The following examples illustrate a range of client projects conducted by members of the New Directions Collaborative relating to network facilitation and analysis. (Note: In some cases, the work was conducted through the organization they were affiliated with at the time):
Boston Green & Healthy Building Network: Aligning the Work of Multiple Organizations Working on an Issue
We helped to assess and facilitate a network of about ten non-profits from the environmental and health fields and representatives of the City of Boston. The network was convened by a foundation who saw potential for the participants to work together to promote green and healthy buildings in Boston, since their goals were similar and overlapped. A Social Network Analysis (SNA) was conducted at the first meeting of the new network and showed that the connections amongst participants were limited, particularly between the environmental and health non-profits.
As facilitator of the network, we developed a matrix to inventory the type of audiences and strategies each non-profit was pursuing so the group could see where there were areas of duplication and gaps. We facilitated regular meetings of the network as it prioritized and pursued areas of collaboration on joint goals.
In a survey conducted about two years after the network began meeting, 95 percent of the participants agreed that the network had helped their organization advance its mission. A second SNA showed that the levels of regular communication and collaboration among network members had multiplied. The Network’s key accomplishments fell into four areas:
- Enhanced connectivity among the Network participants that led to new relationships, expanded knowledge, and greater awareness of each others’ work.
- Greater alignment and coordination of advocacy work by the non-profit organizations and enhanced access to decision-makers
- The integration of green and healthy building objectives in tangible projects by the City of Boston and within the work of participating non-profit organizations
- New collaborations among Network organizations that led to significant gains in promoting green and healthy buildings.
Click here to download a case study about how the network was formed, operated, and the results it achieved, including the maps from the social network analysis.
- Organizes educational seminars at local hotels every six weeks, providing practical information and case studies about a range of relevant topics such as water conservation, energy efficient lighting, local foods, green furniture, etc. Hoteliers are able to stay current on the latest green achievements by local hotels—and have the forum to show off their achievements to their peers, as well as build professional networks. Click here for a sample of recent meeting topics.
- Helps hotels activate their green teams and provides technical assistance upon request
- Guides hotels towards green certification
- Helps hoteliers ascertain utility incentives and tax breaks for capital expenditures
- Introduces hoteliers to qualified vendors and helpful government officials.
BGT members have made substantial gains in performance and their achievements help position Greater Boston as a leading destination for environmentally-minded conventions and leisure travelers. For example, ten BGT hotels have earned the Energy Star label, seven are Green Key certified, one is LEED certified and three are Green Seal certified. Nine BGT hotels have earned the Boston Green Business Award and one has earned the Cambridge GoGreen Award. BGT was recognized as an EPA Annual Merit Award recipient in 2008, and three of its hoteliers have earned that distinction, too. In addition, BGT hotels have won the Massachusetts Lodging Association’s Good Earthkeeping Award every year since its founding, one of its hotels won the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s Good Earthkeeping Award and two are WasteWise Leadership Award winners.