The COMMUNICATION TOOL You Need to Inspire Others to Join Your Social Change Efforts

Craft a challenge statement that is inspirational and captures both the “big picture” and “ground level” details so that people and partners will be highly motivated to collaborate in your community change initiative.

You’re trying to build momentum in your change efforts, but you’re not getting the engagement you want.

We all know effective community change requires an all-hands-on-deck approach. You can’t afford to have some people putting their heads in the sand while others dive right in and take off in different directions. 

If you don’t take the time to create a powerful challenge statement, you may:

  • Never get started because you can’t engage your team in your change efforts.
  • Waste time and resources because partners won’t collaborate with you to leverage strengths and increase your impact together.
  • Encounter conflict because you have not taken the time to surface everyone’s perspective on the problem.
  • Foster scope creep as everyone dives in without a clear focus to the work you are doing together. 
Intercultural Strategies Presents:

Create Powerful Challenge Statements

Self-Paced Video & Resources

Discover everything you need to learn about how to create and use powerful challenge statements.

Global experts Dr. Michael Quinn Patton, a world-renowned organizational development and program evaluation expert in systems transformation, and Jessie Sutherland, the founding director of Intercultural Strategies and the award-winning Belonging Matters framework, combine their expertise to help you learn to Create Powerful Challenge Statements.

A challenge statement communicates what you care about and what difference you want to make in the work you do.

teams working on community change initiatives
  • You’ll discover how this communication tool can inspire others to join your social change effort. 
  • You’ll also learn how to avoid scope creep and help your whole team focus their efforts for greater impact. 
  • Finally, creating a powerful challenge statement is an effective evaluation tool your team can use as a reflective learning practice at key milestones in your change initiative.

Course enrollments are OPEN.


By the End of Create Powerful Challenge Statements, You Will:

Engage in personal and collective reflections

Anchor your work in the authentic motivations of individual members and your team.

Develop a BIG PICTURE challenge statement

Learn the best way to describe the context that your community change initiative will be addressing.

Develop a FOCUSED challenge statement

Learn the best way to describe the specific challenge your team will address.

Use your challenge statements as an evaluation tool

Understand how challenge statements can help you measure whether you are meeting your goals.

Here’s what people are saying about Create Powerful Challenge Statements

Anthony Duigan
Chairman of the IofC South Africa Board

…the best way to explore in depth and then articulate very succinctly the core issue one is endeavouring to tackle in a community change initiative.

I used the Challenge/Problem Statement in a three-day workshop with our new partners on the Trustbuilding Programme earlier this month because I’ve found it the best way to explore in depth and then articulate very succinctly the core issue one is endeavouring to tackle in a community change initiative. It pushes one to think more deeply than just the surface, and be more holistic in seeking the way forward - and it gives a platform for developing a really focused proposal for funding such initiatives.

Talia Smith
International Trustbuilding Program Manager at Initiatives of Change

By having a clear understanding of the challenge, the teams could better measure the impact of their interventions.

Jessie has introduced the Challenge Statement to 10 of our trust-building teams as they began their interventions. Our teams are addressing complex tensions/conflicts in their communities, and the way Jessie framed it helped the teams gain clarity so they could focus their efforts on a specific goal. By having a clear understanding of the challenge, the teams could better measure the impact of their interventions. It was also a useful exercise that assisted grant writing; we could easily reuse the concrete challenge statement.

Cleopadia Mohlaodi
National Coordinator of IofC South Africa

…when they hear a very clear statement of our focused challenge, they see themselves as part of the solution with us…

For the trust-building program in South Africa, the experience gained as we reworked and refined our challenge statement made a big difference. It was hard to make it simple and focused. We started with about two to three paragraphs and ended up being just a two-sentence challenge statement. Out of that, we discovered that when we go to donors, potential collaborators and the participants, and when they hear a very clear statement of our focused challenge, they see themselves as part of the solution with us. That allowed us to grow even more momentum.

