ABOUT the IDC
An experiment aimed at improving cohesion, coordination, and collaboration in education.
THE INTEGRATION DESIGN CONSORTIUM
EXPLORING Fragmentation and Coherence
In one attempt to catalyze the shift to more productive ways of working, Carnegie Corporation of New York has launched the Integration Design Consortium: a collaborative learning network that brings together five design teams to create new, innovative approaches within education. The teams— 2Revolutions, Bellwether, Education First, FSG, and The Teachers Guild—are working from the classroom to the statehouse to create a more integrated, equitable education system.
The Business Innovation Factory managed the Consortium—connecting and convening the teams, as well as collecting insights towards a combined learning agenda. Ultimately, the IDC seeks to share these learnings with the larger field of education and philanthropy—making a compelling case that greater coherence is needed if we are to create transformational, equitable change in the field of education.
UNIQUE ENTRY POINTS AND COMPLEMENTARY APPROACHES
Not only are the teams working in various sites across the country, but they are also exploring fragmentation at different levels of the system. They are taking unique but complementary approaches to increasing integration in the education system. By adapting many existing approaches from different fields, the Consortium aims to explore and better understand the conditions, structures, and work processes that can support better alignment of efforts to create a more equitable education system.
MORE ON THE TEAMS
THE IDC: A COLLABORATIVE LEARNING NETWORK
Although each of the teams has chosen to address the problem in a different way, there are also commonalities across the projects. In addition to working on their individual projects, the five teams came together in an ongoing process of collective sensemaking through in-person convenings and virtual engagement. To help facilitate this process, the “ground rules” and activities of the IDC are built around four principles:
Generate innovative yet practical and testable approaches - Push each firm to work rapidly and efficiently, within a fixed budget and timeline and share each firm’s individual approach with other participating teams.
Surface areas of agreement and divergence about fragmentation - Create opportunities for feedback, dialogue, and questions that continue to push our collective best thinking; begin to identify common and divergent ideas.
Build a common understanding of the issue and a vision for the field - Develop a shared definition of fragmentation, some common language, and a beginning framework for addressing it; determine key actors and stakeholders whose actions can make a difference.
Cultivate a learning community among participants - Enable a sense of collective purpose, trust, and collaboration, and create opportunities for connections that go beyond a single undertaking
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE IDC
The Integration Design Consortium was launched in In early 2016, when Carnegie Corporation of New York invited a group of eight firms that brought a range of expertise in education policy, strategy development, and human-centered design to participate.
Each firm received a small grant to explore and develop an approach to address the problem of fragmentation in education. Because the Corporation was interested not only in what the groups produced but also in how they worked, the Corporation asked the firms to be transparent about the methods they used to address the issue. The intention was that the firms’ skills and perspectives would complement and challenge one another, and that their joint focus and sense of common purpose would demonstrate that, together, we can do better.
From the original eight teams, five teams were chosen to move forward with their two-year, grant-funded projects. Over the past two years, these five teams have worked together to help gain a further understanding of what it means to “work differently” in order to overcome the patterns of fragmentation in the education system.