ACT is in the process of developing a range of social innovation strategies and platforms. One part of the work is transforming health systems, for which we have a prototype: ACT Cincinnati (more information below). Another strategy is movement building at the city level, to create cities of the future where all children can thrive.
Turning cities into micro enterprises of social innovation
Cities have major influence on social determinants of health, development and wellbeing. This influence includes providing infrastructure – parks, recreation programs, libraries, community events and meetings, family support activities, and local transportation. Along with local schools, these city influenced factors represent the most immediate places that families go to present their hopes and express their needs. In short, cities not only can provide and leverage resources needed to support children and their families at the most immediate, neighborhood level, they also can enlist, support, and activate diverse leaders at the grassroots to contribute to both formal and informal services and supports that nurture the development of children and young people.
With key actors, such as the mayor and city council members, and framing of issues directly from community members, cities have the opportunity to prioritize challenges to child well-being and develop new and improved scaffolding that assures all children thrive. ACT Cities raises the visibility of whole child outcomes (healthy births, strong start in the first 1000 days, third grade reading level), and asks not only parents to be accountable for their children’s health, but communities and cities too. Recognizing that it truly does take an engaged and purposeful village to optimally raise a child, ACT Cities will connect advocates, leaders, and community members in diverse cities throughout the nation, providing a new kind of learning—a network in which cities can advance innovations, adopt best practices and better connect resources.
One of the first opportunities to build momentum and move forward ACT Cities is ACT California Cities (ACT-CA). With commitment and resources from the State, ACT-CA will launch a pilot effort in January 2019.
ACT On-Ramp Process
While each site will take a different path to build up momentum to achieve ACT outcomes, the on-ramp process for all sites will require 4 main steps, which can be repeated in cycles with improvements in each iteration. The on-ramp process is informed by design strategies that include a focus on achieving transformation to a 3.0 health system, using human-centered design, utilizing multi-level and multi-sector engagement, and optimizing lifelong health development.
"ACT has capability and possibility for bringing disparate groups together and work towards a shared goal."
-Lila Guirguis, Office of the Young Child, City of Pasadena