The California Housing System Innovators Network is unlike any other. Builders, designers, developers, advocates, community-based leaders, decision-makers, and more build community and work together to fundamentally transform California’s housing system to better serve human and ecological vitality. The role of the Innovators Network is to:
  1. Enable ideas to move to action by advancing the current Network Initiatives and creating space for emergent opportunities
  2. Build and deepen relationships to build collaboration capacity for innovation in the California Housing ecosystem
  3. Build capabilities to level up the regenerative and equitable potential of California Housing innovators

Together we can build a housing system that’s good for California’s people, communities, and environment. 

In October 2022, BIG hosted the first Innovator’s Network Gathering. We created an intentional space for attendees to foster collaboration across sectors and spark ideas to create meaningful, intersectional impact. Read more about the six themes that emerged from our first gathering event. 

Our Theory of Change

To realize its aim, the network is moving energy and ideas through the following theory of change.

  1. By coalescing innovators from the housing and community development system – the network ideates, innovates, and brings new ideas into the world.
  2. As an innovative idea is coalesced from this group, the network catalyzes it with time, energy, and resources, to help the concept become actionable.
  3. From there, the concept evolves into an action with strong potential to influence the system. Those that don’t are composted, harvesting lessons learned as nutrients for the rest of the system, and those that do are given increasingly more structure, partnerships, and resources to incubate and then implement.
  4. The network shares learnings freely and eagerly with the broader ecosystem of housing changemakers.

Annual Innovator’s Network Gatherings

In October 2022, Build It Green hosted the first Innovator’s Network Gathering and invited a diversity of changemakers and innovators in the housing ecosystem to attend, including government officials, community organizations, developers, planners, financiers, and more. We created an intentional space for attendees to foster collaboration across sectors and spark ideas to create meaningful, intersectional impact. Read more about the six themes that emerged from our first gathering event.
After a year of catalyzing new, transformative ideas based on the six themes through our facilitated collaborations, it was time to reconvene Network members to expand on our learnings and generate creative solutions to transform California’s housing system. We held the second annual Innovator’s Network Gathering in November 2023 with over 80 changemakers. Over two intensive days, we worked together to find new and innovative ways of addressing the most pressing challenges and opportunities facing the housing ecosystem, and collectively agreed upon solution areas to focus on in 2024. Some high-level priority areas included exploring innovative housing strategies that support equity and the environment; exploring the connection between ownership, governance and how we might operate out of love or out of crisis; and construction industry innovation, particularly new approaches to code development and regulatory framing.

2023 Gathering

2022 Gathering

Foundational Elements


We value when people from historically and presently disadvantaged communities lead community change for their communities. We are intentional about supporting community-led change in order to eliminate disparities and improve outcomes for everyone.



We strive to see the housing ecosystem holistically and to pursue the potential of people and communities; we see and treat humans and nature as interdependent, living systems where co-evolution leads to abundance and resilience.


We believe that when people organize themselves for collective action, they create the capacity to address the world’s biggest and most complex social and environmental challenges.

Our Values


We thrive through learning.


Our work is grounded in honesty.


We respect and value people for who they are, not just what they do.


We strive to discover our unique contributions to the world.


We foster harmonious and energized relationships. We know this creates possibilities that surpass our individual abilities.

Alex Coba

Communications Associate

As a proud California native from Stockton, Alex brings a wealth of experience and a versatile skill set. He has a solid communication background with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Public Relations from California State University, Chico. Alex is adept at strategic communications and media relations, with experience gathering and sharing stories from his local communities that uplift the unique spirit and values of those places. He is excited to join Build It Green, where he can apply his talents to further BIG’s mission to help communities across California thrive.