Skip to content

We’re calling on donors to increase investment into collective leadership for sustainable development

If collective leadership is vital for sustainable development and changing systems, where should you put your money when you talk about system change?

We’ve seen that this new paradigm of leadership doesn’t magically materialize, but that it can be developed through intentional work and adequate investment. From Peru to India, North America to Uganda, investments in collective leadership development are supporting local actors to create sustainable change in their systems.

In our Case For Change: Where to put your money when you talk about system change? We argue that:

  • Investments should foster the leadership of people throughout ecosystems, including people with positional authority and people with the most proximity to the  issues at hand
  • Investments should foster shared purpose towards strengthening systems and achieving equity, justice, and sustainable development
  • Investments should move beyond individual conceptions of leadership and foster the skills, mindsets, and conditions to enable leadership that is collaborative and that maximizes diverse perspectives
  • Investments should foster diverse leadership proximate to developing contexts, especially by developing people who have experienced the inequities being addressed

“Where to put your money when you talk about system change?” was produced by Room 17, a working group for Sustainable Development Goal 17 on Partnerships for the goals that convened as part of the Center for Sustainable Development at The Brookings Institution and The Rockefeller Foundation 17 Rooms Flagship 2023.

Where to put your money when you talk about system change?

Join our Community

We invite you to join the conversation! Share your ideas, give feedback on our evolving effort, and contribute to our expanded understanding and adoption of a “people first” approach to development.
If you want to speak to someone about how to transform philanthropic investment towards collective leadership, please contact [email protected].