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Network Thinking Academies
December 3, 2019 @ 8:00 am – December 5, 2019 @ 5:00 pm
Join us for rigor, fun, and insight!
The RE-AMP Network, with support from the Garfield Foundation, is convening two academies to help social-impact networks become more connected, more adaptive, and more effective!
Social-impact networks require skills, evaluation frameworks, and–most importantly–mindsets that are distinct from other forms of organization. We are holding two simultaneous events to build a cohort of practitioners and funders that are ready to take their networks to the next level. The academies run concurrently, with some joint sessions, on December 3 & 4. A third day is available for funders and practitioners from the same network who want to dig deep together on an issue they identify.
Why We Are Hosting These Academies
Social-impact networks are an emerging form of collaboration to address complex problems, such as climate change, hunger, chronic housing shortages, or other pernicious injustices. These problems involve so many interdependencies, so many different ways of looking at things, and so many different ways to even define the problem, that no single solution is possible.
That’s where networks come in. By creating an ecosystem of connections among people with diverse points of view, and by enabling high-quality collaboration that adapts over time, we work on social problems in a way that generates surprising solutions. You can find examples in our resources section.
Here at RE-AMP, people wanting to learn from us often ask about our structures, governance, or funding initiatives. These things are important and we are happy to share what’s worked–as well as plenty of things that haven’t! But what we’ve come to realize is that the most important thing funders and practitioners can bring to a social-impact network is a mindset. One that embraces uncertainty, one that values relationships, one that learns from dissent, and one that fosters humility.
This mindset enables us to set the table for a feast of ideas, strategies, and systems-changing work. A feast, by definition, is an event for many. Focusing on relationships is a solid 80% of what network practitioners do. We wanted to share this learning, and how it informs our systems analysis, our network mapping, our culture-building, and our evaluation.
We also know we have a lot more to learn. That’s why these academies are not set up as a series of panel discussions or plenaries–they are a place for all of us to learn together, and for new ideas to emerge.
We will be launching a blog shortly which will explore themes such as evaluation, social network analysis, healing from white supremacy culture, facilitation practices, and more. But we hope you won’t see us falling into the trap of talking mechanistically about these things. Because without the underlying network mindset, these tools will fail to produce the adaptive forms of collaboration that complex problems demand.