We have been working to better define the concrete projects that Jesuit Networking is currently involved in promoting. As there is a lot of behind the scenes work happening with each of these groups, we invite you to take a look at this new flyer (in English & Spanish) and let us know what you think. Which projects most interest you? Which do you think will be most useful for the mission of the Society of Jesus in general? Thanks in advance for your feedback!
This week on Wednesday, September 15th, Jesuit Networking had our first meeting with the Department for Business Internationalization at Comillas University in Madrid to discuss synergies and potential joint projects.
We had the opportunity to talk about research themes such as global leadership, transnational organizational culture, knowledge transfer, cultural intelligence; potential ideas that we hope in the future will be incorporated as research studies falling under the Jesuit Networking project.
We are very grateful to Marta Muñiz Ferrer and Jesús Labrador for their enthusiasm and their interest in collaborating within the framework of a shared mission.
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At the end of June we had the opportunity to have an in-person meeting with the members of the Jesuit Networking research coordination team at the America Magazine headquarters in New York City. It was a wonderful opportunity to get to know each other a bit more and work together to establish the research criteria and topics that will help to guide Jesuit Networking research in the coming months. We will soon be updating our website to launch a call for papers that will clarify these criteria and encourage researchers to become involved. Thanks to Tina Facca at John Carroll University and Kevin Ahern from Manhattan College for their time and support in the building of this project.
Photo: Dani Villanueva SJ, Erika Meyer, Kevin Ahern and Tina Facca
Jesuit Networking’s online community of volunteers is essential to the project. They are passionate about engaging others to contribute to the global mission. They help us out with everything from communication to research to the design of the concepts behind the network weavers group, the innovation campaign, and the collaborative platform. But setting up and managing an online community can be a complex task.
Some of the most important pieces of advice about running online communities suggest that it is necessary to have a clear sense of purpose of the community and that “it is difficult to get a cohesive, stable and productive network without sense of belonging.”
During the first few months of the Jesuit Networking project, we made a huge effort to try to clarify the messages and the value proposal, but despite our efforts, a week doesn’t go by when someone asks us “but what exactly is this project about?”
We understand that it is difficult explain a network of networks, or a community of practice on networking, but we also believe that there must be a way to clarify our goals so that they are easier to understand. Is anyone interested in helping us out and letting us know how you think we can easily define the Jesuit Networking project?
One of the first “viral videos” I can remember, the Story of Stuff, launched by Annie Leonard in 2007 is still going strong with several follow up explainer videos about the problems created by our consumer culture. This first video, which helped to explain where our stuff comes from and what happens to it when we throw it away, has led to a bestselling book and a successful nonprofit.
Annie Leonard, the clever and creative founder, was recently named executive director of Greenpeace USA and in a recent interview talked about how she would like to help this organization be “more skillful and experimental” in how they communicate. While staying true to the facts and data, she explains that it is important to inspire people by using language that is familiar and accessible, articulating a vision for how things can be better.
At Jesuit Networking, we really liked what Annie had to say about communication and networking across sectors, and we’ll leave you with some of her insight as to why we have to break down barriers and reach out to “unlikely partners” to build a stronger movement for change:
“One big priority is building connections between other organizations not only in the progressive moment, but also beyond it — with organizations whose success is intertwined with our own. The more we look systemically at the problem, we see that issues from economic inequity, to women’s rights, to civil rights, to environmental justice are so interconnected. I think that for many years we’ve obstructed the progress of our collective movement by seeing these issues as different from each other. So I’d like to reach out to what I call “unlikely partners,” to figure out how we can help each other, because it’s just increasingly clear to me that we are all going to succeed or fail together. And if we can work together, we will have a smarter and a stronger overall movement.”
Last week at the Jesuit Curia in Rome, Jesuit Networking participated as a facilitator of a workshop on communication and networking with the leaders of the Global Ignatian Advocacy Network (GIAN).
GIAN is made up of 5 thematic networks on 1. Ecology, 2. Right to Education, 3. Migrants and Refugees, 4. Human Rights – Peacebuilding, and 5. Governance and Management of Natural Resources. These groups have a global reach and have been working together for 5 years in the creation of common spaces and synergies.
The workshop addressed the importance of communication in the strategy of creating networks, especially those that seek to have a global reach and that work with remote communities. An interesting discussion emerged on the role of leaders in the dynamics of network weaving and the different roles needed to build a balanced network. Probably, the most appreciated sessions were the ones that were focused on offering tools and procedures for the management of remote networks.
At Jesuit Networking, we are grateful to be part of this initiative, and being able to help out in strengthening these networks is an essential part of who we are. The dialogues and mutual learning these last couple of days will no doubt lead to greater synergies and bilateral projects in the coming months.
One of the main lines of action of the Jesuit Networking project has to do with establishing a research team to study, systematize and accompany current experiences of Jesuit international networking to better understand what’s already being done and to promote best practices. Several areas for research were identified at the Boston Conference, and throughout the past couple of months we have received several interesting proposals for research topics from academics around the world who are willing to put their teams at the service of the Jesuit Mission.
In order to help analyze and accompany these proposals, a few weeks ago, we launched our core research team made of up individuals from John Carroll University’s Boler School of Business in Cleveland, the University of Comillas in Madrid, and Manhattan College in New York. This dynamic and diverse team from different academic backgrounds will help to identify key criteria for research areas and contribute to the evaluating of proposals.
We are looking forward to having an in-person meeting together in New York at the end of June. If you are interested in participating in the research area of the Jesuit Networking project, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Last week, we had another opportunity to work closely with the University of Loyola Andalucía, in this case a team of researchers from the Business Faculty. For weeks, we have been having a rich dialogue focused on the possible support of @LoyolaAnd in the study and support for the Global Ignatian Advocacy Network from the perspective of organizational development.
Thanks to Loyola Andalucía and especially Emilio and Ana for your time and interest in building a joint mission!
This past weekend, we had an intensive work day with those who are leading the growing Jesuit secondary education network, which has emerged from the International Colloquium on Jesuit Secondary Education. Since the beginning of this initiative around July 2012, we have been in contact, mutually learning from one another, an experience which will soon bear fruit. For now, the network is in the early stages of implementation, beginning to form its team. Soon, we will provide more updates.
During the last few weeks, we have started using a tool called TRELLO to coordinate the production processes of some of our working groups. Specifically, today we want to describe the production processes for the memes that we publish on social networks which are becoming more and more efficient and distributed.
While our volunteers who form part of the content group select the phrases and ideas to visually communicate, a visual design team decides on the photos, which must be royalty free or under a creative commons license, to use with each of these ideas. Once the proposal has been developed and approved by the visual coordinating team, the designers finish the layout and then we have our meme ready to publish. Every week, we publish one of the memes, usually on Wednesdays, always trying to make a link with the themes of the content on the Jesuit Networking project blog.
Do you want to be part of this process? Send a message to email@example.com and request the link to the TRELLO board where these actions are being carried out. The more collaborators we have working with us, the more content we will be able to generate. With a little more time to strengthen this process, we will be able to improve the quality of our work and its impact.