Leading Complex Collaborations

A How-To Course for Leaders




We live in a world of problems so complex that they cannot be effectively addressed by any one organization or even by any one sector. There is a growing understanding among social, private, and public sector leaders that lasting change and the resolution of these systemic issues is going to require effective collaboration across silos, across organizations, and across sectors.

Unfortunately, realizing the grand potential of collaboration is notoriously difficult in the real world. As Joycelyn Elders, the first African American to serve as the US Surgeon General, said: “Collaboration is an unnatural act between unconsenting adults.”

This course is designed to prepare leaders in all sectors to navigate the complex collaborations that are needed to make real impact on the issues facing our city, our nation, and our planet.

The cohort will include established and emerging leaders from private, public and social sectors. Ideal participants are practical optimists that can immediately apply tools and techniques in their work.

Over the course of three 3-hour workshops, participants in the course will learn:

The course is experiential. While grounded in theory, it is designed for practitioners, by practitioners, and the focus will be on learning by doing in peer groups and as a cohort. We will practice tools and techniques, and leave the reading and theory for those that want to dive deeper.

Course materials include tools and templates that can be readily applied to participants’ work.

Pricing (tiered):

First 8 applicants to register:

Next 8:

Final 8:

Limited Scholarships available upon request


Converge for Impact is a team of strategists and designers who partner with others to tackle complex social and environmental problems. As both a thought-leader and a team of accomplished practitioners, Converge has led the creation of multi-stakeholder collaborations, partnerships, and networks in fields as diverse as urban revitalization, healthcare, labor and human rights, and environmental conservation and stewardship.

Drawing on their lessons learned throughout years of experience as network practitioners, Converge partners have published multiple articles in the Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR) including The Tactics of Trust, curated a nine-part blog series on The New Network Leader, and led the second most popular SSIR webinar of all time, The Network Leader Roadmap. Over the past year, Converge partners have been the plenary speakers at numerous national and regional conferences including the annual SSIR Nonprofit Management Institute, the Department of Labor’s WIOA National Convening, the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers national conference, the Washington Nonprofits conference, among others.

David EhrlichmanPartner, Converge for Impact

Ehrlichman works to catalyze others to make their greatest contribution. Specializing in designing, leading, and evaluating networks and other forms of complex collaborations, he has helped build impact networks across the environmental, healthcare, education, economic, and civic sectors.

He was previously the lead Network Manager for the Santa Cruz Mountains Stewardship Network, as well as the lead Network Manager for the James Irvine Foundation New Leadership Network. Recent work includes helping to design the Summer Matters Network, the UCSF Health Coordination of Care Network, the Financial Advantage Network, and the Government Performance Consortium. He is also the author of multiple published articles in Stanford Social Innovation Review including The Most Impactful Leaders You’ve Never Heard OfFive Steps to Building an Effective Impact Network and The Tactics of Trust.

Ehrlichman holds a B.S. from Stanford University, and lives in Seattle, Washington.

Zach AndersonPartner, Converge for Impact

Zach works at the intersection of business, sustainability, and human development. Combining diverse experience working across industries in 13 countries, he supports teams to develop shared understanding, build authentic trust, and take action.

In the sustainability field, he has worked in commercial green building as a LEED certified professional, conducted sustainability assessments for a major retailer in China, played a key role in strategy and communications for the world’s largest berry company, and led numerous convenings, executive retreats, and team off sites.

In his work with Converge, he has led numerous engagements for a Fortune 10 technology company, participated in the launch of regional and national networks, and continued his work with executives teams to further their sustainability goals.

He has trained extensively in integral theory, and models of adult development and consciousness. He has a certificate in generating transformative change from Saybrook University, in addition to master's degrees in Business and Leadership. Zach has been a visiting faculty member at the University of Washington and Antioch College, where he taught courses on sustainable business and leadership.


We believe in a better world through inspiring entrepreneurship, and through community, space and educational events, we accelerate entrepreneurs toward building the future we want to live in. 

We provide a remarkable space for productive work, a driven community that resides at the intersection of technology and social good, and a diverse selection of programming and mentorship to guide our members with the tools they need to establish their idea.

Our community helps entrepreneurs and businesses consider the social and environmental impact of their business practices, while also pushing philanthropists and nonprofits to become self-sustaining through collaboration and more efficient business models.

Cole Hoover - Social Entrepreneur In Residence, Impact Hub Seattle

Cole Hoover is a consultant, lecturer and entrepreneur interested in the future of learning and using business principles to increase social and environmental impact. His unique collaboration with Impact Hub Seattle will experiment with new programming ideas to activate and strengthen the social impact mission of the organization.

Cole is the principal at Ponto Consulting and currently works with several organizations helping them increase their impact and ability to connect with a network of likeminded businesses and social enterprises to build new programs. Cole draws from 10 years of experience in the social impact field to help organizations take the projects and programs they have been dreaming about and turn them into reality. As an entrepreneur Cole’s experience spans technology, start-ups, activism, international development and new approaches to education.

As an educator Cole helped to found the first accredited social enterprise certificate in Washington state at UW Bothell and has taught this and other related courses at the University since 2012. Cole has also guest lectured around the world on the topics of social enterprise, equity and microfinance and enjoys engaging millennials around building meaningful careers in the social impact space. Cole currently serves as a board member and treasurer of the Whidbey Institute a capacity building center for changemakers and as a World Economic Forum Global Shapers.