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Concept Note: Ideas Lab


Ideas Lab Two-Pager
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Introduction


The Campaign for Trauma-Informed Policy and Practice (CTIPP) coordinates and advances the trauma-informed movement through education, activism, and advocacy. Founded in 2015, CTIPP’s mission is to create a healthy, just, resilient, and trauma-informed society where all individuals, families, and communities have the social, political, cultural, economic, and spiritual opportunities and support necessary to thrive. 


CTIPP operates three flagship initiatives that exist independently but complement each other: Ideas Lab, Community Advocacy Network (CTIPP CAN), and PressOn. Here, we are pleased to provide an overview of Ideas Lab—our platform for innovation, research, and development of tools, trainings, and resources that are needed to propel our collective work and the trauma-informed movement forward.


Community Need and Overview of Initiative


A majority of our nation's population suffers from trauma. Prolonged exposure can create negative impacts throughout a lifespan which, if not addressed, can ripple across families, communities, and systems. The effects of trauma run rampant on an individual and societal level, impacting every system and placing a burden on our nation’s under-resourced services. The cost of trauma in the United States is estimated at a minimum of $14 trillion per year in lost productivity and associated healthcare costs, and at least 650,000 lives annually.


There is a massive need for accessible and high-quality information that advocates and activists can leverage in advancing and integrating trauma-informed approaches in their loci of control. Ideas Lab develops and disseminates resources for the trauma-informed movement to mobilize around, and leverages its CTIPP CAN and PressOn networks to help do so. As CTIPP continues to grow, there is also an opportunity to strengthen the bidirectional flow of information. 


We know that there is incredible innovation taking place across the country, for which there is currently not a great outlet to uplift and disseminate that information. CTIPP, as a centralized hub for the movement at large, can leverage its networks to learn about emerging and promising practices, synthesize that information, and further mobilize networks around strategic opportunities to advance the movement. 


Ideas Lab: Resource Development for the Trauma-Informed Movement


CTIPP and Ideas Lab aim to produce resources for the individuals and coalitions/organizations who are a part of the grassroots and grasstops network working to foster learning and incorporation of new ways of thinking, integrating, and operationalizing trauma-informed approaches into systems, policies, and practices. 


Ideas Lab, in conjunction with our Community Advocacy Network and PressOn, plays a number of important roles in the trauma-informed movement: 1) Learning: Highlighting significant reports, toolkits, and other recently published pieces to assist members in implementing and advocating for trauma-informed policies and practices; 2) Integration: Catalyzing discussions and brainstorm sessions to assist members with integrating trauma-informed practices into their individual or organizational workflow; 3) Impact: Promoting advocacy and cross-sector coalitions as long-term strategies for mitigating and preventing trauma. Recent efforts and successes include:


  • Producing resources at a prolific rate in recent years, particularly given our current limited capacity, including such wide-ranging tools as our Climate Community of Practice and related resources, our Guide to Trauma-Informed Community Change, our NEAR Science Report, and our Trauma-Informed Women’s Health Toolkit, among many others. 

  • The reports and toolkits we produce through Ideas Lab are regularly among the most popular materials we host on our website. In January 2023, our Trauma-Informed Schools Report was the second-most frequently viewed page on our website. In February 2023, our Guide to Trauma-Informed Discussions took the top overall spot, and in March, our Review of 2022 Trauma-Informed Policy ranked first overall. Each subsequent month, the top spot has belonged to our Trauma-Informed Workplace Toolkit, which has been used by a wide range of workspaces, from small nonprofits to large companies to government agencies. 

  • Our Building the Movement Workshop Series brought experts from sectors across the country to accelerate the trauma-informed movement by providing stakeholders, advocates, and practitioners with tools to encourage and assist systems-building and deepening in every community to integrate trauma-informed, prevention-oriented, resilience-focused, and healing-centered approaches and principles into their daily operations. More than 3,000 people signed up for the workshop series across all nine sessions. This series culminated in a call-to-action for attendees to participate in cross-sector community coalitions and help advance the trauma-informed movement forward. Moving forward, as our capacity grows, we hope to restart this workshop series through community-led learning.


Across sectors and throughout the country, our Ideas Lab resources are providing coalitions, individuals, and organizations the chance to learn and incorporate new ways of thinking about how to integrate and operationalize trauma-informed approaches and environments into their systems and practices. At the same time, they are growing the number of individuals engaging in advocacy and participating in cross-sector community coalitions.


Growing the Ideas Lab Initiative


With the trauma-informed movement on the precipice of explosive growth, CTIPP needs capacity to meet growing demand for advocacy and collaboration. To scale and sustain our work, we need philanthropic partners who can increase our capacity exponentially, as we have reached the limit of what we can achieve with current resources. 


Through Ideas Lab, we have already produced evergreen materials pertaining to important topics that will continue moving the field forward. In the future, we would like to publish many more materials that address other critically important subjects, as well as ensure there is capacity to integrate and synthesize innovation from the field into research rather than just synthesizing and making more accessible existing resource bases. 


Additionally, CTIPP has not yet had the capacity required to maximize the impact of the tools and projects we create. With additional capacity, we would like to be more proactive in marketing our resources through both traditional and digital media outlets outside of those we operate internally, in order to communicate beyond the echo chamber, ultimately supporting growth of the movement as a whole.


To fully realize this vision for CTIPP and Ideas Lab, we are seeking to raise at least $2 million in 2024. This would create sustainability for multiple full-time staff members to support our national work, including  full-time and fairly compensated associate roles to support advocacy, communications, and research. We also envision making grants directly to coalitions in our network to provide direct support, which will create new opportunities for mobilization and data collection. Building our capacity would position CTIPP to address new sectors through our Ideas Lab reports and toolkits, and it would allow us to explore all avenues to maximize the impact of these materials once they are complete.


Join the Movement


We are eager to grow our organizational and institutional partnerships so we can powerfully and collectively work towards a healthy and just future in which all individuals can truly thrive. Your support of CTIPP, whether for general operating needs or our Ideas Lab initiative, will allow us to amplify a burgeoning movement; a movement poised to make transformative, collective, and sustainable change across the country at local, regional, state, and federal levels. 


For more information about CTIPP or ways in which we can partner together, please reach out at jesse@ctipp.org


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