Peopl around a table exploring the relationships between different goals in the Pittsburgh region.

Untitled and Pittsburgh-based DISCOVER network, coordinated by Sustainable Pittsburgh, share similar aims of creating shared narratives of just, equitable & sustainable transformation and building coalitions. Untitled and DISCOVER partnered in spring 2022 to increase alignment and potential for strategic collaboration between select Pittsburgh nonprofits and community-based organisations. Leaders from 11 different organisations joined the programme.

In the monthly sessions the group explored the interconnectedness of regional goals for 2030, as well as imagined different pathways and joint experiments to achieve them. Untitled Team and the programme manager Katie Grimm from Sustainable Pittsburgh led the sessions.

Systems level conversations are valuable but rare

The core value of the programme proved to be the shared space to reflect the change and one’s own work at the systems level with other leaders. This is almost a luxury amid the pressures of daily work.

”These workshops expanded and refined my mental map of systems change. Having the time and space to explore these concepts with such a great group of leaders was a gift”, says Scott Wolovich, Executive Director of New Sun Rising, of the programme. Lydia Morin, Executive Director of CONNECT, shares the experience: ”I’m thrilled to have built deeper relationships with leaders working in and around the areas I work in. We definitely need to keep building on this and our relationships!”

The program manager Katie Grimm is happy with the outcomes: We pushed our leaders to have a systems-level conversation they have been flirting with and which seems to be rare elsewhere. In the short time we had, we were able to create a culture and trust for it. Untitled brought a very different, galvanising lens and language to the work: Its view of one transformation and interrelated crises. The message that we are transitioning into the next era.”

The programme was supported by The Heinz Endowments. The participants were:

  • Jason Berry, Director of Applied Research of UrbanKind Institute
  • LuAnn Brink, Chief Epidemiologist at Allegheny County Health Department
  • Karina Chavez, Executive Director of Pittsburgh Council on Higher Education
  • Lora Dziemiela McKnight, COO of Vibrant Pittsburgh
  • Hannah Karolak, Director of Executive in Residence Programs at The Forbes Funds
  • Markese Long, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Community Engagement of Partner4Work
  • Lydia Morin, Executive Director of CONNECT
  • Joylette Portlock, Executive Director of Sustainable Pittsburgh
  • Angela Reynolds, CEO of YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh
  • Sarah Rosso, Executive Director of Hugh Lane Wellness Foundation and
  • Scott Wolovich, Executive Director of New Sun Rising.