Accelerating Community Innovation: The Role of the Field Catalyst


  • Sylvia Cheuy Tamarack Institute


Field catalyst, systems change, community innovation, social innovation, collective impact, Tamarack, Tamarack Institute, Canada


This article explores the contribution of community innovation – a place-based form of social innovation – as one of five interconnected practices to advance community change. It also profiles how Field Catalyst Intermediaries – a unique form of intermediary – play a high-impact but often invisible role that enhances the success and impact of promising community innovations. Examples drawn from Tamarack Institute’s 20+ years' experience as a Field Catalyst Intermediary illustrate how promising community innovations are strengthened, linked, and amplified to achieve high-impact, lasting transformation on an array of complex social issues.

Author Biography

Sylvia Cheuy, Tamarack Institute

Sylvia Cheuy is the Consulting Director of Collective Impact with the Tamarack Institute’s Learning Centre.  She brings practical knowledge and first-hand experience to the work of multisector collaboration and community change.  Sylvia is a co-author of How Field Catalysts Accelerate Collective Impact, a paper published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review that profiles the 4 value-added contributions that Tamarack, as a Field Catalyst, contributes to advancing high-impact, systems-level change. 




How to Cite

Cheuy, S. (2023). Accelerating Community Innovation: The Role of the Field Catalyst . Social Innovations Journal, 17. Retrieved from



Evolution of Social and Community Innovation