Collaborative Communities

I love train journeys ……they speak to my soul…… to my sense of adventure.

The potential for discovery…… traveling into unknown territories……meeting new people.

As a pioneer of social change, I love discovery, stepping into the unknown and meeting new people.

I am on the train back now to London having been in Vienna for the past 4 days.  I have been hosting a group of people,  who are responding to UNEPs Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System.

We are a collaborative community.  We are entrepreneurs, social bankers, systems thinkers, academics, writers and activists.    We are seeking to grow the values based banking market to enable positive impact for people and planet.

We started from a seed of an idea that I helped to plant 9 months ago at The Institute of Social Banking Summer School.  Since then we have been developing our intention, our community and our work.  We are building momentum.

This community is working well and has a magnetic aura about it.  People are committing significant time on their own free will.  It is fun, it is focused and we are friends.   
 
The world needs more collaborative communities like this:   Conscious people who intentionally come together to co-create solutions over a long period of time to tackle some of today’s complex challenges.   People who want to travel together – far and well.  They are people who are bravely practicing new ways of relating that are based on love, trust, appreciation- and serving the needs of both the individual and the common good.
 
As a practitioner, I want to share some thoughts on seeding, building and growing collaborative communities.

So why is this community working well?   I believe it is working well because there is:

1.    Someone with a vision who seeds possibility
2.    An initial champion who supports that person with the vision
3.    A compelling  invitation to co-create
4.    A foundation of shared values and culture that is based on wholeness – the heart, the head and the hands
5.    A regular heartbeat which convenes people to develop their relationships and learning
6.    Participatory processes such as meditation, check-ins, action learning, appreciative inquiry, world cafes - lots of post it notes!
7.    A safe space where people can openly express their needs and be heard – this includes not just emotional space but an informal and comfortable physical space too
8.    An ongoing common understanding and alignment of the challenge,  the opportunity,  the collective vision and intention and a solid strategy for implementation
9.    Clear roles of accountability and decision making
10.    A feeling of being valued for one’s contributions and having a chance to evolve one’s own growth and personal evolution
11.    A sense of informality and fun!