Image (left) OCIC Logo. Text Below: Setting the stage for Collective Impact: Ontario Municipalities, Colleges and Universities in International Cooperation. Image (right): Map of Canada in grey, with Ontario in teal, with the 13 colour SDG wheel super imposed over Ontario

Setting the Stage for Collective Impact

In 2015, the international community agreed on a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to guide local, national, regional and global efforts to realize sustainable development. The goals set out an ambitious agenda for all countries that includes targets on environmental, social and economic sustainability and recognizes the need to ensure that all people everywhere benefit from progress. The agenda also promises inclusivity, to address inequalities and to “leave no one behind.” The SDGs present an opportunity for enhancing collective impact in Ontario and Canada on sustainable development. Collective impact is a framework that aims to tackle complex problems facing society by working in collaboration across a wide range of stakeholders – government, business, civil society, citizens and others – to achieve long-term, transformative change.

OCIC is keen to explore how it can contribute to achieving the SDGs in Ontario and abroad through collective impact. To that end, we have launched an initiative aimed at furthering engagement between OCIC members and municipalities, colleges and universities (MCUs) in Ontario. The initiative includes establishing a baseline of how selected Ontario MCUs engage in international cooperation and examining opportunities for engagement between MCUs and Ontario-based civil society organizations with a view towards specific options for collective impact and individual collaborations.

Phase 1: Setting the Stage for Collective Impact: Ontario Municipalities, Colleges and Universities in International Cooperation Report

Prepared by Shannon Kindornay, Adjunct Research Professor, Carleton University and Independent Consultant, in collaboration with OCIC, this report highlights a number of entry points for collective impact. The priorities articulated by municipalities suggests that there is alignment of interests between municipalities, OCIC members and other stakeholders in Ontario concerned with sustainable development. This presents an opportunity to identify concrete priorities for collective impact. In terms of international cooperation, opportunities exist for OCIC and its members to work with municipalities in terms of improving public engagement on sustainable development issues, linking local and global priorities.

Click here to download the report in PDF | Word

Phase 2: Realizing Sustainable Development in Ontario and Abroad through Collective Impact Survey

In the second phase of research OCIC is reaching out to specific MCU contacts to solicit feedback on sustainable development priorities, international cooperation activities and potential areas for collaboration. If you receive this survey, please respond from the perspective of your department, program or division within your institution. If you do not receive this survey and would like to participate, please contact Kimberly Gibbons at

SDG Icons in two rows. Top Row, l-r: 1 No Poverty, 2 zero hunger, 3 good health and well being, 4 quality education, 5 gender equality, 6 clean water and sanitation, 7 affordable and clean energy, 8 decent work and economic growth, 9 industry, innovation and infrastructure. Bottom row, l-r: 10 reduced inequalities, 11, sustainable cities and economies, 12 responsible consumption and production, 13 climate action, 14 life below water, 15 life on land, 16 peace, justice and strong institutions, 17 partnerships for the goals, Global Goals wheel icon