What’s Inside the Course:

Following a welcome video from Jessie Sutherland, you’ll have 2 core content lessons:

powerful challenge statements
How to Create a Powerful Challenge Statement with Dr. Michael Quinn Patton

Learn how to create a powerful challenge statement with Dr. Michael Quinn Patton so that you can focus your efforts, increase stakeholder engagement and deepen your learning as you nurture community change.

challenge statements application
Powerful Challenge Statements Application with Jessie Sutherland

Access a worksheet to help you design your powerful challenge statements and learn how to apply challenge statements in your context.


Bonus 1
Community of Practice 60-Minute Online Group Call

(1 Month of Access)

Following your registration, you’ll be invited to an upcoming Community of Practice group call to connect with others who have taken our courses to learn from and with each other. This call provides an opportunity for you to ask questions, share success stories, and seek feedback on challenges.
On the 60-minute group call, you’ll gain:

  • Hive-mind insights that you can generate and share with other leaders and community developers on the call.
  • Jessie's expert input, inspired by 30 years experience and drawing on her proven process and the award-winning Belonging Matters framework and model.
  • Deepening of your capacity to nurture community change so you can avoid the pitfalls that often come with facilitating change.
  • Opportunities to ask questions that can help you personalize your learning for your leadership and community context.
  • Sharing opportunities to discuss your successes and challenges.
  • Potential networking benefits of connecting with other leaders and community developers on the call.
  • Increased clarity on where to focus your efforts in facilitating change.

($47.00 Value)

Community of Practice: Group Calls

About Jessie Sutherland,

An international speaker, trainer, and consultant, Jessie Sutherland works with organizations and communities to engage diversity, build belonging and ignite intercultural collaboration.

Recipient of BC Community Achievement Award (2023), her approach creates sustainable community change that effectively addresses complex social problems.

Jessie Sutherland - TEDx Speaker
Jessie Sutherland - 2023 Community Award - BC Achievement Foundation - seal
Jessie Sutherland - Director of Intercultural Strategies

Jessie’s work has been delivered in over eight languages and has taken her across Canada and around the world to support communities in their efforts to address challenging issues including workplace inclusion, poverty, homelessness, the overdose crisis, elder abuse, reconciliation, youth engagement and more. Many of her clients go on to win awards for their work in engaging diversity and fostering collaboration for sustainable and lasting change.

As founder of the organization Intercultural Strategies, Jessie helps leaders and groups build cultures of belonging to create change in an inclusive and positive way. She is the innovator of the award-winning Belonging Matters framework and community change model designed to change mindsets, deepen interconnections, impart greater social capital and build stronger communities.

Jessie holds a M.A in Dispute Resolution, is a TEDx speaker and author of the book, Worldview Skills: Transforming Conflict from the Inside Out. 

About Dr. Micheal Quinn Patton

An independent consultant who has been conducting program evaluations since the 1970s, former president of the American Evaluation Association and Founder and CEO of Utilization-Focused Evaluation, Dr. Michael Quinn Patton is known for his numerous books on evaluation and is recognized as an award-winning leader in evaluation theory and practice. 

With an attributed profound influence on researchers and evaluators worldwide, his books Qualitative Research and Evaluation Methods and Utilization-Focused Evaluation, are frequently required graduate-level texts.

See what people are saying about Jessie and the training

Aditi Pathak

What sets Jessie apart is her ability to walk the extra mile to ensure a great learning experience for her participants.

What makes Jessie a great trainer is that she is not only kind and compassionate, but also a very good listener with excellent communication skills. She listens to her audience and responds to them very thoughtfully. What sets Jessie apart is her ability to walk the extra mile to ensure a great learning experience for her participants.

What I have seen while working with students, is that the belonging lens helps them to internalize the issue of global citizenship; they don’t see it as an external issue, thus helping them to understand it better.

Bonnie Haugen
Farmer, mother, grandmother; Women's Fall Gathering Organizer

…concrete steps of thought and action…

I always learn many good things when I have the time to take these enriching classes. For me, the most valuable idea I learned during "Create Powerful Challenge Statements" and will use is how to break down the beginning ("where and how do I begin?") into concrete steps of thought and action for a good direction. My next step will be to talk with colleagues about the challenge in mind.

