Network Weaving

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The Forgotten Building Blocks of Self-Organization

Most of the examples of self-organization that I find on the Internet are either personal or large-scale as in the Belarus flashmob example in a previous post.

The missing level of self-organization that no one is talking about is the small stuff: small group collaborations, especially those that cross organizational boundaries.


  • Some examples I have from my online experience of self-organizing: community members coming together to donate funds so another member can have a generator in Uganda for their org, thus enabling a group of Ugandans ongoing web access. Took less than 24 hours and worked under no particular "group" or pre-arranged set of people. Such things were fairly common within that network.

    - Local Netsquared groups holding NetTuesday meetings sharing social media tools and practices. Ours has adopted a local nonprofit to get them "souped up" online.

    - Numerous philanthropic swarming events, such as Tweetsgiving where loosely connected networks spread an idea and donate to an org. Tweetsgiving was 10k in 48 hours.

    Are these the sorts of things you meant? Or do you mean something enduring or transformative?

    By Blogger Nurture Girl, at 1/06/2009 2:08 PM  

  • These are great examples! However, I want to focus on joint projects that involve people figuring out roles, generating timelines and tasks. These require us to not just come together but to work together over time--which I find is a little harder for people to do.

    By Blogger June Holley, at 1/06/2009 3:52 PM  

  • I wonder here if people who have certain structures and habits of getting things done as individuals, when they constellate around a task or "ishshoe" (Gesundheit!) would be able to move over time with more grace.

    I am thinking of just in the realm of daily habits, not in overarching ideologies, the issue would give that structure.

    By Anonymous Kim McDodge, at 1/24/2009 10:14 PM  

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