First SCP workshop
The first SCP workshop took place on September 6th and 7th in Križevci, Croatia, immediately before the 2019 ECOLISE General Assembly. It was attended by about 15 on-site participants.
Finding a common ground
- What is the SCP?
The SCP is along-term program, coordinating the learning of many diverse SCP projects. It aims at launching macro-grant regional pilot projects with parallel community action in different states.Those will create action learning networks at multiple nested levels.
- The SCP's purpose and aim
The SCP can be a meeting ground for different networks, where they can find more ways to collaborate and support each other. This will facilitate system shifting of regional and inter-regional networks and net-weaving. Doing that it will enhance collaboration across sectors, territories and regions. Members of the networks will support each other on different levels, such as collaborative accessing of funding for projects, but also by mutually giving hope.Together that will illuminate and accelerate responses on sustainability challenges, developed by collaborative community initiatives.
In addition to the network development the SCP focuses on the enhancement of alternative modes of learning. Examples are:
- localising and grounding good practice from across Europe and beyond in regional and translocal hubs.
- enabling regional facilitators for transformative change.
- Exchange of good practices and creation of a shared knowledge base.
- Create new types of learning processes, such as
- facilitation of community-led tranformative change and the forming of a harmonious community.
- travel/learning hubs.
- online and in person courses by members for members and others.
- The role of ECOLISE
ECOLISE functions as an umbrella under which a diverse variety of projects is working and experimenting. Taken together, the different approaches under the umbrella will create prototypes for a support system, the creation of livelihoods working in the field of social transformation. The relationship between the single projects and the umbrella is marked by mutual learning. The role of ECOLISE is to ensure that knowledge can be shared among the network in a coordinated, easily accessible and dynamic way.
Examples and connected networks
Examples for networks of community led initiatives on a regional and inter-regional level were collected.
- Inter-regional networks
- Regional networks
Communities of Practice
Davie Philip opened the session with a presentation about the Cultivating communities of practice start-up guide by Etienne Wenger . Nenad Maljkovic presented the Sociocracy 3.0  and the Network weaving CoP  as examples of communities of practice.
Further discussions in this session built on the definition of a Community of practice (CoP) by Etienne Wagner. She defines CoPs as groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly. The learning that takes place is not necessarily intentional.. This definition was extended creating a shared understanding of CoPs and how they fit into the SCP framework.
In the following discussion several insights and further questions emerged.
- It was stressed that communities of practice go beyond the local (streets, neighbourhoods or even villages) as they connect actors translocally. This means, that the connection between members of the CoP does not follow regional, or even national borders. It can rather emerge between actors of different countries, different regions, different milieus or sectors.
- The connection between the members of a CoP happens at an emotional and personal level.
- Also the benefits of working together in contrast to isolated local initiatives were discussed. Single initiatives were seen as less likely to spread and inspire others on a national and international level. Connecting in a community of practice enhances the ability to inspire and expand. A second point raised was that solidarity and redistribution mechanisms enhance the resilience of initiatives and can help to build competences and capacities and to solve problems.
Collaboration and resourcing
In this session the following options for collaboration and funding were collected.
- Wenger, E., McDermott, R., Snyder, W.M. (2002) Cultivating Communities of Practice. A guide to managing knowledge. Boston, Massachusetts: Harvard Business School Press. http://cpcoaching.it/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/WengerCPC.pdf
- Wenger, E. (2000). Communities of Practice and Social Learning Systems. Organization 7 (2): 225-246.