Fresno, California, is a notoriously difficult place to achieve lasting, scalable social impact—in part because so few of the individuals and groups trying to improve the city’s future work together effectively. In 2013, the James Irvine Foundation launched a new kind of initiative designed to bring together diverse leaders in Fresno—across issues, sectors, and generations—to learn, build relationships, and collaborate for a better future for their region.
But what started as an experiment in fostering more networked ways of working quickly became a mechanism for making real progress against longstanding civic issues—making the New Leadership Network a potentially powerful model for how leaders in other cities and communities could organize to solve intractable local problems.
Fresno’s New Leadership Network: Transforming a City and Its Future Through Networked Action is a new case study about the Irvine Foundation’s groundbreaking—and still unfolding—work in Fresno. Filled with the voices and perspectives of the leaders who are part of this network, the case study is a must-read for anyone hoping to inspire collective action on issues that matter to our communities, our cities, and our world.