Weaving Social Innovation Communities During Times of Disruption
Keywords: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.
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