“Building the New:” Action Strategy’s Pathway

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”
-Socrates

Baby brain development is all about building the new—building neural pathways that form a healthy foundation for lifelong development. By the end of a baby’s first month of life, most babies can hold a parent’s gaze and follow a parent’s voice, snuggle into someone holding them, lift and hold their heads when on their bellies, and communicate with coos and other adorable sounds. While that may not sound like much in the abstract, that’s a lot of progress for a tiny human!

Action Strategy has also made a lot of progress in its first month of being convened outside of state government. As of Feb. 1, 2016, Action Strategy is convened out of Collaborative Leaders Network (CLN), the nonprofit organization that has served as the backbone organization to the Action Strategy since the Executive Office on Early Learning was established in 2012.

Same Structure, Same Strategies

In terms of structure, goals, and strategies for moving the work forward, nothing has been changed by the move. The six Teams, each convened by one public and one private partner, meet monthly to work toward four overarching outcomes:

  • Increase in percentage of babies born healthy
  • Increase in percentage of young children with development on track
  • Increase in percentage of children who enter kindergarten ready for school
  • Increase in percentage of children who are proficient learners in third grade.

The Teams will come together three times in 2016 for All Teams meetings at Ko‘olau Ballroom, and the Convener Team meets every other month to coordinate across teams. The Convener Team consists of the conveners of each Team and Action Strategy staff. The Early Learning Advisory Board (ELAB) chair and the director of the Executive Office of Early Learning are both invited to these meetings to ensure all three entities are working together to achieve the best outcomes for Hawaii’s keiki.

All Teams meetings are open to participants on any of the teams, plus partners who may not be able to participate on a Team but whose work furthers the overarching outcomes and intersects with Action Strategy efforts. All Teams meetings are held from 8:30-1:00 at Ko`olau Ballroom in Kanoehe. Dates are as follows:

  • Thursday, April 14, 2016
  • Thursday, August 11, 2016
  • Thursday, November 10, 2016

New Resources, New Location

Just as a baby’s development follows a typical path, the lifecycles of collective impact initiatives follow a typical path and Action Strategy is now in the implementation phase. Implementation requires flexibility and an environment that encourages experimentation and risk-taking. For Action Strategy, implementation includes obtaining funding for innovative, cross-sector projects and initiatives that contribute to the four overarching outcomes.

  • As Action Strategy entered the implementation phase, it became apparent that convening the initiative from a neutral nonprofit organization would
  • Embed the coordinating function in an environment that encourages risk-taking, flexibility, collaboration and experimentation
  • Increase the flexibility of the backbone organization to mobilize funding to support Action Strategy priorities
  • Provide more stable and ongoing support of the Action Strategy across political cycles
  • Allow for necessary differences and flexibility between long-term Action Strategy priorities and those of public partners.

Talking Points and an FAQ provide more details about Action Strategy’s closer alliance with CLN. In terms of new location, Collaborative Leaders Network (CLN) is located in the TOPA Financial Center at 700 Bishop Street in downtown Honolulu. Action Strategy Coordinator Kerrie Urosevich and Project Coordinator Karen Worthington have office space at CLN and access to meeting space and other resources through CLN.

Together We Will “Build the New”

Action Strategy’s ultimate goal is a comprehensive, coordinated early childhood system for Hawaii. Achieving this goal benefits everyone in Hawaii, regardless of age, and requires the involvement of everyone who can contribute their wisdom to the collective impact. Please contact Action Strategy to learn more about how you can be involved with this life-changing initiative.


Check in with the Action Strategy blog every few weeks to learn how:

  • Action Strategy is improving outcomes for children
  • You can connect with this initiative
  • The Collective Impact process works