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George Roberts :: Blog :: Emerging criteria for community success

March 17, 2008

I have posted a slide set to Slideshare;

An early version was first used at the Appreciative Inquiry session at ALT-C 2007 and I blogged about it here. Subsequently the slides have been used at the Future of Emerge event in Birmingham and several JISC meetings. In a recent post about the eframework I extracted the list of success criteria that appears on slide 17. These have provoked some comment off-site. I thought it might be useful to bring the discussion into the open.

This is a list of, mostly, oxymorons that go some way towards describing conditions for success in communities where there is shared intention, purpose or practice. This list has arisen from a number of discussions, interviews and feedback surveys conducted within a framework of appreciative inquiry in the Emerge project.

* Bounded openness
We do this. We do not do that. We do not try to do everything. We have limits. You can join us doing this thing. There are boundaries. They are open.

* Heterogeneous homophily
Josie's phrase. Homophily = liking similar people or things: shared taste. Heterogeneous: mixed, various, different. It is a conundrum. We are all very different people but we share some things, not everything, in common. We are not identical.

* Mutable stability
Mutable: changes. Stablity: you understand this, I guess. Stable, like walking: we change one foot and then the other foot, move but do not fall down.

* Sustainable development
* Adaptable model
These are clear? Like mutable stability, things are allowed to evolve, grow and change but not to consume and destroy in the process.

* Shared personal repertoires
We have the some of same tricks of the trade: relates to the second item.

* Structured freedom
Like mutable stability. We are free within a framework of rules (can draw for examples of the writings of activity theorists).

* Multimodal identity
Another thing like the second. Our identities have many parts (sex, career, fashion, football team, LAMP or Java...)

* Serious fun.
Of course

Posted by George Roberts


  1. George

    Some useful & interesting criteria but for my practical work with community users I would welcome some slightly less esoteric phrases than Heterogeneous homophily or Mutable stability Laughing

    Paul MayesPaul Mayes on Tuesday, 18 March 2008, 11:14 UTC # |

  2. Hi Paul

    Ideas on the back of a cocktail napkin?


    George RobertsGeorge Roberts on Tuesday, 18 March 2008, 14:18 UTC # |

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