Yet, like many publicly-funded systems that depend upon nonprofit service provision, this field is plagued by siloed funding, inconsistent accountability systems, and policy compleixty. It is easy to feel like you have working against 'the system' even when you are working in it.
Yet this group of leaders from various parts of the system -- community colleges, community organizations, adult basic education, department of human services, private funders -- gathered and overcame the cynicism that is so easy to carry when doing this work. They began to consider what we might do to inspire systems change. While there are no guarantees that this will be anything more than 'just a conversation,' I am hopeful. People make the system and people need to change it. In the end, it is that simple.
For more information on how this project and others are developing, check out the Future Services Institute.