Peer networks and networks of practice are the unspoken lifelines which run through social movements.
We’re committed to helping others build, grow and manage them. This work encompasses:
- Establishing shared purpose, identity and values for networks
- Assessing the health of your network and member engagement
- Choosing appropriate governance structures
- Defining membership criteria
- Recruiting and developing network managers or conveners
- Establishing communications protocols
- Building essential peer network infrastructure including comms systems
- Testing new business models e.g. membership, events
- Setting network roles and responsibilities
- Knowledge management to strengthen and sustain networks
- Support and manage action learning sets within networks
- Nesting your network
Our track record
We developed the Unlocking Networks toolkit which teaches people how to set up a peer network or Community of Practice. This was based on our experience of convening community business network leaders in partnership Power To Change.
We helped a local health network, the Lambeth Portugese Wellbeing Partnership, establish its operational backbone and governance structure.
Housing Campaigners' Network - Trust for London
We run the Housing and Homelessness Campaigners’ Network on behalf of Trust for London. We support the network to find common ground between its members in addition to providing the secretariat.
Why network management support is vital
Networks fail for lots of reasons.
Domineering members, poor moderation, lack of shared purpose, a low sense of agency and inadequate technology are just a few examples.
Through our experience establishing and managing a variety of different networks, we’re able to diagnose and solve these problems. And often an objective eye means we can spot the solutions quicker than network managers in the thick of it.
“The Social Change Agency helped us ask what it means to be inclusive, not just in running a meeting or event, but in making decisions about money. How do you be open and transparent?
It helped having them on the outside looking in, talking to all of our different members and being really inclusive in the process.
We went with them instead of a more traditional organisation because they understood the social mission that we’re trying to achieve. Their experience with networks and another similar organisations was also really critical.”