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2022 Shift Highlights 

As we begin a new year, the Shift team is reflecting on our efforts to create enduring change across social sectors in 2022. Our vision is to support local and global organizations as they transform systems for equity in partnership with those most affected by inequity.

Every day in 2022, we tried to embody this vision. While this is an ongoing process, we’re proud of our progress. Here are some highlights from 2022 that we are grateful to celebrate with great partners and collaborators:

1. Elevated and refreshed lessons from decades of improvement.

Twenty years ago, Shift Founder Karen Zeribi co-authored a framework that studied quality improvement initiatives across 25 countries while exploring key questions: What makes quality stick? How do you establish a culture of quality that is an integral way of working? Since its publication in 2002, it has been translated into multiple languages and applied across sectors as a planning and assessment tool. In 2022—the framework’s 20th anniversary—the Shift team published an updated version, Building a Culture of Learning and Improvement for Equity, that highlights the enduring concepts that have stood the test of time while also including lessons from the field over the last 20 years. This framework continues to be foundational to how we think about creating enduring change at Shift.

2. Design sprints developed and tested improvements to asset-based math pedagogy.

Teachers’ expectations are one of the most powerful influences in students’ beliefs about their academic abilities. Yet teacher expectations are often lower for Black, Latinx, and Indigenous students due to systemic bias. Together with teachers and subject matter experts, Shift led design sprints for an asset-based math pedagogy. This asset-based model helped teachers develop essential knowledge and behavior to sustain high expectations and promote student identity in math classrooms. Download the theory of change and teacher-tested practice guides!

3. Made the case that coproduction is critical for effective improvement.

Working in partnership with people affected by systems to change them is not a “nice-to-have” element of effective improvement—it’s foundational. It’s coproduction. In partnership with the University of Washington, I-TECH, C-TECH, and the Jamaican Ministry of Health, we shared learning from our collaboration in the Caribbean Regional Quality Improvement Collaborative about the power of coproduction in improving care and outcomes for and with people living with HIV. Check out our blog to learn more and read ‘Nothing For Us Without Us’: An Evaluation of Patient Engagement in an HIV Care Improvement Collaborative in the Caribbean in Global Health Science & Practice.

4. Launched an initiative that uses technology to support under-staffed and under-resourced high school counselors.

One of the most common reasons that students do not enroll in two- and four-year colleges is lack of clarity on how to enroll. There’s submitting applications, applying for financial aid, and completing standardized tests such as the SAT or ACT. High school counselors and advisors play a critical role in guiding students through these tasks, but, according to the American School Counselor Association, counselors have an average of 424 students to advise! This is a systemic issues artificial intelligence and continuous improvement can help address. The Hybrid Advising Co-Op brings together college advising organizations across the country to form teams of school personnel, students, and caregivers to innovate and learn from each other about this cutting-edge development.

5. Re-connected as a Shift team – IRL!

After a long couple of years in virtual collaboration, our team met in Portland, Oregon for a retreat in October. While we are skilled at collaborating virtually, nothing replaces in-person time to reconnect and deepen relationships that help us to live our Shift Principles as we work together every day. Relive the moments of our time together in this photo essay!

6. Captured and consolidated five years of knowledge from improving student experience.

Shift served as a learning partner for the Student Experience Project (SEP), from the design of SEP as an improvement network in 2018 to facilitation across SEP learning partners and improvement structures through 2022. Our team at Shift is incredibly proud of SEP’s results, with substantial improvements in student experience and academic outcomes across participating universities—especially among students of color, first-generation students, and students experiencing financial stress. In the final year of this project, Shift collaborated with other SEP learning partners and universities to capture and consolidate our learning into the SEP Resource Hub so that our work could expand to more post-secondary institutions.

7. Launched our new team sustainability planning series.

Many improvement initiatives grapple with not only how to achieve results in one project, towards one goal, with one team – but how to sustain results and scale improvement as a way of working across their organizations. To address this need, our team created our new planning series – Sustaining and Advancing Improvement and Learning: SAIL. Throughout November, we guided teams through a set of essential elements to create a customized sustainability plan that works for their context. “I appreciate the ready-to-use toolkit and resources that I can take back to my organization and share what I learned,” said a recent participant in in SAIL. Based on the success of our pilot in 2022, we are offering again SAIL in March 2023! Register here by January 31st for an early bird discount, or reach out to us to talk about how we can provide a customized series for your organization.

8. Expanded our library of free improvement videos and resources.

A silver lining of the pandemic was the creation of videos and templates for eight foundational improvement skills. These videos allowed us to transform our course, Improvement Methods for Equity, into a virtual series using these videos as a flipped classroom approach so sessions could focus on collaboration and sense-making (learn more in Learning Forward). These videos are a labor of love, and we were prolific in 2022! Check out our expanding video library with new videos about more advanced topics, such as Coproduction, Learning from Variation, and Reliability.

9. Continued to build an inclusive organizational culture.

There is so much to celebrate from this past year, and this list just scratches the surface. None of this would be possible without the amazing people on our team, which also expanded in 2022! Meet our new team members: Kyle Moyer (Lead Improvement Advisor), Ryan McBride (Senior Program Manager), Georgette Stewart (Director of Finance & Operations), Karen Ruiz (Senior Program Specialist), and Joshua Young (Senior Program Manager, Marketing and Communications). We are grateful to continue our ongoing work together to build an inclusive and intentionally remote organizational culture.

There is much work to do together in 2023. We hope that your holidays were restful to reflect upon and celebrate on your work in 2022 and come back re-energized!

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