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A cross-sector, collaborative approach.

Dementia Network Calgary is taking a collective impact approach to achieving its strategic goal. Collective impact was popularized in a 2011 article written by John Kania and Mark Kramer, published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review. In this article, Kania and Kramer define collective impact as “the commitment of a group of important actors from different sectors to a common agenda for solving a specific social problem”. According to FSG, the consulting firm co-founded by Kramer and managed by Kania, the five conditions of collective impact success are:

  1. Common Agenda: All participants share a vision for change that includes a common understanding of the problem and a joint approach to solving the problem through agreed-upon actions.
  2. Shared Measurement: All participating organizations agree on the ways success will be measured and reported, with a short list of common indicators identified and used for learning and improvement.
  3. Mutually Reinforcing Activities: A diverse set of stakeholders, typically across sectors, coordinate a set of differentiated activities through a mutually reinforcing plan of action.
  4. Continuous Communication: All players engage in frequent and structured open communication to build trust, assure mutual objectives, and create common motivation.
  5. Backbone Support: An independent, funded staff dedicated to the initiative provides ongoing support by guiding the initiative’s vision and strategy, supporting aligned activities, establishing shared measurement practices, building public will, advancing policy, and mobilizing resources.


The Backbone Organization of Dementia Network Calgary – Alzheimer Society of Calgary – plays a coordinating and organizing role in support of Dementia Network Calgary’s efforts to achieve its strategic goal. The Backbone activities (below) have been adapted from an article published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review.

  1. Support the development of a shared vision and strategy.
  2. Support the coordination of aligned activities that advance the strategy.
  3. Facilitate shared measurement practices.
  4. Build momentum for the work of Dementia Network Calgary in the broader community.
  5. Help to coordinate funding.
  6. Commit dedicated staff time and funding to support the work of Dementia Network Calgary.