Founded in 2012, Upper West Strategies is a consultancy focused on driving economic opportunity at the intersection of government/education, private industry, the tech sector and mission-driven organizations.
For strategy engagements, UWS employs a rigorous process of information gathering, analysis, recommendations generation and implementation planning. The heart of the UWS information gathering process is direct outreach to key stakeholders through a series of in-depth interviews, which deliver clarity and perspective. These stakeholder interviews are complemented with client and stakeholder workshops, audience and community surveys, on-site observations and extensive document review to develop a deep understanding of our clients’ situation and unique needs. Once we have findings from the information-gathering phase, we take a simple, practical approach to analysis and recommendations generation to make sure that any recommendations can and will be implemented and are likely to succeed given every organization’s unique conditions. UWS doesn’t believe in fancy “consultant speak” that might sound impressive but doesn’t yield results. We believe in common-sense recommendations that work within our clients’ specific environments. After all, the best strategic plan in the world is worthless if it sits on a shelf and is never implemented. Finally, we work closely with our clients to ensure that they will be able to successfully implement the recommendations.
Upon developing an understanding of our clients’ needs and objectives, we work to develop innovative program concepts and package them into a holistic plan that can be implemented to achieve and exceed goals. A key focus of UWS program development is ensuring community engagement throughout every process. UWS’s Robbins has a long history of developing programs with national impact, such as a pledge not to text and drive, which has been signed by over 19 million people and saved countless lives.
UWS’s Robbins has over 20 years experience developing partnerships among corporations, non-profits, public sector organizations and the entertainment industry giving UWS the ability to identify opportunities for collaboration and partnership, and to bridge cultural gaps in developing and executing successful partnerships. At AT&T, Robbins developed a successful national partnership with the non-profit Rock the Vote, resulting in over 250,000 young people opting in to get text message alerts to keep them engaged in the election. UWS led sponsorship development and community outreach efforts for the NYCEDC Next Top Makers program, attracting leading corporations to sponsor the program and engaging community leaders as advisors, mentors and judges for the program.
The best strategy, program design and partnerships only go so far. Ultimately, impeccable program execution is essential. Relying on strong personal relationships, community and partnership engagement, an innovative approach to marketing and community outreach, and lots of hard work, UWS drives to achieve desired results for clients. As one example, New York City’s Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Readiness retained UWS to reach out to companies to partner with a prominent internship program and serve as hosts for the program. By using an innovative approach to marketing and outreach, UWS greatly exceeded targets and generated a large amount of positive publicity for the program’s sponsor, Bank of America.