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We are a community of practitioners, funders, scholars, and consultants in the Greater Boston area (including Rhode Island) who are committed to supporting and developing leadership in our communities.
We held our launch gathering in March 2002 with over 30 people. More recent gatherings have included discussions of youth leadership development, multicultural evaluation, social network analysis and other themes. The circle is convened by Claire Reinelt, Steward of Emergent Wisdom for the Leadership Learning Community. A documentation of our meetings is available in PDF format here.
We are a self-organizing community. Anyone who wants to engage others in mutual learning and exchange around a leadership development topic is encouraged to contact Claire Reinelt.
Written by Beth Tener
Case Study of the Energy Action Network of Vermont
12/13/2013 - 10:30am America/Los_Angeles
To celebrate the publication of the how-to series on leadership and collective impact (bit.ly/LeadershipGuides2012), we are convening Bay Area and Boston funders, practitioners and evaluators to focus learning on how to invest in, design, implement and assess leadership development processes that build relationships, catalyze networks, and benefit communities.
Registration Links Below read more »
This is one of the questions the Boston Learning Circle will be exploring in an upcoming Conversation on Leadership and Networks. I started to reflect about my own participation in leadership networks, about what attracted my participation and why I remain committed. In 2000, when I joined Deborah to establish learning circles among practitioners of leadership development, I invited evaluation practitioners to form a network to co-evolve our practice together, and collectively influence the field of philanthrophy. We formed an unlikely alliance since we often competed with each other for work. These were the days when evaluation contracts were more substantial than they are today! I was attracted to form an evaluation learning circle by the unparelled opportunity to learn with colleagues I respected. I knew we all had gifts to share with each other, that would push our collective capacity forward. We became a community voice in the fields of evaluation, leadership development, and philanthropy. read more »
In an online article titled “ Are Nonprofits Terrible Tech Clients?,” Holly Ross responds to the complaint that non profits are hard for technology providers (read: for-profits) to work with because they demand more and want it for less:
"Most funders won't pay admin costs. Donors expect increasingly large percentages of every dollar to go straight to program. We're not supposed to spend money on rent, phones, or, god forbid, computers. We're not supposed to hire the staff that keep our nonprofits humming -- the bookkeepers and admin folks. And we're not supposed to pay very much to anyone. That's the culture we live in. I don't like it. I wish our culture believed that nonprofits should be well-staffed and have adequate infrastructures. But that's not where we're at right now." read more »
Over the 100 plus years of its use, the term social capital has acquired different meanings depending on the context of its usage-economics, politics, sociology. At the risk of oversimplifying the concept, I like Wikipedia’s succinct definition of social capital: “the advantages available to a person or group of people through their position in a network of relationships.” Impact Brokers (IB) is very interested in the social capital of both its members and its members’ constituents. read more »
Welcome to the Impact Brokers virtual learning laboratory where your thoughtful input is seriously welcome! What is Impact Brokers (IB), you ask? In a nutshell, IB is a radically different way of ‘doing’ social change. We are a group of nonprofit organizations, funders, consultants, and community members who have been meeting since January 2008 to solve complex social problems together by identifying common issues, discovering root causes and strengthening our collaborative capacity for change. We meet quarterly for Learning Community Meetings to, among other things, review individual and shared capacity building projects and otherwise strengthen our relationships for the benefit of the whole.
LLC awarded IB’s Boston Member Circle a Community Seed grant to support an online learning lab to explore the themes of social capital and networks within the framework of adaptive and collective leadership. If you are choking on that sentence like I am, here’s a Heimlich: we’re going to deepen our understanding of what we do and how we do it so that we can capitalize on our relationships for the benefit of all involved.
So, to christen this learning laboratory, we want to talk a bit about leadership and, specifically leadership that is not carried out by one person. For in the IB Boston Member Circle, there purposely is no one leader. In A New Look at Leadership in Collaborative Networks: Process Catalysts, Mandell and Keast write that leadership in collaborative networks is “the process of getting all members to interact in new ways that tap into their strengths” and that “leadership…is about focusing on the processes of building a new whole rather than primarily focusing on more efficient ways to deliver services.” read more »
What is the role of evaluation in the process of leadership innovation? This is a question we discussed recently at a Boston Circle gathering. Debbie Frieze shared Berkana’s theory of change that starts with a premise that local leadership is a powerful force for innovation and change. Experimentation with new ideas and processes happens at the local level where leaders are responding to the conditions they face. They actively seek alternatives to “business as usual.” Innovation often inspires resistance because people are not easily able to let go of the old to make room for the new. read more »
Powerpoint presentation on Berkana Institute's theory of change, the evaluation questions they are asking, and the challenges they have faced. This presentation was given at a Boston LLC gathering on September 21, 2007.
Authors: Debbie Frieze
Networks and communities of practice are often terms that are used interchangeably. Is there a difference? read more »
Notes from the Boston Learning Circle gathering on Youth Development Initiatives.
Authors: Claire Reinelt
Created for Community Groups and Individuals: 1) Who want to know more about how to do evaluation. 2) Who are working on changing their communities. 3) Who want to be certain that their evaluations take into account issues of racism, power, privilege, and oppression in: a) Ways they organize and carry out evaluation, b) Kinds of questions they ask and outcomes they measure, c) Thinking about and using results, and d) At every step along the way.
Authors: Sally Leiderman
The LLC convened a gathering of 15 recognized Bridge Leaders in Los Angeles. The LLC was asked to host this discussion by 5 California foundations responding to a request from the community in the aftermath of the LA riots. Participants were asked how to cultivate and support bridge leaders.
LLC Staff01/08/2014 - 01:00
Guest Blog Post: Enough Boring Meetings – A “Taster” to Explore the Art of Hosting Conversations that MatterLLC Staff09/23/2013 - 13:01
LLC Staff07/30/2013 - 17:57
LLC Staff03/25/2013 - 11:32
Claire Reinelt12/18/2012 - 11:52
Register for the Leadership Learning Community Bay Area and Boston Meetings on Leadership and Collective ImpactLLC Staff11/12/2012 - 13:48
Claire Reinelt03/16/2010 - 07:02
Janice Epstein11/19/2008 - 11:28
Janice Epstein09/27/2008 - 09:28
Janice Epstein08/31/2008 - 18:28
|A Dialogue with Bridge Leaders||06/05/2007 - 14:02||Elissa Perry|
|Boston Learning Circle Notes on Youth Development||06/18/2007 - 11:07||Elissa Perry|
|Evaluation Tools for Racial Equity - web site||06/05/2007 - 14:47||Elissa Perry|
|Evaluating the Emergence of Leadership Within Networks and Communities of Practice||09/22/2007 - 12:40||Claire Reinelt|