Co-creation: Viewing Partnerships through a New Lens, provided a fresh look at public private partnerships and the collective work forged by the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy (CCP), the Connecticut Early Childhood Funder Collaborative, and the State of Connecticut (Bowie, 2016). The partnership offered the opportunity to explore co-creation as a new paradigm and lens with which to design and assess collective work, particularly when trying to achieve large-scale systems change.
In employing co-creation, the partnership established new structures and adopted processes that enabled a diverse group of individuals and entities to voluntarily contribute their skills, expertise, and resources to create a state level early childhood systems approach in Connecticut. This co-creation process also resulted in important transformations within the entities involved.
For CCP, it was an opportunity to explore and test a new role and working structure in direct response to the evolving needs and desires within Connecticut's philanthropic community. Over the last 47 years, CCP has functioned as a network of various types of philanthropic organizations. CCP connects grantmakers to address issues both individually and collectively, is a resource for grantmaking where funders can access critical information and services, and is a voice for philanthropy representing the philanthropic sector to key audiences (Strategic Plan, Connecticut Council for Philanthropy, 2014).
Within the public-private partnership, CCP established a new working relationship with the Early Childhood Funder Collaborative and with state government, which ultimately shifted the role of CCP. This new role moved beyond offering the typical program management and administrative support and in doing so gained the ability to bring forth different perspectives and new strategies in order to strengthen philanthropy's contribution to systems change. This shift was also in alignment with, and furthered, the mission of the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy to promote and support effective philanthropy for the public good.