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Emergency Decision-Making: a Social Impact Tool for Higher Education

With the emergence of the global COVID-19 pandemic, higher education institutions are stepping up to the challenge of pivoting their business models to play their role. Now, more than ever, institutional leaders are called upon to make immediate and profound decisions with far-reaching consequences – and with the potential to accelerate and scale their social impact ripple into their communities and beyond.

To help with this unique decision-making opportunity, the McConnell Foundation adapted its Strategic Planning Guidelines for Integrating Social Infrastructure into University and College Strategic Plans as a “strategic thinking” tool. Social impact institutions are encouraged to use this distilled set of insights to inform the strategic decisions they are called upon to make during the COVID crisis.

View the tool by clicking here

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NoteThis document was created in early April 2020 by Coro Strandberg, Social Impact Advisor to Re-Code, and then tested with close to 60 people from postsecondary, as well as individuals working in systems change and social impact more broadly. Their experiences, epistemologies, and frameworks all made this document richer. 

We were privileged to hear it interpreted through the lens of each person’s own work, whether they be a senior-level administrator, a social-innovation coach, a student, a community engagement professional, or otherwise.

These individuals offered insightful additions and modifications, and also thought of new ways of employing the tool. Our collective experiences and insights created a better end result, than where anyone of us could have gotten to on our own.

Thank you to all who contributed so thoughtfully. In this spirit, we invite continued feedback.