Collaborative Problem Solving

Draft Survey of Networks Involved in Collaborative Work

Intro text:

In October 2003, a group of people met at the Association for Conflict Resolution conference in Orlando, Florida to explore how we might be able to work together to foster increased and improved collaborative problem-solving in communities.

The group represented a variety of related collaborative approaches: mediation, small-group dialogue, negotiation, deliberative democracy, dispute resolution and more.

We recognized that collectively we were doing tremendous work to unite practitioners, improve research and strengthen communities. But the truth is, we weren*t working collectively. And separately, we can only do so much within systems where collaboration is the exception instead of the norm.

We talked about what it would take to create a real change in our culture. If we were more united, could we, as a group, find a way to reach that "tipping point" where collaboration becomes the norm; the accepted, expected way of solving problems?

Then and there, we decided to take steps to initiate a broad "Network of Networks" * a group of leading organizations and groups that are already doing work to connect people who solve problems collaboratively. This network, we proclaimed, would be a self-organizing, "chaordic" group * not owned by or credited to any one group or individual. The network could be developed in a way that we could all tap into it * mobilize it * when something pressing was happening; something that had the potential to move us closer to that tipping point.

Our first step in this ambitious project is to learn more about the networks that already exist, and to assess their interest in participating in (or helping to develop) this broader network. As a leader of an existing network of people involved in collaborative work, your participation in this survey is very important to us.
Survey begins...
Contact Information:
  • Name
  • Organization
  • Name of Network (if different from organization name)
  • Web Address for Network
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Address

What is the network*s purpose?

How long has the network been in existence?

How would you categorize your network?
_____ membership organization
_____ informal network
_____ task-oriented coalition
_____ community of practice

Indicate the different categories of involvement that exist in your network, and the number of people who fall under each category. (Examples of categories: members, subscribers to listserv, mailing list)

How many people or organizations * whether they are officially part of your network or not * are currently listed in your organizational database?

What factors determine who is part of your network?
_____ location or region (please specify:
_____ type of collaborative practice (please specify:
_____ goals or purpose of collaborative practice (please specify:
How do you communicate with the people in your network? (Please number the following 1-10, 1 being the means you use to communicate with the highest number of people. Do not put a number next to a means that you never use.)
_____ posting information on our website
_____ interactive features on our website
_____ a newsletter (hard copy)
_____ a mass email update or e-newsletter
_____ individual emails
_____ individual phone calls
_____ conference calls
_____ individual face-to-face meetings
_____ small gatherings
_____ large conferences
How do the people in your network communicate with you about their work? (Please number the following 1-9, 1 being the most popular means. Do not put a number next to a means that you never use.)
_____ posting information on our website
_____ interactive features on our website
_____ participating in periodic surveys
_____ individual emails
_____ individual phone calls
_____ conference calls
_____ individual face-to-face meetings
_____ small gatherings
_____ large conferences
How is the network funded?
_____ fees or dues from members
_____ grants from foundations
_____ sponsorship from the private sector
_____ support from individuals (not members)
_____ through fees for its activities and programs
_____ fundraising events
_____ independently supported
_____ not funded (a volunteer effort)
How many full-time staff members does your organization employ?
_____ 0-2
_____ 3-5
_____ 6-15
_____ 16-30
_____ over 30

Name three to five organizations or groups that the network most frequently works in collaboration with.

What other networks do you recommend we contact with this survey?

Are you interested in being a part of a Network of Networks for creating a culture of collaboration?
_____ yes - my network should be a part of this
_____ I*m not sure * keep me informed as it progresses
_____ no * I*m not interested in this, or it*s not applicable to my work
Are you interested in helping us to develop the Network of Networks?
_____ yes * I*d like to help
_____ maybe * I*m not sure if I can
_____ no - sorry

Thank you so much for taking the time to complete this survey.

Some of the networks that are making this happen:
  • The Community Building Institute
  • Florida Conflict Resolution Consortium
  • National Association for Community Mediation
  • The National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation
  • Search for Common Ground
  • etc.
  • (add individuals and non-network organizations as well?)


Community Collaboration Network of Networks

Profile questions

The purpose of this survey is to develop an understanding of the numbers and nature of networks and consortia currently working for community collaboration.


What is the function and purpose of the organization? How long has the organization been in existence? Optional: How was the organization started? What is the structure of the organization? What does the leadership structure look like? How is membership or participation arranged? How does the organization learn about what members are doing in their communities? How does the organization communicate with members? What are the organization*s sources of funding? Are there other organizations the group works closely with?


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see where we are also listing similar practices

  --Michel Bauwens (Not signed in).....Sun Jan 31 00:53:33 -0800 2010

The Bohm Dialogue, especially Collective Reflection has significance for me in terms of artistic critique and dialogue.

If one wanted to connect this to Jungian thought I'd relate to that.

  --Srule Brachman (Not signed in).....Mon May 21 17:09:16 +0000 2012





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