Tag Archives: Network Weaving

Healthy Cities

I’m Talking Cities, Applied Anthro, and Enagagement

JEFF WOOD (THE OVERHEAD WIRE) IS CREATING  A WEEKLY PODCAST AND AGGREGATING NEWS ABOUT URBAN PLACES DAILY

And I got to be featured on the podcast!

I love streets, healthy cities, and all the policies and research behind them. To get my fix of news, I’ve been reading The Direct Transfer‘s daily Overhead Wire newsletter (subscribe here).

I was honored when Jeff Wood, the guy behind those things, invited me to be the featured guest on his StreetsBlog Talking Headways podcast. It was even better when I got to talk applied anthropology, network weaving, equity, and engagement (with a small dose of Oslo, Norway) in our conversation.

If you’re curious, there is 35 minutes of listening here.

Communication Facilitation

Seeding Good Network Habits

Supporting networks, or volunteers, or project teams, I find it’s critical to teach people how to use the tools we have effectively. I try to sneak tips into e-mails and to model good habits — hard when you’re in a hurry!

I’ve been leaning on Kathy Choh of Management HQ to help me with this. She provides admin support to NEWHAB. Today I’m sharing the tips we co-wrote last week. This one focused on effectively contributing to and getting the most out of NEWHAB’s Google Group.

Janne & Kathy

Janne & Kathy

 


This is a good introduction to how we use the Google Group if you are brand new to the group, and a helpful reminder if have been a part of NEWHAB since before it had a name.

First, the purpose of this Google Group. This is our main communication tool for the Network for Energy, Water and Health in Affordable Housing.

FRIENDLY WARNING: There are well over 100 people who receive these e-mails, so please be respectful of others e-mail inboxes when you broadcast to everyone.

OPPORTUNITY: There are over 100 experts who receive these e-mails, who want to know what is going on and connect with NEWHAB, so please take advantage of this list to share and solicit expertise as well as to connect with one another.

Tips: read more »

Network Weaving

Finding your Network’s Purpose

Stating your purpose is like navigating to your destination

I am in the middle of designing multiple networks this winter. With the Network for Energy, Water, and Health in Affordable Buildings (NEWHAB), we’ve been wrestling with how to highlight that resident quality of life is a key motivator, to recognize health benefits, and to be clear about the focus on affordable housing without readers getting stuck in preconceived notions of “affordable housing.”

Last week, a small team of people got together to try and finalize a purpose for our network. We relied on guidance from Connecting to Change the World: Harnessing the Power of Networks for Social Impact, a new book by Peter Plastrik, Madeleine Taylor, and John Cleveland.

In their chapter on Network Design, they recommend a purpose statement include three things:

  1. Who is this network for?
  2. What problem is it working on?
  3. What type of collaborative activities will the network undertake?

read more »

Facilitation

Network Weaving – Accomplish More, Do Less

Network Weaver Handbook

Network Weaver Handbook

For the last nine months, I’ve been exploring a new way of thinking about what I do.  That’s when I went to a workshop on Newtork Weaving, an introduction session to the concept.  I immediately saw ways it could support my work with the Alliance for Healthy Homes and Communities (through Minnesota Green Communities), as well as with the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition.

The basic concept is that by

  1. effectively engaging networks of people who
  2. share one or more common goals and
  3. all bring different resources and skills

you can accomplish more, but do less.  There’s more detail on how to do that, of course.  It includes creating the right sort of common culture, comfort with a lack of centralized control, recognizing both the strengths and weaknesses of people and working with them, and filing in gaps in the network.

Based in social network theory, June Holley has put together a set of writings, tools, activities, and worksheets to turn that theory into something easily used by people who want to do specific things.

I participated in a 5 month intensive practicum on network consulting led by June Holley and Kristin Johnstad, and will be posting more about how I’m translating that learning into action.  I’ve signed up for the Network Weaver consultant team, too. I’m primarily focused on engaging stakeholders, and am using micro-grants, mapping, and specific activities you can weave into regular meetings to build a network-weaving-friendly culture.

In the mean time, you can learn a bit more by watching this video.