Category Archives: Uncategorized

A Note to the EL Community from the EL Community Advisory Panel

— Andrea Anderson, Tracy Costigan, Raj Chawla, Tim Larson, Melanie Nowacki In February of 2021, 4QP held a community call on the topic of “What’s Next?” for the Emergent Learning community. In that call, 4QP asked people how they were … Continue reading

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Learning at the End of Things: Post-Mortems, Project Retrospectives, and AARs

Marilyn Darling and Sam Moody (2016) Sometimes the biggest challenge we face in getting our organizations to invest in learning is finding a source of motivation that’s great enough to overcome the inertia of the status quo. And sometimes that … Continue reading

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Board Members: Think like smart investors

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. What does it mean to serve in a governance role as a board member in the social sector during tumultuous times? What should you be listening for? Asking for? We worked with … Continue reading

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Redefining what we mean by “Learning Agenda”

Language is so fundamental to how we engage with the world and with each other. We mostly choose the words we use to convey an idea, to coordinate our understanding of a thing, or to connect with other human beings. … Continue reading

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Learning our way through this defining moment

Like many of our colleagues, friends and fellow citizens, we have been dismayed by recent incidents of violence against innocent people that have gone unchecked and not brought to justice yet again. We are heartened by the overwhelming public yet … Continue reading

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What the Times Are Calling For: A Letter to our Community

March 31, 2020 The times we find ourselves in today are unprecedented in ways that go beyond the physical realities of the COVID-19 pandemic. We simply don’t know what’s going to happen next. What we thought was true two weeks … Continue reading

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Returning Learning to the System

When a honey bee finds a patch of nectar-rich flowers, it returns to the hive, deposits its find, and does a “waggle dance” to let fellow bees know the direction and distance of those flowers from the hive. According to … Continue reading

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When should you invest in an emergent approach?

The core idea of emergence is that it is nonlinear; it should create a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts — a compelling idea to funders who are striving to create a sustainable impact on complex … Continue reading

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The journey is the reward

Our research into the role of emergence in complex social change is finished . . . sort of. In fact, it’s really just a step on a longer journey that we talk about in our cover letter for the report … Continue reading

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Learning Our Way through Uncharted Waters

Well, the election is over. You could say that we’re stepping into “interesting times.” I used to work with a CEO in the corporate world who talked a lot about needing to prepare for “right-angle turns” — changes in the … Continue reading

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