What’s going on behind the scenes?

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!

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A Sense of Purpose

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?

Launching the Jesuit Networking Research Team

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 coordination@jesuitnetworking.org

A New Addition to the Jesuit Networking Team

Since mid-March, we have had an important addition to the Jesuit Networking team – Erika Meyer – a graduate of Boston College and a staff member at the foundation, Entreculturas.

Erika will be helping with the overall project coordination, and the idea is that she can support the work of different team leaders, especially in guiding workflows and internal communication. She will now be the main support person for any doubt regarding coordination, planning details and resources for each of the teams.

We are happy to have Erika with us at Jesuit Networking, not only for her support, but also because she has always been a great friend and promoter of this project. Welcome Erika!

To contact her with issues related to this project, please write tocoordination@jesuitnetworking.org.

JN invited to GIAN workshop

We’ve been talking about the Global Ignatian Advocacy Network in many of our previous posts. The Jesuit Networking Project has been invited to be part of the next meeting of leaders of the five current networks that will take place in Rome this May. We will lead a workshop on communication and networks trying to contribute to the common reflection of how technology and communication could play a key role in the development of global networks within the Society of Jesus. This is a great opportunity for us to work with the people who are truly networking at a global scale. You will hear more about this further on.

Working with JCU at Cleveland

One of the first group of people who reacted to the Jesuit Networking Initiative was a group from the Boler School of Business at John Carroll University, in Cleveland. This jesuit university has an exciting group of people interested in marketing and quantitative analysis. Tina Facca, one of our bloggers, is the professor leading all this effort that has been of great support to our work since the very beginning. Last week we have the chance of visiting John Carroll and work for a couple of days without the need of “digital mediation.”

Tina and her team are really engaged with the preparation of the next WUJA meeting and the promotion of all kind of Jesuit Networking initiatives. She is a key player in the Jesuit Networking Research Group and she is open to put her resources in order to service our common mission, specially helping with market analysis, feasibility studies, and quantitative analysis for non-profits within the jesuit world. We are really grateful to Tina and John Carroll University for their generosity.

 

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PHOTO: Tina Facca and Dani Villanueva, SJ.

Visit to Ignatian Solidarity Network

I think that everybody engaged on the Ignatian digital sphere knows already about the Ignatian Solidarity Network. This initiative is an interesting concept of hub for social justice leaders throughout the Ignatian family with a lot of resemblances to what we’re trying to do with the Jesuit apostolic body.

Last week we have the chance of visit them at their headquarters in Cleveland and invest a good amount of quality time discussing about possible synergies and common projects regarding the global social dimension of our mission throughout our network of institutions, specially in the educational field. if you are not following them, we encourage you to do so. In twitter @IGsolidarityNET is one of the best references for social justice issues within the Ignatian world.

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PHOTO: Chris Kerr, coordinator of Ignatian Solidarity Network with Dani Villanueva, SJ coordinator of Jesuit Networking Project.

CLC joins Jesuit Networking

Little by little Jesuit institutions and networks are approaching Jesuit Networking as a hub where collaboration may happen among different players of the Jesuit mission body. Some of the institutions are just connected with our network or contribute to our contents… But some are part of our core-group participating in the strategy and contributing with resources to the network.

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Last week, after a few meetings and some exciting conversations, the world committee of Christian Life Communities is joining the core-group. This  network of communities is present in all five continents, in more than sixty countries. The Christian Life Community is an international association of Christians. Members make up small groups, which are part of larger communities organised regionally and nationally, all forming ONE World Community. The charism and spirituality of CLC are Ignatian and they have a strong sense of common mission with the Society of Jesus. You can learn more about CLC communities in their website http://www.cvx-clc.net/


World Union Jesuit Alumnae Meeting

The World Union Jesuit Alumni (WUJA) has a global meeting every four years. Last year we hold it in Medellin (Colombia) and the next one will be in Cleveland in 2017. John Carroll University is working hard with the WUJA committee in order to start the arrangements for such a big meeting, and Jesuit Networking has been approached also to be part of that strategy. The idea is to be able of coordinate global efforts in order to take advantage of such a gathering, in a way that will help global networks to work with a clear objective and gather in Cleveland for that date (late june 2017).

Network Weaving at Boston

Talking about devirtualizing digital volunteers, a week ago we have a great meeting at Boston with Marina Ríos, the coordinator of the Network Weavers work group. Taking advantage of one of my trips to the States, we invested an afternoon working on the strategy to start mapping the actors within the Jesuit Network, considering methodologies in order to gather in a systematic way influencers, institutions and networks from all around the Jesuit world.

This group it’s going to be moving forward in the following weeks, and Marina is full of ideas and specific proposals to reach the objectives of this group. [See post on the Network Weavers strategies] If you want to join Marina in that effort, please, don’t hesitate in joining our Network Weavers Work Group, because action will start soon!!

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PHOTO: Marina Ríos and Dani Vilanueva meeting in Boston on February 2014.