September 20, 2012

In 2012, Criterion Institute launched the Leaders Shaping Markets initiative to build and support leaders who work on changing the rules of market systems. We co-led this work with Cheryl Dahle, Michele Kahane, and Rachel Sinha, creating space and time in dialogues to codify what we knew about approaches to shaping markets. Our goal was to build and support a community of people who work on changing how the systems underlying our economic markets work. We wanted to create a different definition of who we thought of as leaders.

We held a three-part series of dialogues to bring together the practitioners and thought leaders from the world of shaping market systems in order to formalize the conversation, identify threads and build a more cohesive field around shaping market systems. The three dialogues – one in Berkeley, one in London, and one in New York – brought together a total of 45 people for conversations that were rich and pioneering.

Our work covered everything from strategies, tactics, tools and practices of systems change work to ethnographic analysis of who these leaders are, how they got started, and how they have continued to shift market systems. Supported by volunteers Jos Hill and Rachel Mosher-Williams, we conducted ethnographic research involving interviews with 25 leaders shaping markets and focusing on the paths and personality traits of the leaders shaping market systems.  

Instead of a report to disseminate what was learned, we opted to have a round table discussion. David Bank interviewed Joy Anderson, Cheryl Dahle, Michele Kahane, and Rachel Sinha for a three-part dialogue series discussing lessons learned.

In 2014, FlipLabs took on this work, and we continue to provide guidance and support. More information can be found on their website here //

Links to Related Resources:

Criterion’s Perspective on Shaping Markets

On the Impact Frontier: Leaders Who Are Shaping Market Systems – Impact IQ

Rachel Sinha’s Reflections on the Systems Change Practitioners and Ecosystem

Video from Berkeley Dialogue

London Dialogue Reflections by Rachel Sinha

London Dialogue Attendee Bios

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