Category Archives: Events

Events organized by CPsquare or attended by its members

Preliminary Conference Schedule

This is a working version of the conference schedule which is still evolving (mixing scheduled items with a few tentative items). Numbered items are scheduled. Bulleted items are not quite scheduled yet.

  1. Opening – Bill Snyder: Communities of Practice: Organizing for Renewal – June 27 (see more detail below)
  2. Robert Putnam reading: Prayer request circles vignette from American Grace – June 29
  3. Josh Plakoff and Estee Solomon Grey: Isomorphism between Judaism and Communities of Practice – July 5
  4. Lisa Colton: the Jewish indie minyan “phenomenon” – July 7
  5. Joe Kutter: Community of Practice initiatives in the American Baptist Church – July 20
  6. Sr. Maxine and Julie – anunslife.org an online Catholic community – July 21

Not quite scheduled yet:

  • Frank Daugherity, “A Christian community ministering to disaster victims in Japan.” Spiritual and religious communities are alive and well in Japan, despite the devastation from the 9.0 earthquake and Tsunami. Frank observes the interactions of several communities during a work mission with http://crashjapan.com/ during the first half of July. CRASH is a group of Japanese Christians that have been doing relief work all over Asia. Frank is an ordained minister and long-time member of CPsquare who lived in Japan for 20 years earlier in his life. How do the several communities show up and how might they evolve in their response to this crisis? Join us for an interview at (TBA).
  • Dave Makokwski, “WebEx support for Tibetan New Year in an international Buddhist Sangha.” (TBA)
  • A transcription and publication project as community of practice: http://www.unfetteredweb.org/pod/who-and-how

To give a flavor of our conversations, here are a few of the provocative propositions that William M. Snyder, co-author of Cultivating Communities of Practice: A Guide to Managing Knowledge (Harvard Business School Press, 2002) with Etienne Wenger and Richard McDermott, has offered to kick off our conversations.

The learning church: initial propositions

William M. Snyder wsnyder@socialcapital.com

January 7, 2008

  • The superordinate purpose of the church is the ongoing discovery and fulfillment of the Mission of God
    • This provides a context for setting expectations and priorities at global, diocese, and congregation levels
  • As “the Body of Christ,” the church is built on human faith and relationships as well divine inspiration
    • Thus the church, like any community or organization, is affected by personal and social dynamics
    • This means attending to issues such as power, conflict, and personalities as well as scripture, sacraments, and spirit
  • Many faith communities do not demonstrate capabilities required to engage and energize members to fulfill their mission
    • Key capabilities include leadership, community-building, and practice-innovation and -development
  • We must dramatically increase our learning capacity to thrive: technical learning for improvement and transformational learning for sustained vitality and influence
    • Much to learn about learning from organization experience in other sectors
    • There is a growing repertoire of learning-related concepts, methods, and structures to draw on
  • A key strategy for learning is cultivating generative relationships—across congregations as well as within them
    • Mutually supportive relationships among peer practitioners are key for generating ideas and getting them shared and applied
    • “Communities of practice” foster learning, innovation, and collaboration
  • The church is a unique organization with distinctive capabilities—and barriers—for transformational learning
    • Large-scale, systematic change is not easy for established organizations, particularly ones (such as the Church) with a deeply embedded hierarchical structure and ideological buffers that obscure market forces
    • Yet the Church also has distinctive advantages: members’ faith and their communal commitment to embody the love of God provide an openness to the Spirit and a trustworthy foundation to build on
    • The Church’s “witness of hope” to the world also inspires internal renewal

Religious and spiritual communities conference

The text in this post is a snapshot of the Conference Wiki page.  The wiki text is sure to evolve.  This blog post is a matter of record and your invitation.

