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Learning Net Dev

Getting More through Network Research with Action Research

Posted by Steve Waddell in Learning, Net Dev on October 26, 2010

Most networks engage in research, but often they are getting much less than they can for the resources they’re expending. Usually research is thought of as a sequential process of first research and then action. In fact, very often these two are best integrated as action research (AR). Particularly when a network is engaged in community building and empowering – as change networks almost always are!Read More...

Networks as Ecologies of Learning and Innovation

Posted by Steve Waddell in Learning on July 20, 2010

“Ecologies of innovation” and “learning ecology” are two particularly important, fast-evolving concepts for successful multi-stakeholder change networks. However, even the traditional role of "learning" is still poorly understood by most people in such networks. When organizing a meeting in 2007 on the topic of “learning networks”, we had trouble identifying people responsible for learning. And those who attended said their networks spend minimal resources on learning. They typically spend enormous percentages of their staff time and money on face-to-face meetings, and knowledge-exchanges in many forms are daily practice…but these are not thought of as “learning events”. Hence, a major activity of networks is still in rudimentary development.Read More...

Community of Practice Lessons for Networks

Posted by Steve Waddell in Learning, Net Dev on June 22, 2010

Communities of Practice (CoPs) are particularly valuable for multi-stakeholder change networks because they present a very flexible model requiring modest financial support for the learning and its dissemination that are critical for the networks’ success. They require very light infrastructure and enhance interpersonal ties that also are key to success.Read More...

The Three Dynamics of Change Network Development

Posted by Steve Waddell in Change, Learning, Net Dev on April 21, 2010

Networks aiming for large systems change go through development stages as they grow and move from initiation to realizing their potential. But throughout these stages, there are three particular dynamics important to nurture across these stages.Read More...

Competition Among Change Networks

Posted by Steve Waddell in Learning, Net Dev, Policy/ad. on March 31, 2010

When John Ruggie was describing his work with the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to reduce corporate-related human rights abuses, I couldn’t help thinking “do we really need another global network on this issue? Would it be better to think about possibilities of them working together more closely? Is this simply another case of ‘government’ wanting to “be in charge’, and resistant to joining others? Or are the current networks too tied to their own identities to look at the bigger change opportunity?”Read More...

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