Generating ideas, connections, and action

News Update: Communication Revolution, Network Weaving, and Leadership!

On The Communication (and Political) Revolution… 

  • As we have watched events in Egypt unfold in the recent weeks, we have to be amazed by the incredible connective technologies that have helped to spur this historic revolution.  According to Marcia Newbert of Edleman Digital, we are witnessing a communications revolution as well as a political one.  She points out and discusses several points that suggest social media has had a very significant impact on unfolding events.

  • Meta-Activism Projects posts a framework for examining the role technology has played in contributing to activism in Egypt.  The seven activist uses of digital technology include: documentation, synthesis, resource transfer, co-creation, mobilization, broadcast, and protection. 



On Network Weaving


  • The RE-AMP network, which is a group of 125 nonprofits and funders in the upper Midwest, has been an incredible force for change around the issue of reducing regional global warming emissions 80 percent by 2050.  According to a new report, the key to the network’s success is a deep understanding of systems dynamics and group facilitation.  RE-AMP’s model is based on several underlying principles.   Among others, some of those principles are: design for a network, not an organization—and invest in collective infrastructure; cultivate leadership at many levels; and create multiple opportunities to connect and communicate.

  • In a blog post, Beth Kanter shares tips for how to integrate network weaving into your daily job.  The principle behind utilizing these tips is believing in abundance rather than scarcity; rather than doing everything ourselves, we should invest time in building a network that reaches far into topic areas we do not know as much about. 

  • Nancy White, of Full Circle Associates, shares her experience from a workshop she facilitated with the Thrive by Five Washington Coalition.  She found that her first approach – using post it notes to map networks – led to a follow-up meeting in which the coalition explored innovative network weaving strategies.  In her blog post, she explains some of the realizations participants had as a result of these exercises.

On Leadership
  • Examining events in Egypt, Harvard Business Review publishes an article about the media’s attempt to look for a single leader to be the face of the revolution.  The article states, “it seems hard for many in the media to grasp the idea of a movement without a recognizable, charismatic figure (a Nelson Mandela or an Aung San Suu Kyi, or maybe even a Julian Assange) in front of it.”  However, there is evidence everywhere that collective leadership models can and do work, and, while (for now, anyway) a country must have a head of state, it is clearly possible that a revolution can be inspired by motivated groups of people and not solely by an inspirational individual.


Top Articles:


Digital Insights from Egypt’s Revolution
Author: Marcia Newbert
Date: February 4, 2011
Source: Edleman Digital blog

Why the Revolution has been Tweeted: The Dragonfly Effect
Date: February 8, 2011

Source: Forbes blog



The 7 Ways Digital Technology Helps Activists
Author: Mary C. Joyce
Date: February 11, 2011

Source: Meta-Activism Project


Transformer: How to Build a Network to Change a System

Date: Fall 2010
Source: The Monitor Institute


Integrating  Network Mindset Into Your Daily Work
Author: Beth Kanter
Date: February 9, 2011
Source: Beth’s Blog


Networks and Coaltions with Thrive by Five WA
Author: Nancy White
Date: February 17, 2011
Source: Full Circle Associates blog


Do We Need Leaders?
Author: Jimmy Gutterman
Date: February 11, 2011
Source: Harvard Business Review