CONVENERS.ORG: Convening Design: How Do We Address Power Imbalances?

CONVENERS.ORG MEMBER WEBINAR

How do we address power imbalances and create open spaces for all participants to feel free to speak at our convenings? How do we design platforms that enable groups from across cultures, sectors, and industries to engage each other with empathy, awareness, and sensitivity. Join Conveners.org for a conversation with Elevate Destinations to explore strategies and approaches for conveners to create accessible platforms for diverse groups. We will both share challenge areas, as well as design frameworks that have enabled us to mitigate imbalances. Come with questions and your own ideas to share with the group. Please note that this webinar is only open to Conveners.org Members.


CONVENERS.ORG: Catalyzing Youth Leaders for Global Impact

CONVENERS.ORG MEMBER WEBINAR

A new generation of global citizens is reshaping the world of social impact. More so than any other previous generation, millennials are prioritizing the greater good and dedicating their lives to social impact. That's what drove GlobeMed, founded by college students in 2007, to create a network that now engages over 2,000 undergraduates at 58 university-based chapters throughout the U.S. Each chapter is partnered one-to-one with a grassroots health organization in Africa, Asia, or the Americas -- and through their involvement, GlobeMed students and partners commit to a life of leadership and impact.

Join Conveners.org as we co-host a webinar with GlobeMed to hear how they are catalyzing youth leaders for global impact in health and social justice. Come with questions and your own ideas to share with the group. Please note that this webinar is only open to Conveners.org Members.

 

 


CONVENERS.ORG: Building Lasting Communities

CONVENERS.ORG MEMBER WEBINAR

As the number of impact communities around the world grows, it is increasingly important for Convening organizations to build communities that last. Tendrel, a global organization for leading social entrepreneurs, is building sustained peer communities through the launch of 20 global forums in 30 countries forums with 155 members as Presidents, Founders, and CEOs. In convening ongoing, confidential, and local peer groups where social entrepreneurs can reflect, share, listen, and support each other through personal and professional growth, Tendrel is building a community of systems thinking entrepreneurs who are dedicated to not only increasing their organizations' impact, but also to transforming systems that perpetuate the very problems we are trying to solve.

Join Conveners.org as we co-host a webinar with Devon Davey of Tendrel as we discuss what it takes to build lasting communities and the best practices of peer groups. Come with questions and your own ideas to share with the group. Please note that this webinar is only open to Conveners.org Members.


CONVENERS.ORG: Creative Approaches to Convening Cross-Sector Leaders

CONVENERS.ORG MEMBER WEBINAR

Too often leaders within different sectors are stymied by silos, and lack the proper networks or systemic strategies to confront complex challenges and achieve positive impact. The Presidio Institute is addressing just that: the Institute fosters collaboration among leaders in the corporate, non-profit, government, and other sectors to make meaningful impact in the world, all while inspiring leaders to work across boundaries. Their latest initiative, Leaderosity, a new online leadership development learning platform for social impact leaders, allows participants to challenge themselves – and their online colleagues – to become more adaptable and collaborative leaders.

Join Conveners.org on July 26 as we co-host a webinar with David Styers of the Presidio Institute to lead a conversation about creative approaches to convening cross-sector leaders for impact. Come with questions and your own ideas to share with the group. Please note that this webinar is only open to Conveners.org Members.


CONVENERS.ORG: Building A Whole Person Economy

CONVENERS.ORG MEMBER WEBINAR

According to A Whole Person Economy founder Evan Steiner, systemic approaches require extensive collaboration and the ability to work across a range of disciplines, from mission-driven entrepreneurship, economic development, and philosophy, to academia, public policy, philanthropy, and civic engagement. A Whole Person Economy provides an infrastructure to support these collaborations, build new initiatives, and work together more effectively as a community of peers.

Join Conveners.org and Evan Steiner as we host a conversation on how to bridge silos across disciplines and industries to build a whole person economy. Come with questions and your own investment convening challenges to explore. Please note that this webinar is only open to Conveners.org Members.


