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Creating Systemic Change


The organizations we work for and the communities we live in are no different than nature itself. Each system is dynamic and complex, the sum of many parts that combine and support life within the system.

In order to make a difference and ensure our impact is sustainable, the Best Year Yet foundation looks for the fingerprints of our impact at the largest level of “systems,” also known as systemic change.

This systemic change requires fundamental shifts in how the system functions as a whole and is only possible when those we serve to pass it on to others. Best Year Yet co-founder Tim Ditzler describes it as “a triple win whammy”; a win for us to fulfill on our mission of impact, a win for those we serve to shift and transform themselves, and the third win for those we support to pass it on, creating an extended chain linked together in purpose.

The Foundation at Work

An excellent example of this kind of impact is our work with Comal Independent School District, one of the largest school districts in Texas. Working with both administrators and teachers helps us create the “triple win”:

  • Win #1Direct impact: supporting the transformation of teachers and administrators
  • Win #2Secondary impact: helping those teachers to better support the kids they teach and for the administrators to better manage the administration made up of hundreds of people
  • Win #3Systemic impact: positively changing the communities that include those teachers, administrators, students, families, and ultimately the social fabric that connects them all

Empowering Resilience

An important factor in creating ‘systemic change’ is resilience. This means that the change will persist and adapt to new circumstances as the internal and external environment alters. Because of this, resilience typically requires multiple, mutually reinforcing changes.

A truly resilient system is a lofty goal, and typically not achieved by one program working alone.  Each program, however, can develop a vision of what a resilient system might look like, and support multiple smaller changes that will contribute to it.  InteraWorks supports this move to a resilient system with learning journeys to support growth and adaptability to our constantly changing environment.

Our End Game

A top objective of the Best Year Yet Foundation is to partner with those who are out there in the world making change happen at the systemic level. We provide the resources to help break down boundaries and address the relationships between systems, components, and change.

As we navigate our way through our increasingly complex world, what change do you want to make?  What level of impact do you want to have?

If these motivations touch your heart and soul, if you want to make an impact at all 3 levels (direct, secondary, and systemic), we ask you to consider partnering with the Best Year Yet Foundation to help us continue and expand this vital work.

Aaron Cohen
Executive Director, Best Year Yet Foundation