December 12, 2017
I mentioned in a previous post how much I love Twitter, for a variety of reasons, including how it helps me to see networks at work and can help create a variety of great network effects. Well I have reason to yet again appreciate it, as a recent blog post I put up inspired Claudio Nichele, who is located in Brussels, Belgium and works at the European Commission, to create the great sketch above of the network principles I wrote about (see below).
Just like that, an unexpected gift and enhanced visual value! I asked for Claudio’s permission to post, which he granted, and we both agree it is a wonderful example of what happens when you work out loud (see principle #9 below). Enjoy, and please feel free to rift on these images and the principles below, and if you do, let both of us know what you create. Read More
October 24, 2017
“Relationship is the fundamental truth of this world of appearance,”
Over the past several years of supporting networks for social change, we at IISC have been constantly evolving our understanding of what is new and different when we call something a network, as opposed to a coalition, collaborative or alliance. On the surface, much can look the same, and one might also say that coalitions, collaboratives and alliances are simply different forms of networks. While this is true, it is also the case that not every collaborative form maximizes network effects, including small world reach, rapid dissemination, adaptability, resilience and system change. In this regard, experience shows that a big difference maker is when participants in a network (or an organization, for that matter) embrace new ways of seeing, thinking, and doing. The following revised list continues to evolve as our own practice and understanding does, and it speaks to a number of network principles to guide thinking and action:
February 9, 2016
“Long term prosperity is primarily a function of healthy human webs.”
– Sally J. Goerner
Over the past several years of supporting self-declared “networks” for social change, we at IISC have been constantly evolving our understanding of what is new and different when we call something a network, versus say a coalition, collaborative or alliance. On the surface, much can look the same, and one might also say that coalitions, collaboratives and alliances are simply different forms of networks. Yes, and . . . we believe that what can make a big difference is when participants in a network (or an organization, for that matter) embrace new ways of seeing, thinking, and doing. So let us propose here that network approaches at their best call on people to lead with some of the following:
April 22, 2014
Ceasar McDowell, President of the Interaction Institute for Social Change and Professor of the Practice of Community Development at MIT brings the concept of a “Question Campaign” to our emerging work on Cities.
The question campaign is anchored by the premise that “asking questions invites people into conversation, rather than shutting down discussion by giving only answers.” Question campaigns “generate dialogue as a crucial first step in creating actual change on the ground.” Read More
January 14, 2014
When I told Ceasar about the Thrive Workshop he was excited about it. I remembered that when we interviewed him to become President of the Interaction Institute for Social Change he talked about his ongoing work at MIT. He described the university as a place that is focused on making things work in the real world. That certainly is IISC’s orientation. And it definitely is what the Thrive Workshop is all about.
Thrive is not for everyone. Thrive is for you if you are bursting with an idea and you just can’t get yourself to make it happen. Thrive is meant to get you started. Thrive is about getting you out of your head and into the real world. Read More
December 30, 2012
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
This coming Sunday, my colleague Gibran Rivera and I will be presenting at the Connecting for Change Conference (Bioneers by the Bay) in New Bedford, MA. This is one of my favorite events each year, as it gathers many thoughtful and innovative presenters and participants from local/regional and national/international levels to talk about how to create whole (just and sustainable) communities. In our workshop, “Are You Down With D-I-T? Skills for Change in a Network World,” Gibran and I will guide attendees through an exploration of the convergence of two of today’s powerful memes – the DIY (Do It Yourself) movement, which seems to be fueled in great part through younger generations and social media, and “collective impact,” made popular by FSG in its SSIR articles. Read More
September 20, 2012
“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”
-T. S. Eliot
It’s interesting to see how, as much as things evolve, there is also a circularity to this movement. For the past few years we have been working with the Graustein Memorial Fund on Right from the Start, an early childhood system change initiative for which the Fund has served as core convenor and funder. Come to find out that IISC’s new President, Ceasar McDowell, was in on early conversations that launched the Memorial Fund’s unique and wonderful Discovery program to seed community-based collaboratives for early childhood development planning. Read More
September 12, 2012
“Look well to the growing edge. All around us worlds are dying and new worlds are being born . . . “
|Photo by Aldo Cauchi Savona|http://www.flickr.com/photos/cheekyneedle/60462071|
The following are some notes I jotted down as I got myself ready to facilitate IISC’s first staff meeting of the new season, and in full swing of our new President, Ceasar McDowell’s, tenure. The overall theme was one of new beginnings . . .
In preparing for today’s meeting I was thinking a lot about how I can often take for granted development, growth . . . evolution! In one moment I may be struggling with a challenge, straining with the growing pains and demands of a given situation and then a few moments (or hours or days or weeks) later I’m skating with relative ease to the rhythm of life and not even appreciative of that fact. I have simply moved on. But of course it wasn’t so simple – in many ways it was and is remarkable. Read More
August 14, 2012
This trailer is from a film about the work of dropping kowledge, an initiative in which IISC’s new President, Ceasar McDowell, has been deeply involved. dropping knowledege “invites you to question yourself and the world around you.” “Every time you ask yourself a question, a new dialogue begins,” and dialogue is a step to reclaiming conversation and its outcomes.