Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16SOLVING WICKED PROBLEMS THROUGH COLLABORATION Along the way, the partners learned that how they worked together was impor- tant. Collaboration is a deceptively sim- ple concept; focusing on a common goal can improve outcomes over independent action. Through thoughtful attention to how group decisions are made, the Downeast Fisheries Partnership has lev- eraged much greater gains for fisheries restoration than would otherwise have been possible. An effective collaboration is more than like-minded groups working together— although that’s a good start. Solving a wicked problem requires broadening the coalition of the willing but not, it turns out, by hand picking new partners or sticking to a strategic plan. Three organizations, Manomet, Penobscot East Resource Center and Downeast Salmon Federation, launched the Downeast Fisheries Partnership by drafting a vision—that the communities of eastern Maine can sustain themselves for- ever by fishing—and identifying four strat- egies to make progress toward the vision: (1) restore fish passage in rivers, large and small; (2) give fishermen a say in fisheries management; (3) engage communities in the stewardship of their aquatic resources; and (4) create pathways into local and regional markets for locally caught seafood. In a more traditional collaboration, the three groups might have stopped there, using the strategies as a road map for their joint efforts—but they didn’t. With guidance from Carole Martin, a nationally-known expert in leveraging the potential of collaborations, we took another route: we went public with our ideas and welcomed the participation of any group, business or individual who imagined they could play a role. Today, the partnership has expanded to nine orga- nizations, the vision has been adopted by all, and the partners work with each other and other stakeholders on a wide range of fisheries restoration efforts. By allowing partners to self-select, we have engaged a wider array of perspectives, experience, and enthusiasm than if we had chosen likely candidates: four of the new partners are not fisheries groups per se; they are better known for their work in economic development, education, municipal gover- nance, and food systems. It hasn’t always been easy; the groups have a mix of philos- ophies,strategies,and vocabularies.It takes time to develop a common understanding, build trust, and identify opportunities for working together. Key principles help the partners set aside the short term needs of their own organizations to focus on the larger vision. Partners see themselves as part of a larger web of activity, not as the center of atten- tion. They work as equals, taking a back seat when another partner is in a better position to lead. Trust and shared values are more important than formal control mechanisms such as contracts or account- ability systems. Groups see how their work ties into a bigger vision, and that they can benefit from working with other groups that share the vision—but how the vision is advanced comes from the bottom up. DOWNEAST FISHERIES PARTNERSHIP MEMBERS Soaring Solutions. Grounded Science. Downeast Salmon Federation Penobscot East Resource Center College of the Atlantic Maine Farmland Trust Sunrise County Economic Council Maine Coast Heritage Trust Washington County Council of Governments Downeast Institute Diverse constituencies are coming together to restore alewives, an aquatic keystone species 8 | Manomet Partnerships for Sustainability • Fall / Winter 2016-17