Submitted by: Caroline King, Placement & Development Coordinator, LEADERSHIP Philadelphia

LEADERSHIP Philadelphia (LP) needs your help identifying local Creative Connectors who use art, culture, and design to build community and economic vitality. 

To nominate, follow this link and click “Take Survey”: http://www.leadershipphiladelphia.org/connection.html

The concept of “connectors” comes from Malcolm Gladwell’s book The Tipping Point.  In order for an idea to take hold and change society, a connector – someone who talks to everyone as a hub of trust – has to grab hold of it and spread it around.  This type of leader serves as a catalyst that causes others to act.  They work behind the scenes to make things happen.

In 2006, LP launched the Connector Project, a three-phase research study to facilitate a conversation about leadership and connection in the Philadelphia region and to shine a light on connectors, those leaders who work across sectors for the common good.

In the first phase of the Connector Project, completed in 2006, LP undertook a civic process to identify, recognize, and convene these trusted leaders.  People throughout the region were asked to nominate individuals they know and trust, who work for the common good, and roll up their sleeves to get results. In identifying, recognizing, and convening this group, Philadelphia was driven to redefine leadership.  These newly defined leaders demonstrate the kind of collaborative, trustworthy, results-oriented behavior that citizens long to see in their leaders. We studied those leaders to find out how they lead so effectively and developed a curriculum based on the study results.  The original connectors mentored high school seniors in the first Connector Youth Program, which was created in partnership with the Philadelphia Youth Network and is run by that organization. 

In phase two, LP identified and convened Emerging Connectors.  Now in its third phase, LP is seeking to identify Creative Connectors who use art, culture, and design to build community and economic vitality.

Please nominate our region’s Creative Connectors and encourage others to do so as well.  Deadline to nominate is July 1, 2011.

The first of its kind, the Connector Project has now been replicated in Louisville, KY and is currently under way in Tucson, Portland, and Lexington. 

Sponsors include the City of Philadelphia, the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, Leadership Philadelphia, Newsworks, and Philly360o.