Latest Updates from Rippel

Shared Stewardship

How do we unlock the full potential of all people everywhere to thrive and experience optimal well-being?

That question is central to The Rippel Foundation’s work. The answer is complex and continually evolving, but one thing will always be true: stewards play a leading role in bringing that vision to life.

How do stewards create change?

Creating a future where everyone thrives requires much more than isolated programs, policies or reactive measures like urgent services. It requires a fundamental reorganizing of the systems that we rely on every day—bridging social, cultural, and institutional boundaries.

Stewards work on the front lines, actively building consensus and encouraging the cross-sector collaboration necessary to create lasting change. Ultimately, no individual or institution alone can create the kind of change necessary to support everyone’s ability to thrive. That is why shared stewardship is the key to progress.

Stewards Begin by Changing Attitudes and Beliefs

System change doesn’t begin with shifting policies and investment practices. The first step in effective system change is shifting mindsets and changing mental models. The policies and practices of any health system are based on certain deeply held beliefs and assumptions about how to best improve health and well-being.

For instance, many communities deal with chronic health and wellness issues by continually investing in more urgent services, like emergency medical clinics and homeless shelters. Stewards help decision makers in these communities see how increasing investments that improve the vital conditions for health and well-being can reduce residents’ demand for and reliance on urgent services. Examples may include improving access to quality food, expanding public transportation to increase economic mobility and access to health care, or instituting programs that promote affordable housing.

In this way, stewards begin by helping people examine their implicit assumptions about health, well-being, and the systems they rely on. Through this process, people discover how these patterns of thought help to perpetuate systems that produce inequitable outcomes and fail to give people the tools and resources they need to thrive.

Stewardship Is a Constantly
Evolving Practice

Stewardship is never a simple, one-size-fits-all process. It requires approaching every situation with an open mind and a willingness to discover new ways to overcome barriers to system change. It is often hard work, but the outcome of effective shared stewardship can be utterly transformative.

The best part is that anyone can become a steward. All it takes is a commitment to helping create more equitable systems that support thriving for all people.