We cannot simply innovate our way to a new future. At Criterion we understand that we must welcome new people and their ideas to the table, and support them that they may both take their seats with greater confidence, and influence the mindsets of those already there.
We are committed to building systems and structures that support and further human development to empower more people to create the future. The collective action builds a base of leaders who have engaged in a simple action. As we learn about this base of individuals and networks, we share their stories with each other, identify potential for additional collective action, and find ways to convene by region or subject matter.
We measure our success in this area by engaging individuals from across the country, who live in diverse communities and espouse varying beliefs. In particular, we work with church leaders engaged through Criterion in intellectual theological discovery at the intersection of faith and the economy. One way we do this is through our close partnership with the ELCA. We also engage with leaders in social finance and those who work in organizations that benefit women and girls who work with Criterion to shape decisions in finance through the practices of gender lens investing. Currently, we are working with the Ms. Foundation to create a blueprint for women’s funds to be players in this field.
Our theory of change contains six foundational elements: cultural reframes, invitations to simple action, a base of leaders equipped for this work, design and demonstration of new possibilities, institutional structures to sustain leadership, and amplification of the work.