Saturday, March 10, 2012

Power of Connected Networks

In one of the sessions of the Getting It Done II Conference I attended Monday and Tuesday of last week, a facilitator defined "organizing" as an intentional effort to obtain relational power, which translates to political influence, philanthropic influence and community influence.

I was impressed by how well Community Development Organizations have been able to mobilize and obtain this type of power, and I was also humbled by how far I and other youth development organizations might need to go to achieve a similar level of power and influence.

Over the past few days I've been visiting web sites of people who were speakers and workshop leaders at the conference. I added some to this section of the Tutor/Mentor Library and I created the map below to show the range of organizations this conference brought together. You can see this actual map here. Last October after I attended a DropOut Prevention Conference I created a similar map, which you can view in this link. By creating these maps and putting links into my library I'm sharing what I learn every day with anyone who visits my web sites or reads my blogs. Based on what I've read of knowledge management over the past decade, this is a value because it saves other people time in finding this information and helps them to see how one idea or network fits together with other ideas and networks as part of a larger collective effort to help kids from poverty areas get the support each needs to move through school and into jobs.

Then, today, I was introduced by my Facebook network to an article titled "Knowledge and Praxis of Networks As a Political Process" written by Yannick Rumpala from the University of Nice, in Nice, France.

In 17 pages Dr. Rumpala provided numerous reasons for mapping and understanding networks, as part of an effort to achieve critical mass and POLITICAL influence. In one statement he wrote "A reticular vision can be a way to rethink the idea of citizenship."

As I read this I saw many things that I've been doing intuitively but with extremely limited talent and resources. I saw the potential of connecting with a much larger network of thinkers and innovators who were mapping ideas, networks and processes and making this information available to support community and political involvement throughout the world.

I hope some of my readers will take some time to read this paper and look at the maps I've created. I'll look forward to hearing from you and working with those who see the potential of what I've been doing and what Dr. Rumpala is describing.

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