Intertwine Alliance: May the Strength of Natural Systems be with Us

Imagine a world in which all natural systems were nourished and cared for by coalition, consisting of thousands of people, supported by over a hundred organization, backed by billions of dollars. What a dream! Well, for a select 3,000 square miles in the Pacific Northwest, this is reality. The Intertwine Alliance is a coalition of 115 public, private, and nonprofit organizations based in the Portland and Vancouver regions that came together in 2011 because shared interests in environmental knowledge, sustainability, and practices. Their mission: "Transportation, Jobs, Health, Wealth, Education & Environment. Intertwined."

The Intertwine Alliance operates by a framework of Collective Impact-- "the commitment of a group of actors from different sectors to a common agenda for solving a complex social or environmental problem"-- by which they have based their initiatives. 

This collective impact perspective had lead to 6 chief goals:
     -Improving health
     -Creating jobs
     -Reducing costs
     -Expanding transportation networks
     -Fostering learning
     -Maintain clean air and water

From these goals, Intertwine lists 7 Alliance initiative platforms:
     -Active Transportation
     -Communications/Our Common Ground Campaign
     -Conservation Education
     -Health and Nature
     -Regional Systems of Parks and Trails

Each Alliance calendar month is brimming with trainings, meetings, partnership opportunities, and action. At the core of Intertwine's initiative platforms is Communications, specifically Our Common Ground Campaign. Communication is crucial for the success of Intertwine, the success Intertwine's interventions, and the success of all natural systems. In order to effectively communicate, Intertwine created a campaign called Our Common Ground. The principle behind the name is that we all come from different walks of life, with different upbringing, education, family, social networks, environment, etc., and that fueling success in the few places where we do find common ground comes down to one thing: the environment. 

In a growing world with "environmental literacy on the decline," Our Common Ground works to target urban areas where environment might not be on the minds of the community. In developing a common ground platform, Intertwine has created"a fresh approach to selling nature." David Karstad, a brand expert and member of Intertwine explains how challenging reaching a global audience can be in the video Our Common Ground: How to Sell Sustainability Without Selling Out.

This communications-based approach is so vital because 115 organizations can't strengthen the world's natural systems alone. This is a global community effort, and it truly is where we all can find a common ground.

"The Intertwine isn't just our region's network of parks, trails, and natural areas. It's a redefinition of where we live… The Intertwine is an idea that can bring us together. The Intertwine is our Common Ground."


View Our Common Ground report-- take the challenge, get involved!