CONVENERS.ORG: Impact Investing Conveners Roundtable

CONVENERS.ORG MEMBER WEBINAR

The role of the impact investor is evolving. Investments made into companies, organizations, and funds with the intention of generating measurable, beneficial social or environmental impact alongside a financial return are on the rise globally, and so is interest in impact investing convenings and the educational and networking opportunities they provide. With the growing momentum of this sector, what is the role of impact investing conveners? Join Conveners.org as we host a roundtable conversation about the state of impact investing convening with experts in the field. Come with questions and your own investment convening challenges to explore.

Please note that this webinar is by invitation only; if you would like to request an invitation, please email us at [email protected]


Webinar Recap: The Power of Convening in Changing Times

What is our role and responsibility as impact conveners in a rapidly shifting socio-political landscape? From travel visas to new areas of rapidly developing content, impact conveners are faced with the growing task of responding to the micro and macro implications of the new U.S. administration and growing populist movement across the globe.

Creating a space for dialogue, Conveners.org co-hosted a webinar on March 15 with Liz Maxwell, SOCAP 365 Product Manager, during which fellow impact conveners shared how they are addressing issues that are arising during these changing times.

Webinar participants explored the following questions: how do we understand the function of our work at this moment in history? What types of local, national, and global contexts might we (reactively) integrate and (proactively) shape through our convenings? In the most ambitious and hopeful scenarios, what sort of strategic alliances might we build as a field to rise to the challenge of these changing times?

As fellow network builders, system thinkers, and professionals dedicated to positive social change, participants shared the following strategies during the webinar:

  • Ensure diversity of thought: One webinar participant shared the importance of recognizing the value of diverse thinking at convenings, and that everyone should have a seat at the table. 
  • Set norms for communication: Another participant mentioned that to case a wider net, conveners must learn to moderate language to bring others into the fold. One participant also mentioned the need to have patience with other point of views and refrain from categorization, recognizing that everyone has their own unique experience, and being mindful of words we use to describe groups or ideas.
  • Inviting people into the fold: One webinar participant shared that it's important to make sure that we’re bringing people together that would normally not be together, and that we’re pulling in people who would not normally go to impact conferences. For example, NGOs may have never thought about attending an impact investing meeting, though could learn much and add much value to such meeting. 
  • Take risks: Another participant shared the importance of not being afraid to take risks in terms of audiences reached and formats that are tried.

In addition, participants shared the following resources that may enable leaders to be better equipped with dealing with current events:

  • The New Grand Strategy, great new book on vast road ahead with or without Washington, particularly all that can be led by private sector investment and businesses
  • Strangers in Their Own Land, the renowned sociologist Arlie Hochschild embarks on a thought-provoking journey from her liberal hometown of Berkeley, California, deep into Louisiana bayou country—a stronghold of the conservative right—and gets to know people who strongly oppose many of the ideas she famously champions. Hochschild nevertheless finds common ground and finds lives ripped apart by stagnant wages, a loss of home, an elusive American dream—and political choices and views that make sense in the context of their lives.

If you have additional resources you'd like to share with the community, email us at [email protected]

Image Source: meedanphotos


CONVENERS.ORG: The Power of Convening in Changing Times

CONVENERS.ORG MEMBER WEBINAR

What is our role & responsibility as impact conveners in a rapidly shifting socio-political landscape?

From travel visas to new areas of rapidly developing content, let's have a dialogue around how fellow impact conveners are responding to micro and macro implications of the new U.S. administration and growing populist movement across the globe.

We'll also explore what type of collective response we may want to orchestrate in the years ahead. As network builders, system thinkers, and professionals dedicated to positive social change—how do we understand the function of our work at this moment in history? What types of local, national, and global contexts might we (reactively) integrate and (proactively) shape through our convenings? In the most ambitious and hopeful scenarios, what sort of strategic alliances might we build as a field to rise to the challenge of these changing times?

