Posted by & filed under Open Letters.

Hi Esther and Nikki

I thought this might interest you. To me it demonstrates much of the “heart” and the experiences we share regarding systemic change. I’m thinking of Esther within Civil Society Forum, Nikki in Dadamac Foundation, other contacts fighting similar battles in other organisations and networks, and me in what I’m doing.

I’ve given you the link to the original post, then underneath it I’ve copied a few quotes, and I’ve highlighted the bits that jumped out at me. If you read those highlights first, then you’ll see why I think you’ll relate to what Catherine Howe has written

Networks as a driver of system change?

Now for the bits I’ve copied so I can highlight overlaps.


…whether or not you can ‘control’ a network.  My view is that it is more about curating a network rather than controlling it.


networks need someone (or a small group) at the heart


helping to bring people together around definitions or form a common understanding around issues.

This role of curator was observed as one which every organisation increasingly values, yet very few actually pay for or formally recognise


There was a lot of interesting discussion about the relationship between networks and hierarchies


.. agreement around the need for generosity and reciprocitythe social side of socio-technical system change.


At the centre of this conversation is the question of purpose – and specifically how and who defines it.

So, here we have yet more confirmation that:

  • We are not alone
  • The work we all do as curators within our networks is valuable
  • Getting that value recognised and then rewarded in the kind of currency that gets us through the supermarket checkout is a battle still to be won

As I write that I think of how it works within the Enspiral model.

Something there for us to look at and rub minds on perhaps.

Meanwhile keep up the good work folks – the paid bits and the network-curation bits within the alternative mysterious value-system that draws us into its service,