Partnership Principles

What We Care About – Our Partnership Principles

Our partnerships are guided by seven principles. We do our best to embody these principles within SLS and to educate GT faculty, students, and staff about these principles. We seek partners who embody them as well. We see these principles as key to forging and sustaining partnerships that create or support sustainable communities here and abroad. We have a number of examples here of long-term partnerships that we feel exemplify these principles.  Learn more about our overall Partnership Strategy here.


1. START WITH ASSETS: 

Recognize and start working with communities from their assets, or strengths, rather than their problems. Engage with community partners as experts who bring important knowledge and skills to the table.


2. FOCUS ON EQUITY AND JUSTICE:

Keep equity and justice at the forefront of all of our work aimed at making communities more sustainable. Highlight marginalized voices and bring them to the center of the conversation. 


3. CHAMPION  SYSTEMS CHANGE:

Address the root causes of unsustainability and inequity.


4. SUPPORT COMMUNITY INNOVATION:

Seek out and support community members’ innovations for change that need support to be activated for impact. 


5. PRIORITIZE PROCESS BEFORE OUTCOMES:

Establish processes for collaboration that emphasize reciprocity, co-learning, and co-creation. Remember that the journey impacts the outcome.


6. CONTRIBUTE TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD:

Cultivate change in our own backyard, as responsible and engaged community members. The proximity also allows for extensive and meaningful participation of faculty, staff, and students.


7. APPLY TECHNOLOGY IN SOCIAL CONTEXT:

Incorporate technology as one piece of the complex socio-technical solutions required to solve sustainability challenges in communities. Tailor it to local conditions and possibilities, and use it to advance the principles above.