The ‘Co-Creating Effective and Inclusive Organizations’ Project began in April 2012 as a two-year pilot funded and led by Bill Graustein and Niyonu Spann to increase inclusivity, justice and conscious co-creation in New Haven. Participating organizations had the opportunity to examine whether they are being the change they wished to see in the world (mission effectiveness).


Pilot Organizations partnered with CEIO and received training, support and direct funding to assist needed shifts in internal practices and external operations. The project’s core belief was that organizations in which there is shared power and responsibility are more effective and poised for igniting transformational change.


The CEIO Pilot Project was a two-year partnership between CEIO and New Haven community-serving movements and organizations to increase inclusivity, justice, conscious co-creation (see definition below) and overall mission effectiveness. Participating organizations were given the opportunity to examine their overall mission effectiveness and receive CEIO support to build upon their strengths and to transform limiting blocks. CEIO offered this support through capacity building and funding.




Through the Pilot we learned that to hold the space for and effectively manage this work required a more courageous witnessing, a higher standard of honesty and called for our most fierce, compassionate engagement.  When we were able to hold to these values, we stood ready to embrace the community's unfolding.  Members of "the village" continued to express their deepest yearnings for wholeness. 


During the Pilot, we moved to a place where a wider circle of community members began to trust and expect good things from CEIO and the call to deeper change.  So what did we learn? There were many, many lessons. 


Here are four of the most significant that we have chosen to act upon as CEIO moves forward:

People need help in understanding the depth of work required to become a more just and inclusive organization.  It seemed that CEIO needed to set up a pre-application process to expose people to opportunities to understand more clearly what they would be signing on for.

Through the Deeper Change Forums, a broader group on New Haven residents were engaged.  Creating a space for connecting across different identity groups with heart and an intentional focus on systemic power dynamics was a factor in increasing understanding of CEIO’s purpose and commitment and learning with and from amazing community members. 

People who invested in the core training supports, and engage fully with CEIO opportunities, benefit as intended.  When people from an organization go together to core training supports they built or strengthened relationships in ways that resulted in change.  The frameworks offered in BD101 were particularly valuable.

 It seemed to require 12 to 18 months just to establish trust between the Pilot Partner Organization and the CEIO CBTPs – to develop shared goals and the basic capacity to begin to hold the space for transformation.  At the close of two years, CBTPs and Organizations were just beginning to feel ready to take on the work.  True transformation would require that we commit to a longer partnership.


Co-Creating Effective & Inclusive Organizations
PO Box 8387 New Haven, CT 06530 | 
 203.584.8027 |

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