We’ve been having a conversation in CPsquare for more than 4 years about communities in religious and spiritual contexts. What is unique about those contexts? What similarities do they have with each other or with other secular communities of practice (e.g., of Java programmers or skateboarders or mothers of newborns)? What could we learn about communities in general by looking at spiritual and religious communities? What could those communities learn from exploring each other using a communities of practice perspective? We’ve decided that it’s time to hold a larger and more organized conference and invite you to join us during July 2011, whether you are only able to dip into one or two sessions or whether you can spend the whole month exploring these issues. Here is why we are doing it:

  • We are interested in what we see people learning and what they do to learn, rather than what or how they are supposed to learn. Religious and spiritual communities are interesting examples — apparently different from the corporate or professional communities that have been associated with the term “community of practice.”
  • We are always looking at communities from inside and outside because we are concerned with personal experience and social organization. Many of us actively participate in religious and spiritual communities and find that they inform our work with other communities. It seems important to practice looking at them from the outside a bit more systematically.
  • CPsquare is an international and cross-cultural community. We are curious to know more about how “situated” religious and spiritual communities are when they straddle the cultural or national boundaries we straddle or when we can observe them across those boundaries.
  • We see communities of practice at multiple levels of scale, tucked away in organizations as well as spanning the globe. We see community of practice structures at the level of an individual congregation (e.g., First Baptist Church or Congregation Beth Shalom), across congregations (e.g., meditation instructors across Shambhala) as well as inside congregations (e.g., self-organizing prayer breakfast at Saddleback Church described in Robert Putnam’s American Grace). What does that imply for those of us who seek to support or cultivate communities?

Conference organization

This is an online conference, so we will use our several platforms as we get organized in June and hold the conference in July, 2011. This conference is like an open space technology conference where the conversations are traceable back in history and the community hosting it expects to continue interacting and working on the topic as a whole in the future. (See more about participation in the conference.)

Focus issues

Because CPsquare is an ongoing community, we don’t mind tackling issues that are larger than what we can handle in one conversation or one conference. Here is the beginning of a list of issues that we could discuss or investigate:

  • Many religious or spiritual communities are examples of long-standing, highly evolved communities of practice. At the same time we find young, very recently formed communities that are attempting to address age-old issues in new ways. Communities along the whole spectrum are of inherent interest to us in the CPsquare community.
  • Religious and spiritual communities are interesting examples of communities of practice that:
    • occur at all levels of scale, from the smallest, self-organizing minyans (Jewish prayer groups that are often lay-led) to very large and formal institutions,
    • are embedded in very diverse social, cultural, technical and economic contexts,
    • create a kind of “mycorrhizae” stratum (to use Engeström’s metaphor) that creates a beneficial context for other communities.
  • Migration and social changes cause religious communities that evolved separately to now exist in social settings that are very different from where they originated (and now they live right next to traditions with very different origins), presenting new challenges as well as opportunities.
  • A social learning perspective is useful in that it allows religious communities to look at themselves in such a way as to consider the relevance of insights, innovations or difficulties faced by other communities.
  • From a social learning perspective new technologies presents opportunities for spiritual communities such as:
    • reaching larger peripheries (including proselytizing),
    • for supporting or teaching teachers,
    • technology also presents challenges because it can facilitate multi-membership and “religion as an identity game” that’s superficial, or a needlessly confrontational “issue”.
  • Communities always face interesting issues about how to organize themselves, how to grow, and how to sustain themselves. How they fund themselves and fund their ongoing evolution is always an important theme.

Case Examples

These are the kinds of cases we are thinking of (and as the schedule gets organized we will be editing the conference schedule with our latest thinking. These happen to have a technology theme, although this conference is ‘not’ limited to technology:

Schedule overview

Religious and spiritual communities conference schedule overview
The public, overview schedule will be updated as the conference takes shape. The official and more detailed conference schedule is inside the CPsquare community space.

CPsquare conferences are open but intimate. We examine a particular subject within our general field of communities of practice in greater depth across several days or weeks.

