How Communities of Practice can organize themselves effectively and how they make an impact

Replay Session #3 – Communities of Practice – leveraging impact by learning together

On December 2nd 55 people from around the globe gathered for a rich discussion about what is a Community of Practice (CoP) and what can be their role in strengthening community-led responses to societal challenges.

You can find a detailed report of the gathering in this blog, with thanks to Duncan Crowley. Read a summary of the blog post below.

“Unless a social movement as a network develops into communities of practice it cannot become a system of influence. Communities of practice are of vital importance because through them, people grow the necessary capabilities and structures that enable a new system to emerge — not as a social movement taking over institutions by force, but by growing into a System of Influence and thus becoming the new mainstream, making old structures obsolete”. George Pór

What is a Community of Practice (CoP)?

Juan Del Rio from ECOLISE facilitated and introduced the three guests of this Communities for Future (CfF) online session on December 2nd 2020 ; Davie Phillip (ECOLISE-BLAST CoP), Nicola Hillary (Transition Network-MiT CoP) and Duncan Crowley (UrbanA CoP). Davie outlined how BLAST is establishing processes for their group and assessing best practice and insights from different CoPs within the ECOLISE ecosystem. CoPs consist of three core components: Domain (Area of shared interest & key issues) Community (Relationships built through discussion, activities & learning) & Practice (Body of knowledge, methods, stories, tools developed). BLAST has found that:

“A Community of Practice (CoP) is a group of people who “share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly” (E. & B. Wenger-Trayner 2020). Beyond tangible outputs like innovative tools, methods, products or improved processes, a CoP has the potential to widen perspectives, change behavior and mindsets on an individual and collective level and can thus be considered as system shifting. 

Originally CoP participants were from the same business, organisation or academic departments who would meet regularly face to face. Nowadays CoPs are taking shape both within organisations and between organisations as well as within and across disciplines and sectors. In socio-ecological transition movements – such as permaculture, transition networks and eco-villages – CoPs have the potential to become systems and spaces that have real power and influence. Pioneering efforts that have hovered at the periphery can become the norm and practices developed by courageous communities can become accepted standard. When people have environments in which they can learn and explore with ease and curiosity, they no longer hesitate about adopting new approaches and methods. (BLAST CoPs guide, draft V1.0 – not publicly available yet)”

Weaving the CfF CoPs Ecosystem

The CfF Session on Dec 2nd was very much a first step in the CfF journey to develop a CoPs Ecosystem. This ecosystem is meant as a collaboration framework of various thematic CoPs that work for eco-social just transition, in connection with community-led groups. This CoPs Ecosystem would enable independent CoPs to collaborate and learn from each other, share good practices, tools, resources, thematic knowledge, cross-pollinate ideas and much more. The aim is to broaden the collective outreach and impact of CoPs.

The co-creation process of this Ecosystem has recently started by asking key questions and seeking diverse insights, more so than offering concrete solutions.

CfF CoPs Ecosystem MIRO board & CfF CoPs Ecosystem Structure (Proposal) detail

 

MIRO Insights from 2 breakout rooms

Join the CfF Ecosystem work group, co-design the future

CfF seeks to enable networking and learning for a fairer, regenerative world. Our monthly online CfF sessions are meant as a space for building connection and a sense of belonging in an international community of peers, for finding our collective voice as a broad movement of community-led initiatives and for building our capacities as changemakers. We envision that as we weave together our diverse expertise, a broader systemic understanding begins to emerge and we can identify new pathways towards widespread societal transformation. The CoPs Ecosystem is one of those concrete pathways.

If you wish to follow the development of this collaboration framework for different CoPs, simply click and choose to COLLABORATE, or join the Communities Of Practice work group. If you are interested to participate in co-designing this system, please join our working group by contacting Pauliina at pauliina.helle@ecolise.eu

 

About this webinar – Promotional text

Join us to explore what is a Community of Practice (CoP) and what can be their role in strengthening community-led responses to societal challenges. In this online session we will hear stories from three Communities of Practice from the ECOLISE network. These CoPs bring people with a shared passion to learn, experiment, and innovate together.

We explore what makes it inspiring to be part of a CoP, how CoPs can organize themselves effectively and how they make an impact. We will explore the idea of establishing a ‘CoPs ecosystem’ within the Communities for Future framework. We discuss the benefits and requisites for multilateral collaboration between different CoPs, weaving pieces together for a broader systemic view and pathways to societal transformation at large. We are excited to have you co-creating this vision further with us!

The CoPs that will present themselves in this event and participate in a roundtable conversation are:

UrbanA (Urban Arenas for Sustainable and Just Cities)

Municipalities in Transition

BLAST (Blended Adult Learning for the Social-ecological Transition).

This event consists of presentations, roundtable conversations, and group discussions between participants. It is particularly meant for members of existing CoPs that connect to ECOLISE or CoPs that have a desire to engage more with Communities for Future, the European community-led movements or with ECOLISE. Individuals who are totally new to this concept are also very welcome to join!

Register for the Session and you will get the Zoom link to your email.

What is a Community of Practice (CoP)?

A Community of Practice (CoP) is a group of people who “share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly” (E. & B. Wenger-Trayner 2020). Beyond tangible outputs like innovative tools, methods, products or improved processes, a CoP has the potential to widen perspectives, change behavior and mindsets on an individual and collective level and can thus be considered as system shifting.

Originally CoP participants were from the same business, organisation or academic departments who would meet regularly face to face. Nowadays CoPs are taking shape both within organisations and between organisations as well as within and across disciplines and sectors. In socio-ecological transition movements – such as permaculture, transition networks and eco-villages – CoPs have the potential to become systems and spaces that have real power and influence. Pioneering efforts that have hovered at the periphery can become the norm and practices developed by courageous communities can become accepted standard. When people have environments in which they can learn and explore with ease and curiosity, they no longer hesitate about adopting new approaches and methods. (BLAST CoPs guide, draft V1.0)

What are the ‘Communities for Future Sessions’ about?

Through this new series of monthly online sessions, we will co-create an open space for multilateral networking, learning and collaboration. It is an invitation to come together across different groups, sectors and individuals that are, or aspire to be, connected to the European Action Programme Communities for Future; to European community-led initiatives; to ECOLISE – the European Network for Community-led Initiatives on Climate Change and Sustainability; to related Communities of Practice – and to the many many beautiful and inspiring individuals that are part of these groups.

This initiative is part of ECOLISE’s desire to hear from its members and to offer spaces for individuals in our networks to connect with each other and organize themselves as a living and breathing network of changemakers – independently as well as under the new Communities for Future framework. We envision that as we weave together our diverse expertise and visions, a broader systemic understanding begins to emerge and we can identify new pathways towards widespread societal transformation.

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