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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Uncommon Alliances Conference: Real Partnerships - Real Experiences - Real Impacts

Uncommon Alliances Conference: Real Partnerships - Real Experiences - Real Impacts. Hosted by the U.S. Department of State and the George Washington University School of Business.

Date: Monday, June 4, 2012
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. EDT
Location: The George Washington University
The Marvin Center
800 21st St NW
Washington, DC 20003

We are now entering a new era of partnerships where business is partnering with business, government is working in collaboration with business, and both are working with civil society. In today's new marketplace of partnerships, the alliances are bigger than ever, the stakes are high, and the successful partnerships inspire us to build more partnerships. But what about the challenges? Too often, alliances that don't work out quite as planned get swept under the rug. What can be learned from these partnerships?

The U.S. Department of State and The George Washington University School of Business hosted an interactive forum focusing on learning from the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat of partnerships for partnership builders from across government, private sector, philanthropy, academia and civil society. Uncommon Alliances: Real Partnerships - Real Experiences - Real Impacts was a one-day gathering for the initiated and as-yet-to-be initiative partnership builder to explore the ins and outs of creating alliances, talk about techniques for overcoming hurdles, and focus on emerging trends in the partnership community.


In the 1970s, the U.S. government was the largest source of funds for developing countries. Today, about 83 percent of U.S. funds moving into the developing world come from the private sector: businesses, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), universities, foundations, faith-based groups, private charities and migrant and diaspora communities.

The Institute for Corporate Responsibility (ICR) at The George Washington University School of Business studies multi-sector partnerships with an eye to understanding: effective collaborations that benefit all parties; improving the impact of partnerships; successfully engaging business in global solution partnerships; and, designing partnerships models. ICR also works directly with partners to design and implement partnerships.

At the State Department, partnerships have become an important tool for U.S. foreign policy initiatives; partnerships leverage cash, equipment, staff, skills, technologies and market or community access toward a common goal among private, public, and civil society collaborators. Since its establishment in 2009, the Global Partnership Initiative has kept the U.S. Department of State at the vanguard for partnership engagement both in the diplomatic corps and within the U.S. government. To date, GPI has created partnerships and alliances with over 800 partners. 


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