Our conferences are primarily by and for CPsquare members. Membership is open and you are invited to join us. (Dues are low enough so that a year’s membership costs less than many other conferences.) In addition to members, some people participate as guests during the conference:

  • Guests of the conference who are making a presentation (and are invited by the conference organizers)
  • Guests of an individual CPsquare member (who join as “a friend of CPsquare” and designate the individual as “sponsor” on the membership form). The expectation is that sponsors will help their guest participate and become acquainted with the CPsquare environment)

CPsquare conferences usually combine synchronous and asychronous elements, making participation possible from anywhere in the world.  (See the times in the password-protected community calendar). We will typically use more than one of our several platforms for our interactions in a conference.

What makes effective community events?

CPsquare, SCOPE and Online Community Enthusiasts are sponsoring a share fair on Thursday May 12 from 20:00 to 22:00 GMT about planning and running excellent online events for communities. (An event about designing events!  How recursive!) It’s a great opportunity to share some of what we’ve learned about what works in our communities. Would you like to share?

  • The agenda and a launch pad to participate is here: http://meetingwords.com/VbOaSj0WHB.  Here’s how the agenda stands at this moment:
    • 1:00 p Introduction and welcome
      • Event logistics review: balancing broadcast & interaction,
      • Platform & technology components
      • Fall-back positions
    • 1:10 p Morning Fish bowl report-out (format & conclusions)
    • 1:20 p Planning an online symposium to launch a community with Linda Blong, Connie Silva-Broussard, George Triest, and Percy Young.
    • 1:40 p LaDonna Coy and Susan Stewart: increasing participation by diversifying tools (See the diagram on the right.)
    • OCE Elluminate room (continued)
    • CPsquare Elluminate room
      • 2:00 p Breakout # 1
      • 2:20 p Breakout # 2
      • 2:40 p Breakout # 3

We’re also having a Twitter chat at 18:00 GMT on Thursday May 12 http://www.kmers.org/chat on “Effective online vents from a KMer perspective”

A field trip to KM4Dev

Some field trips take longer to pull together than others.  The CPsquare / SCOPE visit to and with KM4Dev has taken longer than most and feels like a much bigger deal than most.  For one thing there has been a great deal of overlap between the two communities.  KM4Dev is notable for being very productive and quite informal community in a global sector that is both complex and with its share of command-and-control style organizations. Also, it seems like this is an inflection point in the life of KM4Dev.  It has grown from about 500 members at the beginning of 2008 to over 1500 today.

Because KM4Dev is big and a bit sprawling, because there has been an overlap between CPsquare and KM4Dev membership, and because this is an interesting inflection point for KM4Dev, this field trip will have both synchronous and asynchronous components.  The asynchronous part will begin on April 20 where we look at several different facets of KM4Dev.  We will collect pointers to historical events such as face-to-face meetings or notable transitions as well as tools that have been developed, platforms or tools that have been tried.

For example, recently (in the current “My Practice” session) Joitske Hulsebosch mentioned a blog posting by Nancy White describing the effort to “translate” from the D-group email list discussions to a wiki page: it’s a great idea but hard to do.  We will try to collect such stories and examples more systematically.  Another example is that at one of the KM4Dev face-to-face meetings, Josien Kapma and Beverly Trayner practiced and developed the craft of social reporting so as to benefit the KM4Dev community (and spread good practice) and develop their own learning as well.  When I went to a KM4Dev meeting in Brussels a couple years ago, I observed a Bingo game as part of a community warm up (the video has an advertisement at the beginning):

I have to say I was pretty skeptical, but when I saw it translated into Spanish, being used at the KM4Dev meeting in Cali, I think I “got it.”  So the question is, how can KM4Dev’s history of innovation and learning be kept alive and developed further?  All successful communities face this kind of question sooner or later, and having a field trip like this is a great way to explore the question and come up with possible answers.

