One of my trustees often reads the New York Times and last week they shared a link to a report which seemed to support our evolving Ambition strategy. Interestingly it even proposed the idea of Field Catalyst as a new name for OCF's activities in this area.
Having a chemist as our Board Chair we often talk about the potential of catalysts to get things going and this new report suggests as we have shared repeatedly in our research report Oxfordshire Uncovered, when social issues are complicated, “field catalysts” are the bridge to bring together wealthy philanthropists and activists to make real progress.
Therefore, always good to know our work is being affirmed by others especially as we prepare for our next Think Tank / Board Away Day next month.
Lots more reading and lots more thinking to do.
Taz Hussein, partner at the consultant Bridgespan Group and author of the report “Field Catalysts: The Unseen Agents That Galvanize Social Change,” said he and his colleagues had identified 15 social change efforts — like reducing malaria deaths, bringing about same-sex marriage, reducing obesity . They found that each effort had a core organization providing leadership and support to other groups tackling the same issue. “These organizations would never say they were the organizations driving these changes,” Mr. Hussein said. “In terms of size relative to the total investment, these organizations are relatively small, and they’re nimble. They try to take that bird’s-eye view and problem solve. They helped to align funders.” They were also, he said, “trying to be appropriately humble.”