29 September 2014

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

Posted in News/Events

Collaborating for a resilient world, strengthening our collective impact

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 us, at any age, to learn: new behaviors, new skills, new ways of thinking and solving problems, new ways to work and live, new insights into how human communities can thrive while restoring nature.

The Innovation Lab will explore:

How can we accelerate this learning by connecting work across sectors, such as environmental non-profits, K-12 schools and higher education, energy, community agriculture, outdoor recreation, workforce development, cultural institutions, for-profit businesses, social enterprises, and municipalities?

Working off of fire-starter stories from featured speakers, we will engage with one another in a variety of activities and formats. New ideas and connections will flow from our dialogue, illuminating how we can collaborate to make greater progress on our common goals. This will be a highly interactive day, demanding full- participation and contributions from everyone present.

Click here for more details on the day and to register. Saturday and Sunday also offer more workshops, as part of the NEEEA's annual conference.

19 September 2014

Collaborative Leadership Training with Art of Hosting

Posted in News/Events

Tuesday, October 28 – Thursday, October 30, 2014; 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

We are pleased to share this announcement of an upcoming training workshop on Collaborative Leadership: Art of Hosting that will be offered by our colleagues at the White Mountain Hotel in North Conway, New Hampshire. Here are the details:

We have schedules packed solid with meetings, and somehow, very little gets done. Instead, the real work often occurs in the hallway between meetings.  Art of Hosting is a suite of facilitation tools that inspires and draws out collective wisdom. This three day intensive is ArtofHostingdesigned for you to experience and learn simple yet powerful processes that build community, leverage collective intelligence, foster individual and collaborative leadership practices, and tap into the inspiration and brainpower of your teams, stakeholders, and community members.  When human beings are invited to work together on what truly matters to them, they will take ownership and responsibility for moving their issues and ideas into wiser, more sustainable actions. Click here for more information on the workshop and  how to register. 

22 May 2014

Announcing Workshop on Hosting Sustainability Conversations

Posted in News/Events

June 26th, 9am - 2pm at UMass Lowell

Learn how to design engaging meetings, conferences, and conversations that access the creativity and great ideas of a group. Success in advancing sustainability and social change comes from getting all minds working on what needs to change. Engaging people in meaningful conversations generates shared vision and creative solutions; and builds motivation to act.

6 conversationsIn this interactive and experiential workshop, you will learn simple yet transformational techniques from the Art of Hosting to convene meetings and conversations that access the wisdom of a group in more powerful ways. Join peers who are sustainability practitioners to learn about and experience the following practices as you discuss challenges and ideas relevant to your work:

        • Strategic Questions – frame open questions that inspire movement, challenge assumptions, open new possibilities, and/or enable reflective learning
        • World Café – bring diverse people together to innovative ideas and or reflect/learn together in a short time
        • Open Space – enable participants to self-organize and connect with each other in conversations most relevant and meaningful to them
        • Pro-Action Café – create ways for people to share ideas, learn together, and identify actions for current challenges of participants

The workshop will include time for reflection on how you can use these practices in your work.


• Madeline Snow, Lowell Center for Sustainable Production, UMass Lowell

• Beth Tener, Principal, New Directions Collaborative

Registration Fee: $45 ($25 for students)

Please make check payable to UMass Lowell and send to Lowell Center for Sustainable Production, UMass Lowell, One University Avenue, Lowell MA 01854

For more information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 617-817-5111 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 617-939-3601

Click here for registration form and full flier.

25 February 2014

Strategic Planning for Networked Collaboration - Our Approach

Posted in News/Events

After years of work consulting within organizations, it has been a new challenge to help networks of many organizations define and refine their strategies. Strategic planning for networked collaboration, and particularly in the context of creating systems change, has complexities and unique challenges compared to creating a strategy for one organization. Our thinking and techniques keep evolving as we work with clients, see what is needed, and pull techniques from our "tool box" and refine them for networks. We are pleased to share this latest summary of the techniques we have found most useful in approaching strategic planning in networks. Click here to learn more.

13 November 2013

Hear the Energy Action Network (Vermont) Story: Dec. 13th in Boston

Posted in News/Events

Leadership Learning Community's Boston Learning Circle

The Energy Action Network (EAN,) based in Vermont, offers a leading-edge case study of how to enable fragmented parts of a system to collaborate toward a bold shared goal. In a field where divergent forces often work against each other, EAN supports over 70 non-profit, business and government leaders in working together toward to the goal of providing 90% of Vermont's 2050 energy needs from renewable energy and energy efficiency. Join us at the December gathering of the Leadership Learning Community's Boston Learning Circle to learn about how EAN created a process to engage leaders across the state and develop a collaborative network focused on large scale system change.

We'll hear the story from two experienced "network weavers" who have been deeply involved in the process:
  • Jennifer Berman, formerly the Executive Director of Maverick Lloyd Foundation, the founding funder, will share how EAN used systems mapping and convenings to build trust, and agreement on common goals and commitment to joint action.
  • Andi Colnes, Executive Director of EAN, will share how a collaborative network structure was created and how it works, as well as the successes and challenges EAN has experienced along the way.
EAN logoThe EAN story will serve as the spring board for conversations exploring leadership skills and processes for enabling diverse organizations to align their work for greater impact, including:
  • What it takes to get people fragmented parts of a system to the table and create alignment around a vision
  • How to create the context for "a-ha" moments that enable people to work together in new ways
  • How to cultivate shared leadership in a decentralized structure where people can own the work and move forward with it
  • How to use a network to add value and deliver outcomes and action
The event will be held Dec. 13 from 10:30am - 1pm at the Non-Profit Center in Boston (near South Station) and will include lunch. Click here to register.
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We need not only do things better than we have in the past; we need to link them in smarter and more effective ways.

- David Bornstein