Communities of Practice
At GWI, we believe in the radical, generative potential of facilitated working groups to create new solutions to challenges.
In a Community of Practice, whether people gather to share and deepen their knowledge and skills, to re-imagine and redesign a system, or to engage in supported practice, they do so in a context of equity, interdependence, true collaboration, mutuality, and targeted learning.
What is a GWI Community of Practice?
A Community of Practice is a working group that coalesces around the need for a supported space to think through and act on a specific set of ideas and challenges. It is a container for collective learning, action and/or practice, organized by a group of peers who are empowered to create positive change and bring Just Transition-aligned initiatives or practices into reality.
All Communities of Practice associated with GWI are aligned with Just Transition. Learn more about the principles of Just Transition through attending a GWI Just Transition Primer workshop or read more about the principles outlined here.
Through the Community of Practice program, GWI offers support, resources, and tools that cultivate healthy and effective ways to collaborate. We provide intentional, ongoing opportunities to develop the awareness and capacities of the working group and its stewards. We aim for working groups to be successful in their self-defined journey, by fostering insight, building power, and nurturing the network of committed participants that comprise the group.
GWI Communities of Practice
The Hudson Valley Prosperity Network
The Hudson Valley Prosperity Network (HVPN) is focused on developing a shared understanding of what a resilient economy looks like, and how to build it with our local communities. We believe that the current economic system is in need of a radical re-imagining and restructuring as we look to leverage the tools of community finance to create a more just local economy.
Stewards: Vonda Von Brunsting, Tim McQueen, Ethan Pomerance, Kevin “Kirby” Irby
Racial Equity & Justice
Racial Equity & Justice is a small group of Hudson Valley residents coming together to more deeply understand ourselves and each other in the context of racial equity and justice. Using mindfulness as a tool while exploring the role systemic racism plays in areas such as voting rights, policing, and public education, group members aim to develop the internal strength and capacity to strategically and collectively work towards creating a more just world.
Stewards: Maryellen Whittington-Couse and Terri Hall
See No Enemy - Hear What Matters
See No Enemy – Hear What Matters is a practice group that explores the core principles of Nonviolent Communication in real time. By donation, drop-in and ONLINE, on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of each month, 7:00 – 8:30pm. By listening for the deeper needs of ourselves and others we begin to transform our judgments, build our capacity for compassion and increase our skills to make peace. Come to learn, come to listen, come to be heard. All are welcome. A basic understanding of NVC principles is requested but not required – please see suggested intro videos by clicking “Contact”.
How can I join a Community of Practice?
Participants in a Community of Practice may be active practitioners of the area of work the group is focused on, or those seeking to enter into that area. Communities of Practice generally recruit new members at their launch and at certain other times in their trajectory. Each group is unique in how they select and manage their participants; they might have prerequisites or an application process. It is up to the stewards of a group to define their approach.
To ask about joining an existing Community of Practice, please contact the group directly.
How can I start a Community of Practice?
To find out more about this program and/or launch your own Community of Practice, please contact us and we will be happy to talk with you about your idea and see if our program is a match for your vision.
A Community of Practice can arise for a specific project or period of time, or it can be an ongoing group that builds upon its practices over time. Generally, we suggest a commitment of one year on the part of the stewards. The content and meeting cadence of groups are created by the group itself.
Stewards are a small sub-group of 3-5 participants who commit to defining, managing and fulfilling responsibilities for facilitation, logistics, scheduling, and communication with working group participants. Stewards are invited to periodic check-ins with other GWI Community of Practice stewards facilitated by GWI and are provided resources to assist in leading the group, as needed.
There are two types of association for a GWI Community of Practice, GWI-hosted and Partner-led:
GWI-hosted is when a GWI Worker Trustee co-initiates the launch of a Community of Practice with an individual, group or organization who together recruit a small sub-group of stewards to provide working group leadership. A GWI Worker Trustee serves as a steward. GWI also provides support and access to resources, tips and tools, and meeting space at the Greenhouse.
Partner-led is when an individual, group or organization initiates the launch of a Community of Practice and recruits a small sub-group of stewards. These stewards provide working group leadership. GWI provides support and access to resources, tips and tools, and meeting space at the Greenhouse.
Among the benefits of participation is access to a group of committed peers who share their knowledge and are willing to design solutions together. We anticipate that collaborations and initiatives will grow out of these groups. We also see the potential for people to shift their individual approaches and work as a result of exposure to new ideas, practices, and partners.