Editor’s Note: Our Senior Director for Linked Learning, Anne Stanton, joined forces with Alison Powell of The Bridgespan Group to reflect on our ten-year journey to build the Linked Learning field in California. “Adventures in Adaption” from the Spring 2015 issue of the Stanford Social Innovation Review, shares their insights about key pivot points and lessons learned along the road. We excerpt the article here. You can read the full article on the SSIR website.
By Anne B. Stanton and Alison Powell
Adaptation in philanthropy is easier said than done. It requires funders to embrace a new way of thinking and acting. Philanthropy, moreover, lacks the kind of market-based feedback system that drives adaptation in the for-profit world. But the value of pursuing more adaptive approaches to philanthropy has become more salient in recent years. The Linked Learning initiative in California, we believe, offers useful insight into how adaptive philanthropy occurs in practice.
Linked Learning is a core investment of the James Irvine Foundation. Over the past decade, the foundation has invested more than $100 million in this initiative. The journey began in 2005, when Irvine started looking for ways to expand opportunities for young people in California—those from low-income backgrounds, in particular—as they make the transition to adulthood. To further that objective, the foundation fastened its attention on the Linked Learning educational approach, which combines rigorous academic work with career and technical education…
Continue reading the full article on the SSIR website.