A March 2010 study by Battelle, commissioned by the Flinn Foundation’s board of directors, laid much of the groundwork for the Arizona Center of Civic Leadership. That study employed this definition of civic leadership:
Civic leadership is reflected in the capacity of a community to: identify, analyze, collaborate, and solve pressing societal needs and issues through the efforts of broadly engaged citizen organizations. Implicit in this capacity are two levels of engagement, where citizens with skills and commitment engage with others at the level of a community to address shared problems.
- Civic leadership requires talent development, organizational structures and processes that develop and engage emerging and current leaders in community problem solving.
- Civic leadership is exercised by individuals but in a group/community context—local, regional, statewide and beyond.
- Civic leadership is exercised by crossing boundaries (private, public, and non-profit sectors).