17 thoughts on “Network-ing Does Not Equal Network WEAVING”

  1. Christine, this is a very elegant and insightful application of CDE. Beautiful to see it underneath this useful architecture of networks. The differences you see are so clearly stated here. Seeing all the sames and differences.  It helps me understand why I was so excited to see  the map you helped us build.  We had moved from ego- to eco-, but it was hard for people to realize it until we could see it. Now, I take our hubbiest hubs out of the map, and it is still massively entangled. One small example, I received this link from a network member in New Zealand. 

    We're further testing the limits of our eco-network as we think about HSD in 2051. Sustainability takes on a whole new meaning. Thanks, as always, for your powerful theory and practice! 

    One question from another colleague: Why "weaving" to describe the evolution of the eco-network? This seems to put efficacy and agency in the hands of the artist rather that the distributed work of the whole. Is there another word  Glenda


    • Glenda, thanks for the kind words 🙂

      I’m really glad for what your map is helping you learn about your own network 🙂 That makes me happy!

      My reflections about why ‘weaving’ – here’s the sequence of what popped into my head at that question:

      1) Simply because of June Holley’s work – which she calls ‘Network Weaving’. In some contexts it’s more effective to use a phrase that lots of people already register a meaning for than to word-smith a more perfect new one. It’s the word most used in my neck of the woods and I’m either lazy or complacent or simply OK with going along on this one.

      2) I agree about the more singular efficacy and agency – which sometimes feels a bit heavy to me in the Weaving community.

      3) Though my guess is that June would say we’re all weaving – not just a single artist – and, the whole point is to increase efficacy and agency throughout the network.

      4) So then maybe the metaphor is more like – an ecosystem grows from the efforts of a murmuration of weavers. . .

      5) Maybe there IS a better, more nature-based word & I should think about that, but too busy right now – put it in the subconscious to chew on.

      6) But then – it’s a paradigm shift (meaning, here – a change in how humans think about the world). And in fact, as I know you know quite well Glenda, human self-organizing doesn’t just happen spontaneously (because of memory, emotion and prior indoctrination) as it does in nature. Human self-organizing DOeS seem to require unlearning and new learning, or some kind of . . . intervention is too strong a word, but – it DOES seem to need human agents supporting and modelling a new way of seeing and taking action together. It DOES seem to need some (human) agentic intention to help others shift patterns. . . .So maybe ‘weaver’ isn’t so bad after-all.

      7) And if you think about weaving (which I actually used to do – on a big floor loom – in a prior lifetime), it’s not a bad metaphor. . . (esp. if we imagine that each strand of warp & woof has awareness & agency. . .)

      My contemplation ends there for now. . .
      In any case – it’s a valuable question 🙂

      8) OK – this strand won’t seem to stop – The natural metaphor I’d use would be whatever the verb is for what the mycelium does underground as it is spreads & connects. . . Is there such a word?

  2. Thanks for the article. I added it to a list of articles about collaboration and network building in web library that I've been building since mid 1990s.  http://tinyurl.com/TMI-Collaboration

    I've been attempting to build a "network of purpose" since 1993 focused on the ecosystem of people and organizations who need to be involved in helping kids born or living in high poverty neighborhoods move through school and into jobs and careers by mid 20s.  The web library includes a directory of nearly 200 Chicago youth tutor and mentor organizations with an additional 2000 plus links to research showing where and why such programs are needed, articles showing resources people can use to build and constantly improve needed programs, and links to ideas about process improvement, innovation, mapping, visualization, collaboration and network building, such as yours.

    I have defined my network around "purpose" since forming the Tutor/Mentor Connection in 1993, but also around geography, using GIS maps of Chicago to show all of the high poverty neighborhoods where kids, families and schools need extra help from a wide range of stakeholders.

    To me building a network and connecting people and ideas starts with building a list of who is already involved in some way, then using what ever communications tools are available to try to connect one with another, and myself with as many as possible. I've been writing a http://tutormentor.blogspot.com blog since 2005 and nearly 190 articles are tagged "network weaving, network analysis and networking".  

    I hope to connect with you and others who do this work.


  3. Fascinating discussion — important themes, considering various concept of "network".  I have this spiritual/metaphysical vision that "circles are connected through their centers" — so this theme tend to bump against the notion that transformative netweaving cannot have a single integral center.  I'd love to discuss this with you in detail — this is a beautiful project and your network model is very graceful and elegant.  I was working on http://charterforcocreation.net — and now I am doing http://transformthesystem.net.  Love to discuss all this with you some time.  I'm listing greaterthanthesum.com in the organization database for transformthesystem.net

  4. Great article Christine. Thank you. Your writing resonates with the work we have been doing in a group within the Teal for Teal network / community we have come to call Platwerk (platform and network).

    The term eco-network as such I have not seen before. I did hear about eco-systems in an organisational context in Otto Scharmer's work Leading from the Emerging Future. Almost at the same time I came across the term meshworking (as a weaved network) in the work of of Anne-Marie Voorhoeve and the Center for Human Emergence. And as I understand it, CHE takes much of the terminology from Don Beck and Margaret Wheatley and the Birkana Institute. … I could go on but I'm sure you use those sources as well.

    I'm happy you are introducing 'imagination'. I agree this is very important.

    I do question myself why these subjects have not received much attention (yet)?


  5. Thank you Christine for putting this in the context of an ecosystem which makes perfect sense to me. May I share giving you credit please? I'm putting together a workshop idea with ecosystems as the educator.

  6. Love this post, Christine! I have been saying to various groups something along these lines, that networking and network weaving are different mainly because it's not just about making you the hub. That does not support overall resilience, sharing, and other network effects. If what we want to do is support regenerative capacity, then let's weave away in smart and generous ways. This is so wonderfully robust! I like calling out the difference between eco and ego-networking. Will be sharing with others for sure!

  7. Lovely article, well said. I particularly liked this statement: "And the only way we ever create something new, for which there is no current model, is if we imagine it first." I think your mapping tool is helping people to imagine and really "see" their own eco-networks.

    • Thank you Amy! We’re still all learning together how to stimulate that imaginative shift. And I at least hope that mapping is ane part of that.


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