Although this event is different in scope and structure than our regular field trip visits, it will be open (and free), as in the past.  If you are interested in spending some time on this project, write to john (dot) smith (at) learningalliances (dot) net for enrollment in the online, asynchronous discussions.  We hope to have a good number of KM4Dev members participate in the conversation along with CPsquare members and (some) guests.  Also, if you would like to participate in just the synchronous part of field trip (which will last for 90 minutes and will be held on 27 April 2011 at 15:00 GMT, come back here for details that will be posted the day before.

For this field trip we are intending to produce a more comprehensive and systematic summary of what we learn than what has been the norm in our previous trip reports.  The final report will be published or linked from here and we have allocated some funds for an honorarium to the CPsquare member who undertakes writing the summary.

Fifth year of Shadow the Leader: Franklin Cook

This year CPsquare’s Shadow the Leader series will shadow Franklin Cook, who is working to establish a community of practice on suicide bereavement in the United States. Here is more information about him: http://www.save.org/franklin Some of the big questions that may come  up this year are:

  • Is this more of a network or a community of practice? Does that question matter?
  • How do institutional role and mission affect the participation of individuals?
  • What kinds of resources does a community like this require?

Our first session will be on Thursday September 23.  The Shadow the Leader series has been going on for four years.

  • In four years we’ve explored questions of leadership, legitimacy, platforms and how they work together, multi-membership, community peripheries, and business models.
  • The leaders we’ve shadowed have ranged from people who had never heard of CPsquare or communities of practice before to people who’ve been very involved in our community over a long period of time.
  • The basic form has been fairly constant. We always start with: “How is your community?” and take it from there.
  • We continue meeting every month whether the group that shows up on the conference call is large or small.

Ground rules for these conversations are:

  • Inquiry: We avoid volunteering advice. The main point is to see the situation through the eyes of a practitioner.
  • Open participation: Any member of CPsquare can join us. Although the conversation evolves and a lot of context accumulates, the conversations are such that you can get a lot out of any one of the sessions without having participated in any of the previous ones.
  • We design this so that multiple levels of participation are possible. Members can just scan the chat room notes, or listen to the audio recordings, or “sit in” on the calls, or be one of the active contributors to any one conversation or to the whole series.

This series is rewarding because it:

  • Explores what works on the ground in a specific situation (reflecting on why things work, as well) rather than a theoretical “best” practice aimed at a theoretical or “typical” setting
  • Focuses on “the doing it”: the rewards, techniques, obstacles, confusions, and outcomes as they unfold in time. Instead of the plan or the recollection after the fact, we try to look at community leadership and development “in the moment.”
  • Looks at how all the elements fit together: personal, political, technical, organizational.
  • Offers an example of the coexistence of the cutting and the trailing edges

SEEDING 2.0 launching this week

We are about to launch the SEEDING 2.0 conference. We have rich and varied cases to look at together:


8/20: The Community Seeding 2.0 Conference overview and framework

8/20: Kathleen Anderson on a “traditional” case

8/23: Caren Levine & Lisa Colton: Social Media Bootcamp

8/24: June Holley, Nancy White, and John Smith: a Network Weaving Community

8/25: Bronwyn Stuckey and John Smith: Tech stewardship workshop

8/26: LaDonna Coy: Subtstance abuse prevention communities in Oklahoma and Kansas

8/27: Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach: Experience and research with teachers communities

8/31: Josien Kapma: training trajectory for GUUS/LNV/vrouwen van n.

