System Weaving During Crisis


  • Bruce Evan Goldstein


netweavers, generative innovations, resilience, COVID-19, Black Lives Matter


Strategies for responding to different kinds of crisis were explored by highly experienced network designers and facilitators (or “netweavers”) during a dialogue series on how to maintain lively and generative innovation communities held from 2018 to 2020. During these discussions, netweavers wrestled with the need to enhance the resilience of their organizations to stress while not inhibiting the opportunities for a more fundamental change that a crisis can bring. In their own words, I provide what participants shared about how to give their members opportunities to connect and support one another, reflect on changing opportunities, and rapidly pivot toward time-sensitive opportunities after the COVID-19 outbreak. I also offer their reflections on the Black Lives Matter protests of the summer of 2020 about the impact of systemic racism within their organizations and efforts to identify and act on changes within their grasp. In both cases, the netweavers stressed that active and latent capacities they had cultivated in prior years had proven essential for a rapid and effective response to shock and stress.

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). System Weaving During Crisis. Social Innovations Journal, 5. Retrieved from



Social Innovation and Entreprenership