KM4Dev Seattle 2017

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Social reporting about the event

A quick link to social reporting that can be accessed through this wiki KM4Dev_Seattle_2017_Resources. All of the resources gathered here are gathered on this Category Page.

About the Seattle Gathering April 6-7, 2017

In 2013 a group of KM4Dev practitioners with less ability to travel to Europe or other locations for KM4Dev F2F gatherings convened a two-day gathering to share practices, ask and offer peer support and generate that intangible connection that a F2F affords. 4 years later we are hosting a second gathering, this time focus on Communities of Practice.

Our goal is to share practical experiences of the application of Communities of Practice (CoPs) and explore what is working, not working, when and why or why not. As practitioners, we will share stories and cases on day 1 to extract patterns and insights with a particular focus on the purpose of a CoP in a particular context, its fitness for purpose and practices that support success. On day 2, we will host CoP leading thinkers, Etienne and Beverly Wenger-Trayner to share their Value Creation Framework to help us identify and measure value created by communities and networks. Together, the two days will link the essential anchor of purpose, with an emerging framework for assessing our progress towards purpose.

This is a practitioners workshop, using examples and experience, bolstered by theory. It is not a "CoP's Introductory" workshop nor a review of CoP theory. Come with your real world stories, challenges and insights, prepared to share, think, and make sense of our work. We will use a variety of participatory methods, many drawn from Liberating Structures, to engage and unleash the knowledge and energy of everyone present.

We will gather in the brand new Centilia Cultural Center at Plaza Roberto Maestas, hosted by the long time Seattle institution, El Centro de la Raza. In the south end of Seattle, steps away from a Light Rail station, the Center itself is a hub of community and network activity of the Latino community in the area.

The day's resources and working pages

Day 1 -April 6 - Learning With and From Each Other

Bring your stories, questions, techniques, challenges as we make sense of how we have used CoPs in international development cooperation. Where are they fit for purpose? Where have they failed? Why and how do we know?

  • PURPOSE: Cases and Stories shared through Shift and Share [[1]]
  • PRACTICE: Harvest of patterns, insights and challenges with Nine Whys [[2]] and Wicked Questions [[3]]
  • Lunch on your own - sample the great local Latino food at area restaurants
  • PRACTICE: Dive deeper with Open Space [[4]]
  • PURPOSE: What patterns can best support our work going forward? Summary and identification of ideas, big, bold, small, and immediate.

The evening will be an informal "going out to dinner in groups" around Seattle.

Day 2 - April 7 - Learning to make a difference: a framework

With Etienne and Bev Wenger-Trayner We have a fabulous opportunity to host a rare public workshop with Bev and Etienne. We welcome both KM4Dev and non members to join us for this or both days. Here is Bev and Etienne's description of the workshop:

"The value created by learning in communities of practice or networks is not always easy to articulate in ways that make sense to participants, sponsors, and stakeholders. Yet it is something that needs to be done, not only for monitoring and evaluation, but also for optimizing the learning of the community.

We have developed a “value-creation framework” that focuses on how social learning makes a difference in the world via its effect on practice. The framework helps structure convincing accounts of the value of social learning by framing learning in terms of different cycles of value creation and loops between them. It integrates quantitative and qualitative data and can be used by professional evaluators as well as participants. (See )

The framework is relevant through the lifecycle of a community or network. It can be used for articulating aspirations/conditions and risk/mitigation pairs for planning purposes. Closing ongoing value-creation loops between activities and practice then helps members fine-tune their learning as they go. And combining value-creation stories with monitored indicators brings rigor to the process of showing the value to participants and stakeholders. While originally developed for social learning in communities of practice and networks, the framework has been adopted for other contexts where social learning takes place, such as projects, workshops, and conferences.

We will present the framework and then take people through each of its cycles in relation to a project they are working on (or are about to start). It will be a chance to experience the usefulness of thinking of social learning as cycles of value-creation by applying the discipline of the framework to a familiar context."


We are finalizing our meeting space. It will be accessible by public transportation in Seattle. Registration is $250 per person for both days, regardless if you are attending one or both days. It includes the meeting and morning/afternoon snacks. Lunch is on your own. There is no scholarship money for travel as of the moment. If we hit a certain number of registrations and cover our costs, we can make registration scholarships available.

Logistical details and ways to contribute can be found on [our committee working page][[5]].

Seattle Information

First stop--> and our own Twitter Seattle helper @VisitSeattle 2 Minute Seattle Videos

Hotels & Accommodations Book EARLY! Prices will be higher the closer you get to the summer. You have lots of choices. If you don't have a car (a smart thing!) pick a hotel near any light rail station, from SeaTac Airport, to downtown. AirBnB is also strong in Seattle.

Airport & Public Transportation Information

You can fly into SEATAC airport ( and from their easily catch the LINK light rail into town and disembark at Westlake. From there it depends where you are staying.

Meeting Venue To get to the venue, El Centro de la Raza at El Centro De La Raza, 16th Avenue South, Seattle, WA, take the Link Light Rail to the Beacon Hill Station. Come up the elevators, exit the station and go right. The facility is right across the street from the station.

Rental Cars

Unless you are staying outside of the downtown area, don’t get a car. You will be happier on foot/public transportation as parking can be expensive downtown. If you want to rent a car, any online travel site can help you access options such as

Tourism Options

Seattle and Washington state are beautiful, even if April is rainy. Within 60-90 minutes you can be in one of two of our local mountain ranges for camping and hiking (the Cascades to the east and the Olympics across Puget Sound to the west.) You can kayak, stand up paddle board here on our abundant lakes or out in Puget Sound (the water is COLD - be warned!) To the south we have Mount Rainier (dormant volcanic mountain) and south of her, Mt. St. Helens which exploded 30+ years ago and has amazing views and hiking. There are rivers for kayaking and whitewater, though depending on rain and snow levels, they will be a bit tamer this time of year.

The ocean is 90 minutes away with some other fun seaside options up to 3 hours away. You can take ferry rides to communities around Puget Sound - Bainbridge Island is a great 30 minute trip with lovely food at the other side. Drive up and cross over to Whidbey Island and cruise it from North to South and catch a ferry back to “the mainland.” Don’t miss Deception Pass State Park. Or book a B&B or cabin and just relax. DO KNOW this is peak tourism season, so pre book unless you like a risk! If you really want to get away, go to the San Juan Islands!

Portland is a 3 hour drive to the south and Vancouver, BC, 3 hours north (DO pay attention to VISA issues if you are going into Canada and coming back into the US!) Within 3-4 hours are 4 National Parks or Monuments, many National Forests and State Parks. Personally, Nancy LOVES the Olympic Peninsula and can give you tips of where to go.

In Seattle we have art, music, and when you will be here, we’ll be in the midst of our summer festival, Seafair ( Into rock music? Check out the unique building and contents of the Experience Music Project (which also has a SciFi wing!). The Seattle Art Museum (and its Asian American building, the amazing Olympic outdoor sculpture park) brings you a little culture. Wander up to hipster Capitol Hill neighborhood for music, bars and seeing/be seen. Check out Seattle’s famous Pike Place Market. Or just wander and people watch. If you want to keep working, set up visits at some of the emerging international development organizations in Seattle.

Here are some links and ideas for those who want to piggy back some vacation with KM4Dev.

If your time is limited, the following map outlines a few tourist hotspots and popular restaurants in the Downtown and South Lake Union area (close to the REI) - In addition to Pike Place Market and the Experience Music Project, the Seattle Aquarium and Theo Chocolate Factory are popular places to visit.