To help us handle the richness, we have these provocative propositions to consider:

  • Forums and email lists unconsciously shaped our thinking about communities
  • Communities need “a place” to identify with
  • A community’s topic can be known in advance, otherwise why cultivate?
  • Membership in a community should be identified in advance
  • It’s best to build a platform so they will come
  • Practices for “Being Together” can be taught or changed after the other elements of a community are set
  • Forming a community requires a certain amount of privacy, don’t do it in public

Conversations, reflections, field trips, workshops

August is turning out to be a busy month for CPsquare members: we’re visiting with a community leader from a big software company, reflecting with Etienne and Beverly on the on multiple layers of the BEtreat that they hosted during July, and we’re wrapping up a year of inquiry around business models for public communities of practice

Our next Quarterly Field Trip is on Wednesday August 18, 2010 at 18:00 GMT to Healthy Minds – Healthy Campuses community, which has the goal of promoting peer-to-peer learning about issues related to campus mental health and healthy substance use amongst British Columbia post-secondary students. Members include students, professors, counselors, human rights advisors, disability advocates, administrators, residence life staff, and researchers. Public participation in our quarterly field trips is encouraged!

Announcing: Community Seeding 2.0a short conference on community launch strategies and cases that are based on introducing Web 2.0 tools. It starts August 23, 2010 and you have to join CPsquare to participate.

In September we’ll run the Foundations of Communities of Practice workshop for the 30th time! We keep offering it because every time has its refinements and unique challenges. This time we’re welcoming several people from Latin America with whom we’ll explore many of the issues that come up with multi-lingual and multi-cultural communities. Actually the following explanatory text is interesting in that it has evolved in English over many years, I then used Google Translate to make a first draft in Spanish, I edited it extensively and found that Microsoft Outlook had very helpful Spanish grammar and spelling corrects, after which two of the participants in the upcoming workshop suggested further changes! Here is the invitation in Spanish, which you might share with any Spanish-speakers who might be interested:

El próximo taller sobre los elementos fundamentales de las Comunidades de Práctica se ofrecerá en línea a partir 13 de septiembre. Dirigido por Etienne Wenger, John Smith, y Bronwyn Stuckey, el taller se enfoca en lo que son las comunidades de práctica, cómo funcionan, por qué son importantes, y cómo pueden ser apoyadas, nutridas e involucradas para el beneficio de sus organizaciones y la sociedad en general.

El taller mismo contiene muchos elementos de una comunidad en un ambiente global y ocurre en-línea durante seis semanas. El taller le ofrece la oportunidad de considerar temas de las comunidades en general y familiarizarse con una serie de comunidades de práctica específicas, las cuales nos presentan colegas invitados u otros participantes en el taller.

La experiencia de trabajar juntos de esta manera nos inspira a todos y es algo que realmente no se puede obtener de un libro. Para muchas personas este taller ha sido parte de un cambio de carrera. Participar en el taller lanza colaboraciones de varias clases: algunos que participan regresan después como mentores, colegas invitados, o como miembros de CPsquare. En ese sentido, cuando se comparte en esta experiencia uno está entrando en una comunidad de práctica autentica que vive en la vanguardia de la práctica.

Además de trabajar en un proyecto de su elección con los demás, como participante tiene acceso a los proyectos que otros participantes han producido en los últimos años. (Esta será la 31ª vez que se el taller se ha ofrecido desde 1998.) Algunas muestras están disponibles, junto con noticias y otros detalles en el blog CPsquare:

http://cpsquare.org

El espacio del taller es como un plan de estudios y el calendario del taller también está diseñado como instrumento de aprendizaje:

http://cpsquare.org/edu/foundations/schedule

La Participación en el taller consiste en conferencias asíncronas basadas en la web, en teleconferencias y reuniones organizadas participante a través de Internet. Los eventos sincrónicos (llamadas por teléfono, por Skype o por chat) ocurren durante las horas de trabajo. Algunas personas participan sólo 4 horas a la semana, pero otros pasan mucho más tiempo involucrados en las conversaciones y proyectos del taller. A menudo alguien trae algún proyecto en el cual están trabajando en su propio trabajo, y los demás se ofrecen como consultoría de alto nivel. Ese estilo de ayuda mutua en el taller tiene beneficios puede todos.

El idioma principal del taller es el inglés. Pero siempre hemos tenido participantes cuyo primer idioma no es el Inglés y en Septiembre del 2010, van haber varias personas de habla hispana (que están participando por primera vez, que están volviendo a ayudar como mentores, que son colegas invitados a dar una charla o montar una conversación especial, o que son parte del personal docente).

