Using Events to Close Triangles

We have been experimenting with a technique to encourage and strengthen network connections at conferences. In this great blog post from our colleague, Janne Flisrand of Flisrand Consulting, she shares how it works and her experience using it at a recent conference. Janne is a network building facilitation consultant, based in Minneapolis. This is cross-posted… Read more

Join us at the Better Together Summit, October 24th in Maine

We are excited to be working with the New England Environmental Education Alliance and the Maine Environmental Education Association to facilitate a Better Together Innovation Lab. This interactive day will be held at Pineland Farms, in New Gloucester, Maine, a 5,000-acre working farm and business and learning campus. Creating healthy, resilient, sustainable communities requires all of… Read more

Invest in the Field

One of the potential benefits of working in a network is the capacity to learn together quicker. Harold Jarche calls this “social learning” – the idea that learning and work happen as interconnected groups (e.g., networks.) In times of rapid change, we need information and feedback about innovations and what works and doesn’t to flow… Read more

Networks for Systems Change – Five Stories

The scale of complex systems we are working to change is much larger than one organization. Collaborative networks are emerging as a new way to organize work at a larger scale and create collective impact. We have found the best way to learn about these approaches is to explore stories of leading examples, as they… Read more

Collaborating from the Place of Common Ground

While the news is full of partisan politics, an alternative model is emerging for how to make progress in addressing large scale challenges: collaborative networks. Through network initiatives, parts of a system can come together, find common ground, and pursue solutions and collective action from those points of agreement. The Energy Action Network (EAN) in… Read more

Quick Way to Map Who Is in the Room

When bringing together a new group, you want to help people make new connections. A good place to start is to offer ways for them to find out who is in the room. Here is one quick technique that can be done to facilitate this. We facilitated the introductory session the the UNH/NHBSR three-day business sustainability… Read more

What it Takes to Create Collective Impact – 20 Questions

I recently worked with the Garfield Foundation to design and facilitate a gathering of people who specialize in collaborative networks and systemic approaches to social change. This meeting convened about a dozen experienced practitioners for two days of rich, inspiring, expansive conversations about what it takes to do this work effectively. These insights will inform… Read more

A Network vs. a Professional Membership Organization

“It’s not just about delivering content to members, it’s about the convening power to help members discover each other.” – Clay Shirky Continuing our exploration of what it means to use a network mindset in developing organizational strategies, this blog provides some guidance on how a peer to peer network is different than a traditional membership/association structure…. Read more