4QP helps communities and networks engage in learning together how to create powerful solutions to intransigent social issues. Every community or network contains a wealth of experience, wisdom, commitment and aspiration. But it can also contain many different mindsets and methods and apparently divergent agendas and priorities. When its members find a way to overcome these differences and bring all of their resources together, they can learn new ways to overcome persistent obstacles and achieve more together than any of them could do on their own.
Emergent Learning poses questions that invite a wider circle into the thinking process, making thinking visible to encourage a learning dialogue, deliberately testing out hypotheses in the work itself, and sharing insights across the community.
The McCune Charitable Foundation The McCune Charitable Foundation adopted an emergent learning approach in 2016; they came to 4QP requesting we help them strengthen learning-based engagement with their 160-180 grantees. They wanted to figure out how to increase opportunities for grantees to learn from and work with each other. 4QP helped the McCune Foundation create a question to frame the work and learning of their network of grantees: What will it take to have a more aligned, collaborative and integrated nonprofit sector so that we achieve greater impact in building resiliency and prosperity in New Mexico communities? As a result of engaging its grantees in this question, McCune added to its grantmaking strategy NM Collaborative Zone grants that encourage groups of nonprofits to identify and work together to address a question or challenge that would advance their collective purposes. Throughout this engagement, McCune has used emergent learning practices to learn as they experimented. It has now become a natural way of developing strategy, engaging their board, and doing their day-to-day work.
4QP brought Emergent Learning to the Moonshot Moment -- a bold, multi-sector, multi-year initiative in Florida’s Indian River County in order to collectively explore the answer to: “What will it take to have at least 90 percent of our students reading at grade level by the end of grade three by 2018 in such a way that we create literate, compassionate creative citizens who improve our world?” TLA engaged 4QP to help them use Emergent Learning to navigate the inherent complexity of learning what it takes to achieve this outcome across a variety of stakeholders – teachers, principals, police, parents, faith-based leaders, sports coaches, doctors, real estate agents. 4QP helped the community: build a clear and shared line of sight towards their shared goal; implement practices that supported multiple ways to experiment on achieving that goal; and build a way to bring what players were learning real-time back into the overall system. Emergent Learning practices are now used across the community to support this real-time experimentation and reflection.