Author Archives for Sara Oaklander

April 19, 2018

IISC is Hiring!

IISC is pleased to offer the following two opportunities for qualified candidates. Applications will be accepted until the positions are filled. Please scroll down to review IISC’s values and for details about each position.

  • Executive Assistant/Project Coordinator
  • Associate Director of Training & Capacity Building

IISC’s Values

Our values are as important as the skills you will provide to our organization. These values guide IISC in our work internally and externally:

  • We believe that social change is possible when three key elements are attended to: shared power and equity, network building, and love as a force for social change
  • We believe that transformative leadership is the kind of leadership we need in the 21st century
  • We believe in people’s right to be involved in the decisions that affect them so that they have influence over the quality of their lives
  • We believe in the dignity of all human beings and in taking care of our planet so that we can all live healthy lives and our communities can thrive

Associate Director of Training & Capacity Building Description:

IISC has a long history of offering public workshops and trainings with clients in addition to designing and facilitating change processes for organizations and networks. We now seek a skilled individual to join our team as we develop our training in line with our racial equity and collaborative change strategy. IISC is 25 years young; we bring experience and flexibility as we operate at the intersection of networks, collaboration, and equity, striving for loving community in all that we do. 

Position Summary: 

The Associate Director of Training & Capacity Building will be responsible for strategy, program planning and implementation of IISC’s trainings and public offerings. The Associate Director will bring energy, ideas and experience to ensure that IISC is bringing the best leadership, collaboration and equity learning to social change practitioners.

Essential Functions:

Strategy & Program Development

  • Develop and share a vision and plan for training and capacity building in alignment with IISC values, capabilities and 2018-2020 strategy.
  • Establish financial strategy for the training & capacity building program that meets IISCs goals for the program’s contribution to the overall budget
  • Work with IISC’s Delivery Staff (Senior Associates & Affiliates) to determine training strategies and modalities to achieve target outcomes.
  • Facilitate the development of new courses/products/trainings/transformational leadership offerings, both in person and virtual, in coordination with Senior Associates & Affiliates.
  • Build the current Licensed Client program, creating a vision, financial goals and marketing strategy.

Management & Program Implementation

  • Manage day to day operations (including programmatic strategies, goals & objectives, public workshop implementation oversight, client communications, and financial goals)
  • Manage day to day operations of all training and capacity building staff, including supervising IISC trainers, training coordinator and interns.
  • Supervise and facilitate the development of training programs, curricula and materials for workshops and presentations.
  • Work with training coordinator & operations staff to manage records and training-related CRM
  • Standardize training material design and production

Marketing & Business Development

  • Lead the achievement of revenue targets for training and capacity building programs
  • Develop business development and marketing strategies and materials for training and capacity building offerings in coordination with Business Development Manager, Director of Practice, Marketing Consultant and Senior Associates
  • Conduct sales and scoping calls and develop scopes for key training clients
  • Network/Build relationships to develop new clientele and training opportunities
  • Thought Leadership (blogging, speaking, interviews etc.)
  • Work directly with marketing and business development staff to assess the needs of training clients and related market demands (including regional markets)

Training & Capacity Building Delivery

  • Design and deliver key trainings

Learning & Professional Development

  • Ensure the systematic recruitment, development and training of all trainers/delivery staff in existing and new material and pedagogy
  • Oversee evaluation and continuous improvement of core public trainings


We’re looking for an innovative, self starter who loves experimenting and is willing to look at things in new ways in order to challenge the status quo. If you’re someone who sees things that could be and asks, “why not?”, then we think you’d be a great fit. Here are some of the other things that we think would be a great fit for our organization and this role:

  • A facilitative leader who is able to use great communication skills to foster collaboration with team members, partners and clients to make decisions and advance our collective goals.
  • Someone with experience in training and capacity building especially related to leadership, organizational change, adult learning, facilitation, racial justice, network building, curriculum design, systems thinking, design thinking, public engagement, collaboration skills etc.
  • Someone with the ability to manage and lightly coordinate 20-25 trainers with the support of a Project Coordinator who is dedicated to Training & Capacity Building.
  • Someone with a good grasp of financial strategy/budget management.
  • Someone who is attentive to transformative practice, self-care, and balance
  • Someone who has deep love for social and racial justice as well as curiosity/insight about the social change sector and what social change leaders need in the 21st century to prepare them for carrying the important work ahead of us.
  • Someone with a commitment to continuous learning, improvement, and evaluation.

We understand that no one person will have all of these characteristics so in the application and interview process we’re interested to hear which of these characteristics most connect to your strengths.

