January 6, 2017
I along with some other colleagues was recently approached by a networks researcher and thought leader about any emerging lessons and what we perceive to be current gaps in the “networks for social change” field around knowledge and practice. We were also invited to share any blog posts that speak to these lessons and growing edges. Below is the gist of the response that I sent, and I am curious to hear any reactions, extensions, etc.
Below are links to three blog posts that I would say speak to the growing edges in my own thinking and what I am seeing as important considerations for the field going forward. To summarize, these all have to do with how to get at deeper systemic change purpose and potential (which is not always the presenting purpose or initially perceived potential when networks form), and related to that, surfacing and working with issues of power, privilege and identity.
May 20, 2015
Those who see networks as a fad likely see them only as a tactic, as opposed to a fundamental way of being.
Not long ago, Scientific American published a guest blog looking at the revolution in human thought that is being inspired by a network perspective. In the post, co-authors John Edward Terrell, Termeh Shafie and Mark Golitko write about how modern research in the natural and social sciences increasingly shows how the world does not revolve around people as individuals:
By Calvinius [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
“Instead, what we are like as individuals critically depends on how we are linked socially and emotionally with others in relational networks reaching far and wide.”
January 15, 2014
|Photo by Christian|www.flickr.com/photos/91048408@N00/322951661/lightbox/?q=vision|
For the past year, Carole Martin and I have been co-facilitating a “network leadership program” supported by the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund called the Community Practitioners Network (CPN). The overall goal of CPN is to further develop a group of proven and promising leaders as individuals, as a cohort, and as “critical yeast and connectors” (my language, not the Fund’s) in support of community and economic development in a region that encompasses northern New Hampshire, northeastern Vermont, northwestern Maine, and southern Quebec. Throughout, we have been actively exploring a variety of leadership and network development practices for growing personal and interpersonal awareness, connectivity, alignment, resolve, resilience, and skillfulness.
In our most recent session, a two-day retreat in Pittsburg, NH, we engaged in discussion about and embodied practice of “vision.” Over the course of the two days, a robust conversation evolved about what makes vision powerful (in light of many uninspiring experiences) and its relevance in a networked world, in combination and contrasted with values. Read More
September 26, 2011
I apologize to the passionate and brilliant Hena Ashraf for failing to link this post to her blog. My friend Saulo Colon shared her story with me and I wrongly assumed he had written it.
I woke up today as I’m sure many of you did thinking of how I get to wake up today, and Troy Davis doesn’t. I thought about how this country kills innocent people abroad and at home. And I felt immense frustration at the recent news of how much the NYPD targets and monitors the Muslim community. I went to the Troy Davis rally that took place last night at Union Square at 5pm.
August 16, 2011
The great Kevin Kelly recently wrote a post titled “Cities are Immortal, Companies Die.” He states that
Both are types of networks, with different destinies. There are two basic network forms: organisms or ecosystems. Companies are like organisms, while cities are like ecosystems.
This is a phenomenally helpful distinction. Our work here at IISC includes network building as well as leadership and organizational development, and we don’t find these to be mutually exclusive.
September 8, 2010
|Photo by RandomChu|http://www.flickr.com/photos/randomchu/251646898/sizes/m/|
Just yesterday in a meeting of the Senior Associates at the Interaction Institute for Social Change, Gibrán Rivera made a comment about the ways in which being too fixed with an identity prevent us from getting to a place of liberation. I’ve heard him talk about this before – and am challenged by it every time he says it.