October 3, 2013
Yesterday, Carole Martin and I took the Tillotson Fund Community Practitioners Network on a site visit/retreat to Lawrence CommunityWorks, to see first hand what a network approach to community and economic development looks like. There is much to be said about what LCW has done, learned, and is looking to do going forward, and some of this has already been captured in case studies and articles. Here I want to focus on one important lesson that staff and residents have learned over the past 15 years or so when it comes to taking a network approach. This lesson falls under the caution – “Avoid a Fetish for Structural Forms.” Read More
October 6, 2009
The gap between theory and practice is always larger than we tend to see. I love my job because it consistently invites me to help groups bridge this gap. I just had a beautiful time working with a group of network weavers who are part of the Young People’s Project. The task is to help them understand how networks work and how to behave as weavers for their own national network.
The challenge of this work has been to take all the amazing things we are learning about the role of weavers in a network and figure out how to apply these to the day to day work of these weavers. Instead of spending too much of our time in the fuzzy world of network theory, I grabbed directly from Jack Ricchiuto’s piece on The Power of Network Weaving and went on to adapt it to very practical exercises for the weavers. Read More