Across California, regional leaders are developing solutions to economic, environmental, and social challenges that cut across geographic and political boundaries. A new report, “Regional Innovations: Promising Practices from the California Stewardship Network,” profiles eleven of these regional innovations from across the state.
Ranging from regional economic development, to Latino advancement, to improvement of regional mental health systems, each innovation demonstrates how a stewardship approach can address a wide range of challenges. By encouraging productive collaboration across sectors, steward leaders have developed solutions to regional challenges that cannot be meaningfully addressed in isolation.
Each region profiled in the Regional Innovations report is a member of the California Stewardship Network, a coalition of regional leaders committed to finding collaborative solutions to complex issues facing California’s diverse regions. The Network is dedicated to encouraging and educating other practitioners across the state about the stewardship approach to regional problem-solving. In addition, the Network plays a feedback role to the State, demonstrating the importance of regional, bottom-up innovation in informing statewide priorities.
While each innovation addresses different regional challenges, the solutions are focused on applying a stewardship approach, caring responsibly for diverse regional assets and working collaboratively to achieve the greatest, long-term benefit for California.
Several regions pioneered initiatives focused on preparing youth for success by building a civic infrastructure around school systems to engage the broader community in supporting youth. Latino advancement also emerged as a priority across regions, with initiatives aimed at supporting Latino leaders and closing the achievement gap.
Many regional economic development strategies focused on a cluster approach, working with key business leaders as well as public sector partners to identify and mobilize key industry clusters and advance the regional economy.
Consistently, each regional innovation spotlights the interconnection between economic, social, and environmental outcomes. Innovations focus on strategies that increase the long-term returns on investment to the region’s economy, people and environment.
These innovations are just a sample of the many strategies steward leaders are developing to build more prosperous regions across California. For more on the California Stewardship Network, see www.castewardship.org.
Chair, California Stewardship Network