The CollaborateUp Formula

The methodology that brings people together around challenges in the commons

The CollaborateUp Formula for forming, managing, and scaling partnerships outlines the deliberative steps needed to approach multi-stakeholder challenges for which there are no obvious responsible parties. The Formula combines a wealth of partnership-building experience, adapted rapid development tools, and elements of the Lean Startup methodology, to give practitioners the agility to identify and pursue a path forward, no matter the context.

The challenges in the commons are particularly problematic because they have no discrete, or readily apparent, owner. Although all members of an impacted community will benefit from a solution, coordinating among diverse stakeholders and determining who does (and perhaps pays for) which aspects of the solution can be a non-starter. Nevertheless, in these cases, a participatory process yields the sustainable solution. So, what is the Formula? While each challenge is distinct and each partnership unique, CollaborateUp uses a step-by-step process to facilitate implementation and improve the all-important trust needed to achieve desired outcomes.

CollaborateUp’s systematic process for co-creation asks collaborators to consider the following:

  • The issue: What is the issue that the partners will work together to solve?
  • The value proposition: What are the unique results that the partnership will produce?
  • The targeted population: Who will be affected by the proposed solution?
  • The key players: Who are the individuals and organizations directly involved in the partnership?
  • The key activities: What actions will the partners undertake to solve the problem?
  • Partner resources: What can each partner bring to the table?
  • Partner relationships: How will each partner work with the other partners to make the relationship as successful as possible?
  • Relationship with the targeted population: How does the partnership relate to the parties impacted by the challenge at hand?
  • Outreach channels: How will the partnership communicate to deliver value to the targeted population?
  • Relationships with supporters: Who outside the partnership has a role to play in the solution?
  • Costs: How expensive will this be?
  • Funding streams: What are the ways for the partnership to cover its expenses?

The Global Engagement Forum: Live April 4-5 will use a customized version of this approach, facilitated by CollaborateUp CEO, Richard Crespin. Read his recent article on the Global Engagement Forum Online: Should you Co-Create?, and watch the overview video. Forum attendees also have access to the CollaborateUp workbook. The tools are open-source and free to use. They represent one way to co-create the change the world needs.


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