We hope that telling these stories will inspire you and others, and assist everyone with their own intersector process needs.
Frank A. Weil