To apply, please submit your resume and a brief cover letter with salary requirements to

Executive Assistant/Project Coordinator (Boston, MA)

Position Summary: 

The Executive Assistant/Project Coordinator (based on Boston, MA) is a passionate and collaborative individual committed to social justice and racial equity who will work to support the smooth and efficient operations of the Interaction Institute of Social Change (IISC) Board of Directors, President and Leadership Team. In addition, they will support and coordinate key organizational meetings and assist with special projects to support IISC leadership. They will handle scheduling for the IISC President and IISC Senior Associates (currently five lead consultants and trainers) in the United States. Lastly, they will manage small or discrete client projects requiring coordination.

The Executive Assistant should have demonstrated the ability to work collaboratively in a fast-paced environment, working with undefined and shifting priorities, and diverse people with many different backgrounds.

The role requires these competencies:

  • Excellent organizational skills, including a strong attention to detail, the ability to multi-task, prioritize and meet deadlines.
  • Strong relational and communication skills, both verbally and in writing.
  • Excellent listening and communication skills, with sensitivity to differing communication styles.
  • Strong critical thinking skills necessary to analyze complex information and situations and solve problems.
  • Ability to adapt to new technology quickly and contribute to improving the way IISC uses multiple modes of technology.
  • Strong typing skills.
  • Advanced skills in Microsoft Office applications, including Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint; familiarity with Salesforce is a plus.

Education and Years of Experience:

  • Experience supporting executive leaders is required.
  • Experience with boards of directors a plus.
  • Minimum of five years of related, progressively responsible work experience, including extensive scheduling and meeting management experience.

To apply, please submit your resume and brief cover letter with salary requirements to

IISC is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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February 2, 2018

Inviting Productivity with Rays

February 5, we launch a connection/productivity experiment called Rays. It derives from a critical piece of team infrastructure we invented while working at IISC, the secret ingredient to our team’s performance. Without it, we noticed a gap and with it, the work (and our team) flowed more smoothly. That makes us think our little practice could benefit others. So we’ve decided to do an open call for participants.

The practice is a short, daily meeting: Rays. For less than 30 minutes, you will join an online call and share three things:

  1. RAY: something you are grateful for
  2. TASK: something you are doing that day
  3. BLOCK: something literal or existential in the way

There is no solving. It’s just reporting and listening. 

We are inviting people to join us in February (starting as early as the 5th!). You commit to showing up to an online call for 5-days, up to 30 minutes, and sharing.

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June 21, 2017

IISC Welcomes Kelly Bates as New President

On behalf of the Board of Directors of IISC, I am delighted to announce that Kelly Bates has been appointed president of the Interaction Institute for Social Change effective June 15, 2017.

Since assuming the role of interim president in October 2016, Kelly has successfully led IISC with a sure hand through a time of significant organizational change, working effectively with the Board and staff to strengthen our organization. More recently, Kelly has pivoted to addressing IISC’s future direction and vision, launching and leading a joint Board-Staff strategy team and coordinating this with a comprehensive re-examination of IISC’s business model.

For those of you who do not yet know Kelly well, her appointment as our permanent president will draw on her 20+ years leading advocacy, racial justice, and women’s organizations.  Prior to IISC, Kelly was the founding executive director of the Elma Lewis Center for Civic Engagement, Learning, and Research at Emerson College. She also served as the executive director of Access Strategies Fund, a social justice foundation funding organizations to expand democracy in communities of color and low-income communities. For ten years, Kelly led a consulting and training practice specializing in working with social change organizations and other institutions in the United States around issues of power, diversity, and organizational development. Read Kelly’s full bio here.

As we approach our twenty-fifth anniversary under Kelly’s leadership, the Board looks forward with great excitement to further strengthening IISC and – along with IISC’s talented and committed staff and our valued partners and affiliates – to shaping the next chapter in IISC’s future. Please visit our website to learn about our current work and services.  And stay tuned as we roll out our new racial justice organizational training and announce plans for the celebration of our 25th anniversary!

Very best wishes,

Frank Robinson

Chair of the Board, IISC

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May 29, 2009

The 3/50 Project

This is an issue that I believe is at the core of building community where we live and work. I was delighted to learn that there is actually a national movement (of sorts) to promote the importance of this idea and thought I’d pass it on to you all.

You’ve probably heard me make the point when it comes to buying books for IISC from Harvard Bookstore instead of For me, in addition to the bookstore, it also comes up around my local hardware store vs. Home Depot, and my local camera store vs. Best Buy. And on and one the possibilities go!

Thanks for considering your own possibilities in this regard. And thanks for listening!

Sara Oaklander


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