Community and culture intertwined are fundamental and vivid in the collective impact work bringing connections and meanings into our everyday interactions and purpose. Culture is inseparable from the development and actually in the forefront of innovation and design-thinking to inspire action in social change. Whether we need to be sensitive to cultural differences, adapt to current cultural trends, or raise our voice in support of acceptance and equal opportunity. Or whether we are getting to know the organizational culture of our working environment or simply enjoying the culinary culture from aboard to spice up a working luncheon. In whatever forms, culture is with us, in “the social and the collective”, an essence of togetherness and a major player in change making.
I’d like to say a few words about the special kind of culture in Missoula. And this observation is coming from the perspective of a Nordic Foreign Alien who left her home country Finland around the time when Finland was ranked as the best country to live in 2010. And just recently Finland was again placed first according to the World Happiness Index Report. But bring any Finn or a few Finnish experts to Missoula and they’d say the same thing: Life is gooood in Missoula with a lot of social capital and collective care that makes it almost effortless to work towards achieving shared goals.
I believe Collective Impact, Innovation and Design Thinking are not to be re-discovered or re-created amongst us, because these elements have always existed in our talented and giving community and are here to evolve. So let’s keep our focus on the good work in both preserving the old and implementing the new for the future years to come.