The Alliance: Collectively shaping the way forward

Quotes provided by Andres Roberts, our guide and facilitator of the Allies in-person meeting and upcoming deep-dive session at the Rockerfeller Centre in Bellagio.

To achieve the SDGs by 2030 new models of leadership, partnerships and collaboration are needed. The building of an Alliance, by a varied and diverse group of stakeholders, is dedicated in working towards this. This model is one not driven by rules, expectations and hierarchy, but instead by letting high performers manage themselves in a flexible environment. There’s no blueprint for this, but this is where the value lies – it is ‘building the bridge as we go over it’ to allow and encourage learning along the way. Following the global consultation phase and the launch of the WBA in September, it is great to see the ways in which the Alliance has begun to take steps to collectively shape the way forward.

“The Alliance represents the kind of change many people are working towards and this task is bigger than any one organisation is capable of doing. There seems to be little doubt that the Alliance is needed to galvanise people across sectors and backgrounds. That does not mean it will be easy, but it is a great place to start.”

Back in June, Allies gathered just outside of Amsterdam for the first in-person meeting. In a moment to take pause and reflect on the journey so far, discussions centered on sharing initial findings from the consultation phase for feedback, the potential of the Alliance and key questions regarding our next steps. Not only did the gathering provide great insight to this, but it was fantastic to see everyone together to share knowledge, form new relationships or simply strengthen old ones – it was the Alliance coming to life! Conversations surrounded how the Alliance can create new ways of working together, and since June some practical steps have been taken to turn those words to actions, in the creation of the Alliance Learning Platform.

“My sense is that the Alliance needs to combine two levels of conversation: a mix of practical workstreams and support structures focused on delivery, with wider threads of support to connect at a level of purpose, design principles and collaborative working. I think it’s important to combine strong stepping stones to move things forward practically, while leaving room to learn.”

The Alliance Learning Platform will involve regular Online Dialogues – the first of which was on October 4th over two sessions to accommodate different time zones – and focused on the development of benchmarks. The aim of the Online Dialogues is to not only discuss certain topics but to create an online environment where everyone feels they have an equal seat at the table. With each Online Dialogue experienced, the hope is that the value of the sessions improves as we become used to working together in this way. Learning Circles, a kind of working group, will flow from these monthly dialogues on topics that meet a collective desire to explore. Second to this, smaller in-person Deep Dive Sessions on specific areas will be arranged, that will always flow back to the full group for discussion and agreement. The WBA is excited to have the opportunity to hold the first Deep Dive Session at the Rockerfeller Centre in Bellagio in late November. The three day deep-dive will focus on championing leadership and change, making a true impact and pioneering a new way of working as the WBA and an Alliance.

The first steps have been taken, so let’s keep on walking and find new ways of working together that cultivate open, frank and quality dialogue. Only with such a momentum will the Alliance be able to maximise its collective impact towards the SDGs – lets see where we go next!

“We need to explore new organistional forms to help us collaborate in new ways and adapt in complex environments. Wouldn’t it be amazing for the WBA to be a practice ground for doing this?”

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