Weaving Social Innovation Communities During Times of Disruption


  • Bruce Evan Goldstein


netweavers, collaborative learning networks, disruption, social innovation, collective innovation


In a time of disruption, how do our social innovation organizations maintain the enabling conditions for productivity, commitment, creativity, and purpose? In this article I summarize the practical wisdom shared with me during twelve online dialogues convened from 2018 to 2020. Highly experienced and effective network designers and facilitators (“netweavers”) discussed how they addressed challenges to their efforts to pursue social justice and ecological and economic well-being while working remotely within collaborative learning networks. I provide their own verbatim advice on how to catalyze creativity and impact within a highly dispersed innovation community, and offer 27 actionable steps organized under four headings that address: (1) how to show up in your organization, (2) how to organize so governance and creativity becomes self-generating, (3) how to manage your organization over time, and (4) how to manage during shock and stress. These ideas can help sustain the ability of your organization to pursue effective strategies to address seemingly intractable problems, adapt to changing conditions and new contexts, scale innovation, and respond rapidly to crisis.

Author Biography

Bruce Evan Goldstein

Bruce is an Associate Professor in the Program in Environmental Design at the University of Colorado Boulder. He develops partnerships with learning networks in order to understand how communities combine forces to adapt to social and ecological challenges and foster transformational change. Bruce leads the Transformations Community of Practice and the Netweaver’s Network, as well as the Brugo Lab research group.




How to Cite

Goldstein, B. E. (2021). Weaving Social Innovation Communities During Times of Disruption. Social Innovations Journal, 5. Retrieved from https://socialinnovationsjournal.com/index.php/sij/article/view/706



Social Innovation and Entreprenership