Los participantes en el taller provienen de diferentes industrias, países, y variado contexto organizacional, y de diferentes profesiones. Siempre invitamos a algunos colegas que tienen experiencias en el desarrollo de las comunidades de práctica en empresas o en organizaciones sin fin pecuniario. Los detalles y los formularios de inscripción se encuentran aquí:

http://CPsquare.org/edu/foundations

R&D series: Final Note of Appreciation

As we try to reorganize and rename our R&D Fest series into a more regular and somewhat more leisurely activity called the R&D Series, we were lucky enough to have CPsquare member Grady McGonagill be the first one to jump in and help us re-think and re-work it. As Alice MacGillivray wrote, we thought it would be different and it proved to be engaging and productive in many ways.  It turns out that nobody could summarize how it turned out better than Grady himself, who posted the following very gracious note of summary and appreciation after he had recovered from a very intense week of conversation:

“I want to express my heartfelt appreciation for the privilege of having a draft of my study be the focus of a CPsquare R&D Fest. My gratitude extends to multiple levels:

  • To the entire CPsquare community for being contributors to the ecosystem that created this forum
  • To the many who participated in the Fest for their investment of time and energy
  • To the facilitators—Alice and Debra, and also John—for their skillful stimulation and guidance of the conversations
  • To those (John, Alice, Debra, Pem, perhaps others I’m not aware of) who took the remarkable step of reading the entire 80+ page draft
  • To John for the invitation to be the focus of the R&D Fest, for his behind the scenes encouragement of contributions, and for his creation and stewardship of this innovative community of practice.

“A number of specific benefits of participating in the Fest stand out:

  • Thoughtful challenges to the wisdom and value of framing the history of the Web in terms of Web 1.0, 2.0, 3.0 were very helpful to me in thinking through my rationale for doing so. I’ve gotten clear that I wish to retain these distinctions (and include reference to Web 4.0, which I hadn’t heard of!), for their value in highlighting key features of the Web’s evolution, while stressing the limits and arbitrariness of making such distinctions in the way I frame an conclude the history. The exchange pushed my thinking to a “meta” level.
  • Challenges and affirmations of my warning about relying on the IT department were helpful in several ways. They deepened my understanding of the complexity and variety of IT dept roles, and the need to couch and qualify my recommendation in ways that acknowledge this. At the same time it affirmed the value of expressing my warning, perhaps even more strongly.
  • Challenges to my assertion that few if any organizations had achieved a learning culture generated a very useful discussion about learning that I continue to think about
  • Questions about the value and impact of a lengthy written document as a tool for achieving the Bertelsmann Foundations goals were helpful in encouraging my client Tina Doerffer and I to think beyond completion of the report to the creation of forums of various stakeholders for its discussion
  • Questions about the coherence and consistency of how I intend to portray the relationship between technology and leadership continue to be on my mind as questions to “live into” as I consider how best to frame the overall study and which themes to highlight.
  • I gained from reminders of work that I’m familiar with but could more directly draw upon (e.g., Drath and Palus on making meaning), introduction to new works and ideas (e.g., McCracken on culture, McCandless and Limpanowicz on “liberating structures”), and pointers to examples of practice that I was not familiar with (e.g., “mashup corporations,” Intel’s Planet Blue, Wipro in India).
  • And I benefited from Debra’s coaching on use of hashtags and introduction to tools such as Tweetchat and Twitterfall.

“Many of the benefits were less tangible, taking the form of seeds that will blossom over time and beyond the work on this particular study. Examples would be the wonderfully rich sidebar discussions on things like the work of David Snowden, which elicited lengthy contributions from Nancy and Alice. And it includes interactions and ongoing conversations about knowledge, learning, and complexity with several members.

