A sold-out crowd of more than 90 attendees was in Denver for the fifth annual Network Leadership Training Academy on April 26-28, 2017. This annual training is hosted by the Center on Network Science, led by Dr. Danielle Varda, in the School of Public Affairs.
Many people today are involved in cross-sector collaborative networks as a way to leverage the collective knowledge and resources of multiple organizations and communities to address complex social problems. However, traditional approaches to managing these processes primarily include practices that hinder our ability to foster new ways of working across boundaries.
The NLTA is a three day interactive workshop where network leaders, funders, and members from across sectors can come together to learn, share ideas, and develop skills to build, manage, and evaluate networks of people and organizations.
NLTA attendees this year came from 14 states and Canada. There was participation from six alumni who attended in a previous year, nine teams/groups, and 74 organizations involved in participating, managing, and leading networks. Attendees represented a variety of areas such as public health, education, environment and sustainability, social change and community outreach, human services/social work, and government (local, state and federal).
Photos from this year’s workshop can be viewed in the slideshow below.
Sessions at the NLTA featured expert speakers such as Noshir Contractor, Janice Popp, Nita Mosby Tyler, Darrin Hicks, Brint Milward, Pam Coleman and Danielle Varda. Topics included leveraging powerful social networks, building a network culture, fostering inclusion and equity, developing a quality network process, effectively managing networks, and evaluating networks for decision-making.
Attendees also participated in breakout sessions where they connected with practitioners working in similar areas through small group, peer-learning experiences. Inspired by the university’s brand, “CU in the City,” these breakout sessions were referred to as “Sessions in the City” and took place at various community organizations in the LoDo area: Alliance Center for Sustainable Colorado, Piton Foundation, and Wynkoop Brewing Company. Every session was led by an experienced practitioner or academic and incorporated discussions, exercises, and skill building.
As part of the university’s anchor institution mission, the event used three local vendors for catering including Comal Heritage Food Incubator, Café United and Serendipity Catering. More information on the full program can be found at www.networkleader.org.
The next Network Leadership Training Academy is tentatively scheduled for spring 2018. Sign up for the network leadership mailing list to receive updates, and follow NLTA on Facebook and Twitter. There is also a Network Leadership Facebook Group where members can ask questions and share information, announcements, and resources with fellow network leaders.
The Center on Network Science also offers network leadership webinars during the academic year that will resume in August. More information and recordings of previous webinars can be found on the NLTA webinars page.
~Post by Malinda Mochizuki