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Purpose: Leaving Sight of Land

The very liveliness of a culture is determined not by how frequently

explorers discover new continents of knowledge, but by how

frequently they depart to seek them.  James P. Carse

The stated purpose of employing a social network strategy was to:

Discover jointly how grantees successfully manage the development and spread of innovations;

Support learning from one another (grantee-to-grantee) and from invited guests about the process of innovating;

Provide ongoing consultative support as the projects unfold; and,
Explore and advance diffusion strategies.  

To differentiate this activity from formal performance reporting to the Foundation, we invited grantees to participate as partners in an exploration:

We want to explore and understand the factors in you, in your project team, and in the larger communities you serve that contribute to positive change and the spread of new ideas and technologies. Once we have identified the factors that actively support innovation, we will explore ways to build on this strength.  We want to use this understanding to support your projects as they unfold and to build this wisdom into future grant cycles.”

Grantee Monica Lague-Wyman, from the Scripps team, mused, “It was refreshing: the Foundation gave us so much freedom and support to explore new territory.  This approach matched the unpredictable path of our innovation.”  Just as grantees

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