It Takes an Ecosystem: Understanding the People, Places, and Possibilities of Learning and Development Across Settings, edited by Thomas Akiva and Kimberly H. Robinson, is a call to take a holistic and dynamic ecosystem approach to thinking about, designing, developing, and investing in the allied youth fields to more equitably and effectively support young people’s learning and development. Published in 2022, the volume outlines a vision for out-of-school time programs and systems, schools, community-based organizations, and the public sector to move beyond focusing separately on individual systems to a learning and development ecosystem approach that more accurately and inclusively reflects and supports how and where young people learn and grow. With contributions from scholars, practitioners, and funders, the book discusses the characteristics, need, and value of healthy learning and development ecosystems. Chapters explore a range of examples and ideas that bring clarity and specificity to the ecosystem concept. Case studies and descriptions of ecosystems in practice illuminate what is possible and provide insight on implementation. The varied voices in the book are united in their resolute conviction to advance equitable access to learning and development opportunities and to just and equitable youth health and well-being. Contributors articulate and demonstrate how strong learning and development ecosystems support equity, and in doing so they establish the ecosystem approach as an essential strategy for all young people to thrive.



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