Leveraging Networks as Marketplaces

October 9, 2013 3 Comments

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I am increasingly interested in how networks can help to reclaim and reshape marketplaces, bringing them back down to earth and keeping them more stimulating of local economies, helping give value to what is not formally valued, as well as shifting and restructuring flows for greater equity and abundance.  So I was delighted to get a number of tips on this front from Lawrence CommunityWorks during a visit there last week.  Staff and residents shared a number of ways in which they help to identify and exchange assets as a part of daily operations.  For example, here is an exercise called “Marketplaces” which comes from Bill Traynor.

  1. At some point in a community meeting, a facilitator tells people that space will be made for people to do one of three things: (1) make an announcement, (2) make a request, (3) make an offer.  They will each have 30-60 seconds to make their particular pitch, if so moved.
  2. At the appointed moment someone captures in writing on chart paper the people who want to make a pitch and the time they require to do so.
  3. One by one, people make their pitch, with a facilitator keeping them to their time.
  4. After each pitch, those who are interested in responding to the request or offer identify themselves and these names are written down.
  5. If there is time, people can meet to exchange contact information at the very least, or discuss next steps.

At LCW, this is a regular practice, which helps cultivate a greater sense of generosity, value, trust, mutuality, belonging, and enjoyment.  I plan on rifting on this for a large upcoming network gathering where people will also have a chance to post requests and offers on a large bulletin board so as to have asynchronous opportunities to connect.  There is an electronic extension of this which has precedents in different communities (e-bulletin boards).

And on a larger scale, there are emergent possibilities for leveraging increased volume and quality of exchanges to support social and community innovation.  More about this soon . . .


  • Cynthia Silva Parker says:

    Love it!

  • Mathis Conner says:

    This seems ideal for setting up on Google Plus using its Community features. You can setup public file directory using Google Drive. You can setup online meetings using Hangouts On Air and save the recorded meetings to a YouTube Channel. All of this for free. And no I don’t work for Google or any of its affiliates. *Smile*.

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