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Making Collective Impact Count in a Year

As back to school sales grace our TV screens and social media feeds once again, EWB chapters are feverishly putting together final portfolio plans for the coming semester. With this fall marking the first time since 2019 that all campuses are hosting in-person orientations, local chapter leaders are cautiously optimistic about the opportunity to make a larger impact and recruit new volunteers to help make their bold project ideas a reality this coming year.

Initially introduced in spring 2020, the EWB Community Impact Framework defines the core areas in which EWB chapters collectively aim to make change that aligns with EWB’s mission. With focuses spanning “Diversity, Equity & Inclusion,” “Sustainable Infrastructure & Communities,” “Energy, Climate & Environment,” “Universal Security,” and “Intentional Partnerships,” the Framework enables local chapters to maintain unique identities based on their interests, while ensuring that they are all working towards common goals.

At this year’s Leadership Summit, EWB Chapter Leaders were introduced to a new set of targets that helped to make the Framework SMARTer (more specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based.) Drawing from the influence of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), these targets delineate aspirational objectives for EWB chapters to help the world meet in each of the five Impact Framework areas by the year 2030. In total, our staff team announced 15 new targets and their associated indicators for Chapter Presidents to mull over as they began their planning for the 2022-2023 year.

In addition to the new targets, EWB addressed a long-requested demand from community members to bring more meaning and focus to local chapter work. Drawing inspiration from the urgency of climate adaptation and green innovation solutions, we reached out to our community members to ask which related targets they were most interested in addressing. The takeaway from this process was that members most valued action towards the following target: Substantially reduce waste generation on land and in our water systems through prevention, reduction, recycling, reuse, and other sustainable practices at the individual and national levels.

Stay tuned for updates and opportunities throughout the year to engage more deeply with the Impact Framework and this year’s major targets. If you want to learn more about how local chapters will be tracking and measuring impact this year, you can register to join us at next week’s Community Impact Town Hall, which will be taking place on Tuesday, August 30 at 6pm EST. We hope to see you there!

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