“In the long term the greatest impact may be the deepening of my respect and appreciation for CPsquare and heightened interest in participating in this remarkable and unique Community of Practice. Thanks!”

Community Seeding 2.0: Seeding communities with social media training

Getting a community of practice going is a topic of abiding interest, debate, and learning in CPsquare. In the past, the technology side would include starting an email list, setting up a gated forum on a website, calling a teleconference or writing a community charter together. Web 2.0 technologies offer many more choices than we ever had before, so we see a number of communities seeded by teaching a specific group of people to use social media together. As they figure out the different tools and how those tools work with each other, people get to know each other, conversations get going and a community begins to form.

Gathering the different experiences from CPsquare and beyond, in a conference format, we will address several questions during the week of August 23, 2010 such as:

  • What are the elements and the results of this strategy?
  • Which social media tools are taught, how and in what order?
  • What does the developmental process look like?
  • What is predictable and what is surprising?
  • In what contexts does this strategy work?

This conference is in the early planning stages, but June Holley, Joitske Hulebosch, Josien Kapma, Caren Levine, John SmithLaDonna Coy, and Nancy White are all planning to present.  There’s still room for others, so join us if you have something to offer or just want to tag along!  If our discussions won’t fit in one week, we’ll go longer.

(Photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/evelynishere/)

Evolving practice around research and dissertations

CPsquare’s “Research and Dissertation Fests” were partly based on a strategy of trying to cope with the amount and variety of good work about communities of practice being produced out there.  We would try to create a reflective space to look at as much of it as we can and do so in a way that facilitates comparisons allows for one piece of work to spark insights around the others.

It turns out that the way we had organized the events was too intense.  For several years we held a 2 or 3 week series in which 7 to 12 people presented their work.  I assumed that nobody would actually try to participate synchronously in all of those events and that doing them in a short period of time would force people to choose, which was assumed to be OK.  We did a little polling and reflecting and have changed our practice.  By way of a report on the new format, here is a welcoming announcement by Alice MacGillivray:

Welcome to the first in a new series of research and development events with CPsquare member Grady McGonagill. Grady will present a draft report on leadership implications of the evolving web, which he is writing for the Bertelsmann Foundation. I’m Alice MacGillivray, one of the event hosts, and I’m sharing some of my perspectives on this event.

As you know, we have many learning events and processes in CPsquare. One ongoing tool is the “Help in Real Time,” forum. in which anyone can ask for advice on a current challenge. Another was “Dissertation Fests,” which morphed into “Research Fests” and have now grown into this “R&D Series” concept. I believe the event we are now launching has roots in both Research Fests and Help in Real Time, and therefore the potential for synergies from this overlap.

Grady has brought us a timely topic and format for the first event in this series, for several reasons:

  • The work is not yet complete, and we have often found dialogue about research-in-progress to be more provocative and multi-layered than presentations about completed research (no matter how excellent and informative those sessions have been).
  • Grady is modeling the opening of a consulting project, including the engagement of his client, into the CPsquare space. Imagine the potential for learning and excellence if CPsquare members regularly consulted with each other in this way. On the flip side, there may be some cautions about jumping into “someone else’s” consulting, and we might learn about such cautions and approaches during Grady’s event.
    • This project addresses at least two topics which are firmly woven throughout Community of Practice work: social media and leadership. We talk about both, but neither has been a dominant focus. As a meta-community of practitioners, we are used to working with ideas and with the real world: this event has the potential to stretch the boundaries of those conversations within CPsquare.

      Grady will be with us to pose some questions and engage in conversation, beginning Wednesday morning. I encourage you to introduce yourselves before we dig into Grady’s requests. A typical introduction is fine, but I challenge you to consider telling a story from which we can learn more about you as a person, your interest in the topic, and how you came to this gathering.

      Bring good questions, think about how you can learn from these exchanges, and enjoy the week.

      Alice MacGillivray, PhD
      www.4KM.net