Stewardship is a core concept for Community Commons and IP3 -- the organization that stewards Community Commons. Stewardship is defined as “the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care.” When applied to our collective work to advance healthy, equitable, sustainable communities, the concept describes leaders -- both people and organizations -- who take responsibility for forming working relationships to drive transformative change in regions and communities. Importantly, stewards within the context of our work to improve communities must have a vested interest in promoting an equity orientation in regard to purpose, power, and wealth.
Certainly, individuals can serve as stewards to advance community wellbeing, and stewardship is best accomplished when folks work together across differences and sectors to expand the Vital Conditions that all people and places need to thrive. We typically see stewardship having the greatest impact as a mechanism for shared responsibility and collective action; when the work has expanded, aligned breadth and depth, and in turn, expanded reach and impact.
Explore the resources below to learn more about stewardship.
One example of how stewardship shows up in our work to advance community wellbeing is through existing and emerging national networks with the goal to align thinking and approaches across organizations and communities. Networks help organize and scale shared stewardship to advance wellbeing.
As the inherent goal of Community Commons is to connect those driving change to the best tools, resources, data, and stories to support the work, we are uniquely positioned to share the ideas coming from these networks. We aim to learn from and contribute to experts in the field, to share local successes nationally, and to build bridges connecting communities doing similar work around the nation. We strongly believe our shared stewardship can catalyze stewardship at the local level -- in your community.
Below, we’ve included a collection of stewards that affirm our shared definition of stewardship, and who bring powerful resources, tools, and framing to support collective work to advance wellbeing.
There are countless examples of stewardship happening at many different levels. Any person or organization can be a steward of wellbeing -- as long as they are willing to share responsibility for working together with others to change the system we inhabit today and expand opportunities for all people to thrive tomorrow. Stewards believe in the power of working across difference and in solidarity with those who are struggling and suffering. Stewards exert influence from their positions at an organization or in the community; they share values and actions, but must also respond to the unique attributes of their community.
Explore stewardship in action: