Our vision is to organize a group of committed council members devoted to the coordination of the intellectual, financial, and social capital across DC's 8 wards.

We believe that strengthening this connective tissue provides citizens -- activists, entrepreneurs, makers, artists, non-profiteers, faith leaders, government employees, philanthropists, and business leaders, a way to converge, collaborate, find allies and think creatively.

This council fills an urgent and necessary role of increasing civic agency and supporting a more resilient and dynamic city capable of addressing the challenges of the 21st century.


The Council, by design, will be representative across race, sector, gender and geography. The council will be comprised of DC residents -- innovators, activists, foundation and nonprofit executives, impact investors, government employees, faith-based leaders, bankers, artists and social entrepreneurs alike.

We believe innovation and creative solutions to social issues arise from the inclusion of a diverse group of voices from all corners of the city. 

Members of the council will come together regularly, acting as a conduit to raise capital; invest and support pragmatic community and social impact initiatives; and address glaring community and economic development ecosystems deficiencies.


We've been engaging and organizing civic leaders around D.C. gathering best practices, feedback, and insight into how to support a more dynamic civic ecosystem within the District. 

Thanks to these efforts of committed individuals over the last two years, we've articulated the DC Civic Innovation Council's vision and values, and are now ready to design the council, and bring it to life. 

Current Activities:

Stakeholder Meetings

We are hosting stakeholder meetings around D.C. activating our networks focusing on disinvested wards. 

Seed funding

We are identifying initial local grant and other seed funding options to support the council in it's initiatory phases. 


Building DC CIC leadership:

Over the next several months, DC CIC will provide logistical and tactical support to our leadership committees so they can design the council’s structure, determine council recruitment process, identify and access seed funding, and connect networks, associations, and aligned partners. The committee will address the following areas:

  • Structure & Governance

  • Council Recruitment & Partnerships

  • Resources




2015 - 2017

DC CIC hosted numerous meetings with civic leaders in and around DC gathering support and input for a civic council designed to increase civic agency. 

We had dedicated individuals like Rachel Plett, Kimberley Jutze, Amy Hartzler, Raj Aggarwal, Jim Epstein, and Ben Powell, and groups like McKinsey and Social Venture Network to support the process of articulating the council's vision, mission, and values. 

In September, DC CIC brought on Community Vision Partners, an activist social solutions consultancy with extensive DC community and social enterprise expertise to facilitate the next step of evolution for the DC CIC. 

Over the next few months we are gathering for various stakeholder meetings while our leadership committess gives shape, guidance, and form to the council. 

2017 - 2018

We will launch the council with work from the Steering Committee and Advisory Board and begin supporting our first initiatives happening within D.C. 




Full, equal representation forms the foundation of civic engagement. A Council that fully reflects our community will elevate new approaches and emerging leaders to create more durable solutions to local needs



Every DC resident has a role to play to build a better community. By addressing common barriers – like access to capital, expertise or networks – we can unleash the potential within everyone to create solutions that improve our city



We’ll never see the bigger picture or solve shared challenges in isolation. An inclusive network that values trust can optimize collaboration across resources, ideas, and people faster, the greatest good.



Our problems are too urgent — and fixable — to wait
for perfect solutions to crystallize. An agile, iterative, participatory approach ensures the best possible ideas for civic progress can be surfaced, tested, refined and scaled


We aim to improve the lives of DC residents though the following actions:

  • Increased investment - Targeting new and promising solutions that solve local social challenges that includes job & business growth

  • Civic-Architecture - Support coordinated, sustained investment & engagement

  • Mapping - Map Community Assets and participants, identify gaps and opportunities

  • Strategic Partnerships- Strong relationships with local Universities, Philanthropic leaders and other civic innovators

  • Smarter Venture Philanthropy - Supporting ideas that have broad stakeholder support and by-in.


The following are representative of our initial advisors and early leadership that are helping to design, govern and launch the council.

Other enthusiastic nominees are joining us as we expand.

  • Jim Epstein - Chairman EFO Capital Management
  • Ben Powell - Founder & CEO Agora Partnerships 
  • Chuck Redmond - Vice President of Finance & Operations - Venture Philanthropy Partners
  • Raj Aggarwal - Co-Founder Think Local First
  • Steve Coleman - Executive Director & President Washington Parks & People
  • Sharon Carney - Economic Strategy Director, Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning & Economic Development at DC Government
  • Sonal Shah - Executive Director Beek Center Social Impact and Innovation
  • Maurice Cook - Founder Serve Your City
  • Shelley Whelpton - Managing Director Arabella Advisors
  • Amy Hartzler - Founder Do Good Better



DC CIC Facilitators and Network Connectors

Lead by: Community Vision Partners

Annie Hodges & Stephen Shaff




Want to learn more about the being on the Steering Committee, attending a Stakeholder Meeting or find other ways to engage?