How a network and Communities of Practice might work - big picture and small steps

(David Wilcox) #1

I think that a network and Communities of Practice may work well if we look at opportunities from two perspectives - the big picture of how to make London a more Networked City, and also the small steps to share our challenges and learn from each other as we go about mapping, network building, civic tech and more. Background below**

Big picture

Here’s some ideas for the big picture

  • Aim to create guides for mappers, network weavers and others, within a framework for thinking about a Networked City that is smart, participatory, sharing, fair.
  • Work together on mapping and network building projects.
  • Develop a manifesto from the job description and responsibilities of the new Hub Networks Partner role as a sort-of manifesto for what needs to be done.
  • Look for opportunities to bid for funding, separately or together. Here’s one.
  • Run some events - here’s some earlier ones
  • Use games and simulations - like the Living Lab workshops

Small steps

@PeteBurden emphasised taking small steps in this earlier post:

** The idea of a Community of Practice developed during exploration of how to make London a more Networked City - and particularly how to complement the central resource Hub for London. Here’s history of the exploration, and background to the CoP.

The core group developing ideas so far has include @nicolas.justMap @barbara.brayshay @drew @mattdascott @PeteBurdensee Introductions

(David Wilcox) #2

Earlier ideas for a Community of Practice from November 2017.

Originally published at:

Update: here’s further ideas on how to develop a Community of Practice, which we will take forward at event on March 27 2018. Details and registration here. We are developing a Community of Practice for anyone interested in how to build networks to support London communities, following our workshop game at London Metropolitan University a…

(Pete Burden) #3

Post from Pete Burden in response to this one


As you know I am very keen to support the development of the CoP.

I think it is important in establishing a community of practice to start with a clarification of its purpose.

I’d like to propose something.

I don’t mean this to be word perfect, and am not sure how valuable it is to over debate the wording.

The content is important, however. Does this seem in the right area?

"The purpose of the CoP has two equal parts:

  1. To use our energy, skills, experience, and knowledge of using mapping and other technologies to support and enable community participation, and increase inclusion.

  2. To start this right here, right now by focussing on the quality of our collaborating here, in this session, and with colleagues and friends between sessions".

The second part is particularly important to me. I like the Margaret Mead quote “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

For me, this quote serves not to inspire us to think about changing the world in a grand way, but rather to ground us in the reality, right here, right now, with these people, right in front of me. For me, that is how change happens.

Anyone else thinking this way?

(David Wilcox) #6

You’ll see from the Sumapp email to 170 + people on the mappers map (copied below) that I have re-promoted the idea of joining a network, and then this forum.
I think it may be best to think of a network with co-membership between map and forum, and Community (ies) of Practice within that, which can be prompted by clusters on the map.
We can also use the Unlocking Networks toolkit as a guide to our network development, and hopefully collaborate further with them.
At least one of their team will be presenting at Space4 event at the end of June.
I’ll start inviting people to the Forum next week.


Email to people on the map

Here’s news about our map from the Networked City event in March, and how to join a network based on the map.

You can now view map displays, and a report on how we created them, here:

Password for the maps page is mapviews

Perhaps more interestingly, an upgrade to the Sumapp survey tool displays the network map within the app. Just follow this link

[personal link]

and then:

  • update your information if you wish, or complete the survey if you haven’t done so yet. You can go back in and update your information at any time through the link.
  • tick the appropriate box in the survey if you would like to be part of a network for mappers
  • review the map on the final page. The Sumapp upgrade means it is possible to build and display a map, and easily update, through an email like this one. That makes the combination of Sumapp and mapping software Kumu a powerful tool for building a network, without a separate display site or communication system.

We are inviting you to join us in experimenting in this process, using the powerful features in Kumu to find others on the map with shared interests, and opportunities for collaboration.

If you tick the network box in the survey, we’ll send you an invite to a forum we have created here

Alternatively, just email If you have any technical queries about using Sumapp and Kumu, then email