Keynotes: Stories of Collective Impact

Keynotes: Stories of Collective Impact

We are in a divisive era, but not everybody is divided. These are the stories of people coming together to develop long-lasting solutions to difficult policy obstacles. We share stories about education, agriculture, American Indian/Alaska Native communities, energy, public land management, health, and emerging technologies.


November 8, 2023 12 mins

The creation of the Kwiyagat Community Academy is the cornerstone of Growing Ute Futures, but it is not the only impact of the endeavor. Growing Ute Futures is an education masterplan for the entire community as  there are so many more families with students –from Kindergarten all through high school—who don’t attend KCA than do. Growing Ute Futures serves students and families of the  entire community to provide more opportunities...

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Kwiyagat Community Academy officially opened in 2021 and was finally able to put into practice what had previously just been an abstract plan  – a culture-based curriculum grounded in Ute traditions that also delivers a modern academic education to prepare young students for the world. When you hear the world trailblazing—that’s exactly what this approach is. But the school would only get one shot to implement this approach and pro...

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In the second part of our four-part series on the Growing Ute Futures initiative, we highlight the bold steps taken by Tribal leaders and their partners to upend generations of educational missed opportunities: the creation of the state’s first-ever tribal-run charter school operation on an Indian Reservation. This is the story of the creation of the Kwiyagat Community Academy.

Listen: Culture and Curriculum: The Story of ...

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In 2020, at the direction of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribal Council, educators, and families, Keystone Policy Center began facilitating strategic planning to develop an innovative, culturally-based education system for students and their families on the Ute Mountain Ute Reservation. A central pillar of this plan was integrating Ute arts, language, and culture into all levels of education, embedded within a curriculum that focused on s...

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We're thrilled to announce the recipients of the 2023 Keystone Leadership Award. Keystone Policy Center established the Keystone Leadership Awards in 1994 to recognize extraordinary leadership by individuals and organizations whose work embraces our model, spirit, and mission of creating lasting solutions through strategic collaboration. Keystone honors individuals and organizations within its areas of work as well as recogniz...

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Agricultural soils are a large land-based sink for atmospheric carbon with additional potential to contribute to the sequestration of atmospheric carbon, though questions still remain as to the magnitude and rate of this mitigation opportunity. This potential has spurred a desire to connect growers with carbon markets to realize the environmental and economic value of agricultural practices. Concurrently, the markets are facing inc...

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March 2, 2023 15 mins

The Browns Canyon National Monument was designated for federal protection in 2015 and encompasses more than 21,000 acres of scenic and diverse natural resources along the upper Arkansas River in Colorado. It was the culmination of decades of advocacy from local residents to protect the pristine lands. However, federal designation was only the first step in protecting these pristine lands. In 2019, Keystone Policy Center and a coali...

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January 25, 2023 14 mins

Collaboration is a powerful concept that requires a methodical approach to be most effective. To streamline this approach and help other organizations foster collaboration, Keystone partnered with Dow to create a step-by-step guide called the Collaborative Action Toolkit that provides a roadmap for anyone to develop a more collaborative mindset and organize their stakeholders and collaborations. The toolkit was born out of Dow&apos...

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January 10, 2023 18 mins

Federal and state governments are legally required to consult with Native American Tribes on issues impacting them, but city governments don't have the same mandate. In this episode, we highlight the work of the city of Boulder, Colorado, which has partnered with Keystone to develop and implement a city/Tribal consultation process that has opened a dialogue around issues of cultural, spiritual, and historical significance for ...

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December 13, 2022 13 mins

In the final episode of this three-part series, we how leaders in Northwest Colorado are working together on collaborative initiatives that have impact for their communities. We also highlight how these collaborative efforts, in partnership with nonprofit leaders like El Pomar Foundation and Keystone Policy Center, help these communities navigate the best path forward to best utilizing the once-in-a-lifetime influx of resources to ...

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November 29, 2022 16 mins

In this second episode of a three-part series, we highlight how rural communities are navigating the obstacles they face in accessing the influx of federal funding coming to Colorado in the wake of COVID-19. These rural communities are meeting the challenge by working together along with the assistance of nonprofit partners. Almost two decades ago, El Pomar Foundation established a regional partnership program bringing members from...

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November 16, 2022 19 mins

Federal and state lawmakers have dedicated billions of dollars in resources in recent years to address the impacts of COVID-19. But challenges in underfunded, understaffed regions of Colorado reduce the opportunities these communities have to apply for and access this one-time surge in funding. In this first episode of a three-part series, we highlight in-depth the challenges faced by rural communities in Northwest Colorado in tryi...

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The Keystone Policy Center recently released its second report analyzing public data to assess the impact the COVID-19 disruption had on Colorado education. The report, entitled Colorado’s Missing Year: Charter School Performance, explores recent enrollment and academic performance data to examine how charter schools fared relative to the state and other school district managed public schools in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. I...

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What impact did the shift to virtual learning have on students during the COVID-19 pandemic? A report from the Keystone Policy Center titled Colorado's Missing Year analyzed test data to tackle that question, and some of the findings may surprise you. The report also spurs a greater conversation on student assessment, transparency, and what policymakers can do to ensure we have the correct information available to make the bes...

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November 18, 2021 16 mins

The economic and health devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic are widespread, but we’ve disproportionately heaped the burden of holding up the economy and preserving our way of life on certain groups of people—many of which we never see. In the second episode of this two-part series, we highlight the Farm Labor Practices Group, a diverse coalition of agriculture stakeholders committed to ensure a safe and productive farm expe...

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November 9, 2021 12 mins

The economic and health devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic are widespread, but we’ve disproportionately heaped the burden of holding up the economy and preserving our way of life on certain groups of people—many of which we never see. In this first episode in a two-part series, we highlight the essential contributions of farm labor particularly those laborers who are foreign born. In the era of COVID-19, this workforce kee...

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October 28, 2021 9 mins

The Keynotes Podcast returns from its summer hiatus with a few updates on three projects profiled in the podcast that spurred state legislative action: the Education System Resiliency and Innovation Initiative, Next 100 Colorado, and funding the Colorado Water Plan. 

Please help us continue this podcast by making a financial donation to Keystone Policy Center.

Listen to previous episodes of this podcast at Keystone's w...

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June 25, 2021 17 mins

The annual migration of monarch butterflies is one of the world’s great natural phenomena. Unfortunately, monarch populations are in an alarming decline. That's why the Keystone Policy Center brought together a diverse group of committed stakeholders, including scientists, conservationists, farmers, and the private sector, to find collaborative solutions to strengthen monarch populations and habitat. The group was founded as t...

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June 22, 2021 15 mins

It's Pollinator Week! So, naturally, we decided to talk about the impact Keystone Policy Center is having in two projects that are focused on supporting healthy pollinator populations and habitat. In this first episode of this two part-series, we’re focus on a project Keystone leads to improve honey bee health. Honey bees support more than $20 billion in U.S. and Canadian agriculture annually. But as most know, a major decline...

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June 18, 2021 15 mins

In part 1 of our two-part series examining the inequality of access to our public parks and green spaces, we discussed the isolation that can be felt by members of marginalized communities from their experiences in outdoor spaces. We talked about the Next 100 Coalition forming in 2016 to set a vision of inclusion for the Next 100 years of conservation and stewardship in America. And from that group formed Next 100 Colorado, also co...

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