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Virtual Workshop:
Leveraging Creative Tensions: Funder Edition

Pacific US: October 12, 2023 |10:00 am - 1:30 pm
Eastern US: October 12, 2023 |1:00 pm - 4:30 pm


Support grantee-led change or be a strategic philanthropist? Fund programs or capacity? Focus on short-term wins or long-term systemic change? Philanthropic organizations today face a range of tensions that can be tough to navigate. This workshop will help you turn tensions like these into sources of deep understanding and lasting innovation.


In this hands-on workshop, you will experience and learn methods for identifying, mapping, and leveraging the benefits of powerful polarities that impact your work, and transform stuckness and polarization into momentum and equitable collaboration. By providing a practical framework and tools for addressing the underlying fears, values, and aspirations at play in any situation, this approach lays a foundation for success in any system change initiative.

CoCreative has developed and refined this powerful workshop internally with a diverse group of funders around the world. We're now offering this funder-specific version for open registration for the first time.

“CoCreative provided an amazing experience on leveraging creative tensions for our team here at WFF. It was an engaging and informative session that will significantly advance our work as critical thinkers and strategic learners.”

- Matthew Carr, Strategy, Learning and Evaluation Director, Walton Family Foundation

This workshop will support you to:

  1. ​Identify powerful tensions that can threaten trust and undermine funder-grantee relationships

  2. Reframe those tensions to create shared understanding of the value of divergent perspectives

  3. Create integrated approaches to leveraging the tensions over time for better results and deeper trust, alignment, and engagement

You will leave this workshop with increased effectiveness and skill in:

  • Differentiating between positions, interests, values, and polarities so you can intervene more strategically

  • Perceiving the underlying values and fears that are driving key stakeholders' motivations and behaviors

  • Mapping polarities to reveal the hidden interdependence in opposing views

  • Understanding the subordinated values behind your foundation’s dominant cultural values, and begin to explore how these values biases may be undermining effectiveness

  • Foster deeper collaboration at the level of values to drive more robust analysis and resilient solutions


Format: The session will take place via Zoom and will be highly participatory, including small group work and co-creation of “polarity maps,” and will include time for reflection, integration, and planning. Our learning approach includes stories and examples of how funders are leveraging these tensions now, hands-on learning exercises, and role-playing scenarios.

We highly recommend team-based participation to maximize learning and integration.

Best suited for: Individuals and teams who actively engaged in funding social change work, especially initiatives that involve diverse stakeholders

Session inputs: None required

Registration cost: $325 USD per person. Registration includes digital copies of all course materials and resources. 

Course length: 3.5 hours

Trainers: Luzette Jaimes, Heather Equinoss, Russ Gaskin


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Did you miss the informational session we hosted? No problem! Access the PDF presentation we shared by clicking the image to the right. 

Got a tough problem to solve or a big vision to realize? Register now to get the tools, frameworks, and skills you need to lead complex change.
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