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Theme: Glue

Particpants: Karin Santi, Lucie Lamoureux, Matt Bannerman, Katherine Pasteur, Camilo Villa , Nancy White

Questions: How can we forge the kind of lasting trusting bonds that constitute a community? How can we manage and strengthen these networks? What are the signs of community / network health? What does, doesn't work?

Keywords: trust, visioning, participation, dialogue, facilitation KS Approaches CoPs, CoIs, World Café, Harambee Project, act of faith, recognition, value, online-offline-blend, incentives, committment, teamwork, modalities, lurkery, identity, networks, communities.

KS Approaches: CoPs, CoIs, World Café, Harambee Project, online facilitation, games

Additional notes from this discussion:

  • Matt - glue came into his work in an organizational change. Front door as one way. Second, worked out that it was about engaging people to get stuff out to networks and hope it comes back in and fertilizes the soil. Struggled. Thought there was a missing element. * Glue. Pull these ideas together. Thinkiing about communities, validation, support, energy, peer pressure.
  • Lucie - attracted - working right now with a big organization, hierarchical organization. Part of the work is around uncovering and encourage and support knowledge networks within the organization. Very challenging project. Take the tools and each other and work forward on issues like this. Huge challenge. The other part is the km4dev community itself. Manage and strengthen networks and communities. We are lucky as we have trust and good bonds, but how can we go further as a community. This is a much different process than the first one, but maturing.
  • 2 of 5 of us consider themselves as being part of the community. Kath was put off by joining a mailing list. Matt considers himself now part of the community because of the meeting. DO you have to join the list to be/feel part of the community?
  • Not visible does not mean you are not a member.
  • Is it a good thing for a community to get more members.
  • Kath - trying to get a network off the ground. If you want to build trust, you want to start small. 20 maybe 30. The way I try to establish is inviting people and starting with a meeting. The smallness of it, the trust. However, small means that not much happens. 1000 people on the list someone has something to say
  • We have this ideal of a community as something very tight.
  • Word community carries emotions
  • Also networks, not just communities.
  • Difference between networks and communities. Communities more bounded, more relationship oriented, relationship transactions. Networks fuzzy boundaries, scale out, informational transactions. Acceptance or ignoring of a signal from a network node is very flexible.
  • Theres a lot of difference of opinion on this at UNDP. Regional and HQ colleagues came together. Global network facilitators felt they were global communities of practice. * * * * Regional said no, that is too big, our communikties are smaller within the network, trusted relationship, work together on specific issue, could be time bound. Come together, form, disband. Within global network there is a sense of community.
  • Does it have to do with shared values.
  • Shared interest, values, purpose, together over time.
  • How do you create community? It must be voluntary. People are going to be vesting in it and they get something back. A value flow. People put effort in and get something back.
  • Kath's group exists already around a particular issues. Sustainable livlihoods approaches. We want it to be, we called it a network, but we want it to be a community. Shared, comfortable, trusting environment. At the same time an impulse of invite others in. My fear is the bigger it grows, the harder it is to have trust, to keep the bounds of what everyone believes in.
  • I have a network of 900 HIV AIDS staff, three service lines for goals/results for UNAIDs. The network is voluntary. Staff does not have to belong. I can't sub you without you asking. Sense of trust. I feel, I trust my colleagues enough to say I'm struggling with my program in Saudia Arabia. Get 10 responses. You have a facilitator who pulls from other orgs and literatures to pull together an answer. This is useful to us.
  • KM4Dev - the worries you are raising are the one's Lucie had at the start. 60 people. Knew each other, from similar orgs and work. Then more workshops, more people sign up, word of mouth, it grew and grew. Then 20% have met F2F. More diverse. One person told her, you know what, she went ot a meeting with different meeting with different people. At first she wanted to keep to one crowd. WE understand each other. Then conversation with guy from smaller NGO and realized that different immediate experience, but saw the value of the different conversation.
  • Diversity question on the list. One member who dominated the conversation, this can happen. You deal with it. Difficult. Its better to have it more open so you can have a mixture and don't know everyone. Come out things that are amazing. Level of trust is high enough to keep going.
  • Trust in networks is of a different quality than trust in communities
  • If it gets too large, what if no one replies. Facilitation.
  • Lots of talk about facilitation. What is that role, what does it look like.
  • UNDP model - thematic networks. Come together in KM team, in HQ. We situated within the substantive subject area team. Normally sitting in the HIV AIDS group. A subject specialist. Find someone with substantive domain experience. If you brouight in an intern, would that turn you off.
  • Someone asks a question I often go back to them to reframe the question. I also have the institutional memory to know which country offices to know who to go to. You can look through discussions archives if you don't have it in your head. Know the subthematic specialists.
  • Do you that publically through the mailing list the follow up - do that back channel. 40% time on the network management, 60% on HIV work. Has research assistant for documentation. Information broker and relationship match maker. Format for the consolidated reply.
  • Networks as a place for reflection.
  • Not all are resourced to do what UNDP does to build a knowledge base. Trying to drive it from the community side with KM4Dev FAQ project.
  • How do you know if your community or netowkr
  • What are the signs of community life and health?
  • What are the lifecycles
  • What happened in failed networks?
  • Life as seen by participation?
  • What does participation mean? How do we encourage it?
  • UNDP - do you do any regular health check. Surveys? Country offices evaluate the network services.
  • KM4Dev - tried different things. Have done Survey monkey survey to find needs, what are you willing to give. These meetings are a sign of health. Year before sent a message to the list with 3-4 questions - who are you? Name, title, org, place, story abot why you are in this community. How you came about it. How has it helped you in your work.
  • Stories from KM4Dev send directly to Lucie, then send them out to the list, 3-4 a week.
  • How much time goes into facilitation. Not just the visible stuff on the list, but back channel work, private mails, stimulating, connecting. UNDP model is a service of the organization.
  • The human development report network run on the same principle but it has academics and outside people, open, MDG is UN wide.