Our collectives practice works to bring people together to achieve more than the sum of their parts. We enable groups of people to identify each other’s shared identity and purpose, and through that their common needs and priorities.
Collectives break siloed thinking by bringing diversity of thought, expertise and experience to bear on a problem. Our job is to enable, encourage and grow that collaboration, and those relationships.
The word “collective” simply means “together”. It brings with it a sense of power, possibility and action. That makes it a powerful tool for change - the sort of change that puts a dent in the world.
Brink wants to build a world where:
- everyone has equitable access to networks and resources;
- diverse people, knowledge and data come together to build on pre-existing efforts; and
- groups can easily collaborate to reach sustainable and impactful social change
This is more possible and the results are better when people work together. Collaboration fosters relationships; relationships foster ideas and action. More brains from more diverse backgrounds make more of a difference. We convene groups of people who are frustrated by inequality in the world and see opportunities to change it; we harness their collective energy, expertise and shared identity, and use it to drive forward positive change.
Decentralising power creates space for unheard voices
Communities decentralise power. They create space for people who might not otherwise have a voice, to speak and be listened to. Our work with communities means we can surface the collective voice of the participants, which puts them in a better position to influence funders and decision-makers. The collective voice speaks louder, with more force and more clarity. It’s more likely to be heard, and more likely to be actioned, than any single individual voice ever can be.
Communities develop their own strength through the network of participants, further lessening the inequity of competing for attention against those who are already well-connected and well networked. All community members benefit from the combined power contained within, and supported by, the interconnections between the individual members.
Communities help us redefine what "expertise" really means. Academic expertise is one thing, but so is lived experience. Communities that include both sorts of people are communities with greater diversity of thought, and consequently: greater diversity of ideas and action.
Change takes many forms
Brink has been involved with helping:
- social entrepreneurs to build technology to save lives in conflict settings, enabling them to find partnerships, share learnings and leverage their collective voice in the sector
- policy officials to not reinvent the wheel by sharing learnings as they design ways to encourage innovation to flourish in the places struggling with gnarly problems
- a network of city mayors to problem-solve together as they move African cities towards change using digital technologies
- to devise ways to boost the supply of medical grade oxygen to seriously ill patients during a global pandemic by convening diverse stakeholders: manufacturers, policymakers and funders
We also host Collective Conversations: a series to inspire, equip and embolden a movement of leaders facilitating collective learning, intelligence and action.
Every collective is different, and each one serves a different purpose. Collectives are as diverse and unique as the people within them. That’s what makes them so magical.
That said, different collectives have different things in common, and different areas of overlapping interest. We use what we learn working with one collective to contribute to the next one, cross-pollinating new thinking for the benefit of all.
Collective Conversations: our event series
Collective Conversations is a virtual event series run by Brink about building networks coalitions and movements for positive social change. Our hope is that Collective Conversations becomes a place to inspire, equip and embolden a movement of leaders facilitating collective learning, intelligence and action.
Find out more about Collective Conversations.
- Case study: Thin air that saves lives
- Find out about our Collectives Framework, a tool to help you find out the potential for activity and action within a newly formed, or about-to-be-formed, group of people with a shared purpose