Weekly Briefing, May 11 – May 15

blogimage_dailybriefing Every week, there are new intersector collaborations surfacing across the United States and new, fascinating research and commentary emerging that provides insight into the intersector — the space where collaboration among government, business, and non-profit sectors enables leaders to share expertise, resources, and authority to address society’s most pressing problems. To keep our readers, practitioners and researchers alike, in the know, we compile a weekly briefing that captures these insights, and we publish it here, on our blog, every Friday. If you like this briefing, you should sign up for our newsletter for more in depth coverage of the intersector.

Time for the Plural Sector
Intriguing commentary from Henry Mintzberg, Cleghorn Professor of Management Studies at McGill University, SSIR on the role the third sector — or plural sector — can play in maintaining balance between the government and business sectors: “When one sector of society becomes dominant — as the public sector did under communism and the private sector is now doing in the name of capitalism — societies go out of balance and people suffer. A healthy society requires a respected public sector, a responsible private sector, and a robust plural sector. Calling it ‘plural,’ in place of inadequate labels like nonprofit or third, will help this sector take its rightful place alongside the other two and also help us to appreciate the unique role it has to play in restoring that balance.”

Partnering to unlock local market systems
While this piece on the Devex blog from Henning Ringholz, global market development adviser for GOAL — an INGO that focuses on emergency and development programming in 16 countries worldwide — has an international focus, it articulates a role for non-governmental organizations in business-community partnerships that we think it pretty interesting: “While corporates and local businesses both have a huge role to play in developing business ecosystems, neither of them can do it alone. International nongovernmental organizations need to develop a new role in linking local and corporate business alliances with local communities and the wider market system, adding a local dimension to the shared value concept.”

Lessons about respect, cultural competence and collaboration in veterans’ initiative
From the Non-Profit Quarterly’s Rick Cohen comes this interesting discussion of how difficult collaboration really is: “At the Council on Foundations’ second Joining Forces philanthropy program, some of the discussion treated collaboration on delivery of veterans services as though it were simply a matter of will combined with a little knowledge of who the players are that made it happen. The success stories shared by so many participants at the Philanthropy-Joining Forces Impact Pledge program held at the national headquarters of the American Red Cross underplayed just how damned hard collaboration really is—even within organizations, not to mention among multiple service providers and foundations, trying to improve conditions for veterans returning from Iraq, Afghanistan, and other post-9/11 military deployments.”

New Balance bought its own commuter rail station
This Atlantic piece describes an Incredibly interesting bi-sector collaboration between Boston-born New Balance company and the City of Boston.