Alena Vasilyeva
Executive Assistant, IofC International, Belarus/UK

…a better way of articulating complex issues…

Jessie's expertise in helping our teams to create a powerful Challenge Statement has greatly benefited our projects. Her guidance in defining and perfecting the Challenge Statements provided the project teams with a better way of articulating complex issues they are dealing with. Going through this exercise, the teams gained more clarity on how to succinctly and impactfully communicate about their work. This was not only helpful when communicating with people on the outside (fundraising pitching, grant writing, partners) but also internally, within the teams, it brought better understanding of the needed interventions.

Fast Track Your Learning With Proven Methods, Processes and Tools

Joining Create Powerful Challenge Statements allows you to tap into Jessie & Michael’s 40+ years of combined expertise in evaluation, organizational development, building cultures of belonging and systems change. Jessie and Michael support organizations in their change efforts in a way that empowers teams and communities with a track record for lasting and sustainable results.

For only $197, you can have immediate access to this powerful training. We’ve made it easy for you to join us with the option of a payment plan, and we stand behind this program with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Intercultural Strategies | Engage Diversity. Build Belonging. Ignite Collaboration.
Intercultural Strategies - Satisfaction Guarantee

100% Satisfaction Guarantee for 60 Days

Our priority is to provide you with effective, actionable strategies to help you navigate your unique context. We've seen what's possible with our powerful challenge statements approach, and we stand behind it 100%.

To optimize your success, we provide you with powerful instructions, application stories, and access to a worksheet to create your own powerful challenge statements. If you complete all the recommended steps (videos, application activities and worksheet) and the strategies from this program still do not meet your expectations, reach out to us within 60 days of purchase. We’ll either chat with you to see if there are supports you need or we’ll refund your purchase. We're committed to your success. Guaranteed.

See what people are saying about the Belonging Matters change approach

Eliana Jimeno
International Peacebuilding Specialist and a perspective to empower yourself and the people around you...

The Belonging Matters approach is an ever-relevant process in the multicultural, diverse world we are living in. It provides you with tools and a perspective to empower yourself and the people around you to create spaces where we can all be our full selves and feel welcomed.

Chief Robert Joseph
Hereditary Chief, Gwa wa Enuk First Nations

...the greatest potential for bringing about the needed healing and reconciliation...

Jessie Sutherland’s worldview skills may well be the insight that provides the greatest potential for bringing about the needed healing and reconciliation that must take place. It has the potential to provide the spark required to bring real peace, balance, and harmony…

Amanda Brown
RSW, Director, ReAct Adult Protection Program, West Vancouver Community Health Centre

As a society, we need to shift from a reactive mode to a prevention mode like what Belonging Matters provides.

As a society, we need to shift from a reactive mode to a prevention mode like what Belonging Matters Conversations provides. The more that we hear the voices of people impacted the most, the more respectful the process and the better the outcomes.

We need to support grassroots and community empowerment processes to achieve prevention and real change.

Frequently Asked Questions

What results can I expect from this course?

You will have a fresh way of engaging your team and partners resulting in high engagement and an agreed upon focus to your community change efforts. As a result, you’ll build in-house capacity (save money), inspire others to join your change efforts and be equipped with a powerful communication tool to leverage resources.

How do I know this process works?

We have been designing and implementing powerful trainings for 40+ years. You can expect to be exposed to new information, a fresh approach and be encouraged to apply what you learn to gain clarity on your customized challenge statement. If you’re still not convinced, we encourage you to spend some time on our Reviews page and check out any of the 100+ endorsements from people about our opportunities and the Belonging Matters framework.

How will this investment pay off?

An engaged team and partners will not only save you time and money, it will lead to leveraging strengths and talents for a common purpose.

I still have questions... Can I talk to someone?

Yes, we’d love to connect! Please reach out to us HERE or email us directly: [email protected]

Intercultural Strategies | Engage Diversity. Build Belonging. Ignite Collaboration.
inspire others to join your change efforts

Together let’s inspire others to join your change efforts.

We are extremely proud of this program and we hope you will register. When you apply this powerful communication tool to your change effort, you will experience renewed energy, commitment and engagement.

We look forward to connecting with you and would love you to join our growing community of learners and leaders.

~ Jessie & Michael