Join us on March 15 as Liz Maxwell, SOCAP 365 Product Manager, co-hosts a Conveners.org webinar on "The Power of Convening in Changing Times". Please note that this webinar is only open to Conveners.org Members.

 


Webinar Recap: Strategies to Increase Participant Diversity

A core function of our work as conveners is to bring together communities and spur dialogue, peer-learning, and collaboration. Inherent to our success is the ability to convene truly diverse voices. In 2016, a cohort of conveners gathered to reflect on the issue of participant diversity—and more specifically:

  • Why is participant diversity important to our work?
  • How do we best achieve it?; and
  • When within our planning processes do we address diversity issues?

Individuals representing diverse organizations joined a Conveners.org webinar hosted on February 23rd to build upon that conversation. The webinar was moderated by Sujatha Sebastian, Director of Membership & Advisory Services, who shared learnings collected from last year's conversation, and charted strategies for how to continue this important work in 2017.

Some of the roadblocks to designing diverse convenings that were discussed include 1) competing organizational priorities, 2) lack of focused leadership, 3) ineffective strategies to build participant pipelines, and 4) event design that fails to consider diversity.

After sharing how their organization addresses diversity, webinar participants shared the following ideas to increase participant diversity at impact convenings:

  • As a conference organizer, take the 50/50 Pledge (a pledge originated in the technology conference space) and commit to have 50 percent of speakers be women
  • Train staff on emotional resiliency in order to create spaces for multiple voices to be heard without having to have feelings of threats internally
  • Find money to cover cost of diverse speakers; these cost should not be passed on to conference organizers
  • Include a virtual convening aspect to your conference, which is also a way to engage people who cannot travel or attend due to various barriers
  • Designate an ombusdman for your organization to ensure that diverse voices are represented
  • Make a personal pledge to not participate in convenings that don’t reflect an intention to diversify

These were the tactics shared by the group during the webinar. Do you have your own ideas? We encourage you to tweet your ideas to us @theconveners.


Webinar Recap: Making Complex Collaborations Work

The diagrams above show how connections between organizations can evolve when complex collaborations work. During a webinar on January 18, Zach Anderson, Partner at Converge for Impact, shared why complex collaborations are needed to create sustainable positive impactand what is required to make those collaborations succeed.

No one organization or even sector can solve the complex problems our world faces. That’s why, according to Converge, collaboration among organizations is critical for real systems change. But collaboration, particularly across organizations, is hard, and it typically requires that people engage in ways they may not be used to.

Most organizations are accustomed to operating with a singular focus on their mission and activities. However, it’s possible to increase the scale of their impact by viewing the problem with a systems-lens and seeing the organization as just one part of an interconnected constellation of other partners, who all intersect with the same central issue -- whether it be alleviating poverty, providing access to quality health care, or improving education outcomes. With this reframed perspective, organizations can more effectively partner together in ways that support their existing work and serve their self-interests, while also working collaboratively and strategically to achieve more together than they ever could alone.

Any successful collaboration must actively manage what Converge calls the “Five C’s”: Clarify purpose, Convene the right people, Cultivate trust, Coordinate existing actions, and Collaborate at the systems level. To illustrate the Five C’s in action, Anderson shared the work of the Santa Cruz Mountains Stewardship Network, a cross-sector collaboration of 19 organizations focused on improving land stewardship over 500k acres of one of the world’s most unique ecosystems.

Anderson emphasized the importance of building trust-based relationships among participants. “In our experience, which is supported by research, trust is the single most important ingredient in any successful collaboration. Trust is a verbit’s not something you feel, it’s something you do,” Anderson said. “To realize the potential of collaboration, any process must explicitly invest time and attention in connecting people.”

The second half of the webinar involved a lively Q&A discussion, during which participants asked questions such as “Where are the trip wires to building collaborations that work?” “How do you make the leap from a learning network to an impact network?” And “what’s the secret to having the right person facilitate during hard conversations?”

To view a recording of the webinar, click here. And to learn more about this topic, check out the following resources recommended by Converge:

Read more about how to make complex collaborations work in this blog post.