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Our Guiding Principles

  • Activating & Accelerating Human Potential: Supporting and elevating the potential of all people by shifting from:

    • pre-determined potential to unlimited potential;

    • “how-to-do culture” to “how-to-adapt-and-thrive culture;” and

    • expert-driven technical "solutions” to empowering practice models that engage--and work for--everyone. 

  • Cultivating & Practicing Adaptive Leadership: Mobilizing community & business leaders, seasoned professionals, leading academics, and young changemakers to address complex challenges, adapt, and thrive.

  • Redefining Mental Models: Examining the values, assumptions, and beliefs that form our conversations and guide our actions about how we shape and structure systems. 

  • Iterating Between Theory & Practice: Theory and practice constantly inform each other, with new knowledge and practice models seamlessly integrated.

  • Leveraging Human-Centered Design for Social Innovation: Designing through a framework that is optimistic, empathy-based, and holistic to advance a social innovation that ensures the impact and result will be purposeful and solve problems with and for the people and communities intended to be served.

  • Developing Capacity, Connecting Talent, Facilitating Collaboration, & Creating Synergy through SIE Networks & Ecosystems: Social innovators and entrepreneurs (change agents working to create systems-level transformation) and early adopters can truly thrive when they are part of collaborative, supportive communities interconnected within a diverse, dynamic, and synergistic ecosystem. Interconnected networks and ecosystems allow for the accumulation and compounding of impact across value systems, sectors, unit levels, and network levels.

  • Facilitating Convergence: Leveraging the breaking down of traditional silos and blurring of long-standing boundaries that define:

    • sectors (public, private, nonprofit/civic);

    • value systems (social, economic, environmental); 

    • expertise (moving from relying solely on "expert authority" to everyone has the capacity to become a changemaker); and

    • work-life-values-impact (integration of values & impact into one's work).

Guidin Principls

Our Cornerstones for Impact

  • Adopt a Community-Based Point of Intervention: Places in a system where action can be taken to begin addressing one or more elements of a complex challenge. 

  • Leverage the Diffusion of Innovation Model: The process used by a change agent to encourage the communication and adoption of an innovation through certain channels--powered by innovators and early adopters--over time among the members of a social system.

  • Link Technical Tools & Adaptive Problem-Solving: Addressing complex challenges by combining effective management of existing & emerging technologies with the adaptive leadership of systems change.

  • Design & Implement the SIE CoLab Blueprint for Sustainable Change: A set of tools that allow for the agile, coherent, and iterative design, experimentation, and implementation of a new model or innovation.

  • Embrace a Tailored Roadmap for Success: Built on the SIE CoLab's Seven Cs for Transformative Communities.

  • Track Key Leading & Lagging Metrics, Measure Impact, and Continuously Realign to Theory & Improve Based on Data: Link lagging and leading indicators in order to both measure past performance and project future impact.  

  • Scale with Synergy: The SIE CoLab ValueNet


Our Seven Cs

  • Changemakers:

    • Forming and adaptively leading a guiding coalition of social innovators & entrepreneurs (or change agents) and early adopters (influencers and change & opinion leaders).

  • Common Purpose:

    • Identifying and collaborating around a set of shared values, vision, and mission.

  • Cultivation:

    • Empowering and stewarding the next generation of adaptive leaders.

  • Change Model:

    • Fully engaging the Adaptive SIE Framework for Systems Change.

  • Culture:

    • Examining norms & beliefs, transforming mental models, positively leveraging transactional forces, committing to continuous inquiry & learning, and embodying transformation as a way of life.

  • Compounding:

    • Accumulating and compounding impact across value systems, sectors, unit levels, and network levels.

  • Continuous Learning:

    • Listening, learning, iterating, measuring impact with relevant metrics, adapting, embodying transformation as a way of life.

Our seven cs

Our Organizational Structure

SIE CoLab Org Structure Nov 2022.png

We amplify and accelerate the field of SIE through

the Institute’s four interconnected Centers to achieve

holistic & sustainable systems change.


The Center for Human Potential & Impact

provides new tools and services that prioritize equity and empathy in designing adaptive, community-driven approaches to the complex, adaptive challenges we face.


The Center for Emergence & Resonance

generates new ideas grounded in social innovation and entrepreneurship research and theory...and develops new practice models to support transformative changes that collectively benefit people, the planet, and prosperity.


The Center for Collaboration & Acceleration

provides community influencers, opinion leaders, and changemakers with a roadmap and hands-on assistance to co-create a shift in current value and power structures needed for transformative change.


The Center for Transformation & Stewardship

pairs seasoned professionals and retirees, known as Stewards, with young, emerging student leaders, known as Transformers, to create a talent pool of future “changemakers” who are ready to lead transformation.


Benchmark Teams

Benchmark Foundations: 


  • SIE CoLab Benchmark Teams serve as the roadmap for board members, co-founders, staff, transformers, and volunteers to move in the same direction toward a shared vision. Driven by the strong connection between the purpose of the SIE CoLab and the activities of each SIE CoLab Center, Benchmark Teams set clear goals and responsibilities for each defined Benchmark. 


  • Benchmark Teams determine what the best course of action is to achieve each Benchmark – and determine who in particular is needed to successfully accomplish the Benchmark. This includes external individuals and organizations from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. 

  • As the SIE CoLab develops and grows Benchmark Teams will adapt and change in order to establish Benchmarks in service to advancing and accelerating the mission and vision of the SIE CoLab Adaptive Leadership Institute.

Formation and Governance: Establishes benchmarks for filing of business documents required for the legal existence of the SIE CoLab; the structures and processes required to ensure accountability, transparency, responsiveness, rule of law, stability, equity and inclusiveness, empowerment, and broad-based participation; and that norms, values, duties, and responsibilities of all internal and external stakeholder are conducted in a manner that is transparent, participatory, inclusive and responsive.

Planning and Budgeting: Establishes specific business strategies rooted in adaptive leadership principles. Develops metrics and strategies to evaluate short and long-term goals and desires of the SIE CoLab. Defines Benchmarks that measure programs and services of the SIE CoLab Centers, including backbone services (such as accounting and finance, marketing and communication, and technology).  Establishes Benchmarks to ensure all budgeting and financial activities of the SIE CoLab comply with sound financial and fiscal management.

Public Awareness & Marketing: Establishes Benchmarks for the purpose of marketing and communicating the SIE CoLab organization and brand. Develops and ensures the execution of strategic digital activities that drive traffic, engage cross-sector stakeholders, and promote the services and programs of the SIE CoLab. Ensures ongoing and effective communications for informing your target audiences about the mission and vision of the SIE CoLab. 

Resource Development & Revenue Generation:  Establishes a process on ways to engage local communities and other public and private stakeholders in deliberately building innovative, sustainable, and viable revenue-generating activities in support of the mission and vision of the SIE CoLab. Develops Benchmarks to promote fundraising and resource development plans in partnership with collaborative stakeholders, philanthropy, corporate giving, high-net-worth donors, impact investors, and citizens. 

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