Impact Networks - Film Discussion Guide

The process of cultivating impact networks can never be fully understood or complete. There are many ways to go about this work, and our opportunity is to practice and learn in community. To this end, we developed the following questions for you to consider after you watch the documentary, Impact Networks: Creating Change in a Complex World. You can certainly reflect on these questions individually. However, we believe these questions will be most impactful when considered in conversation with a community of your peers. 

Hold enough space to dig deeper into any reflections that arise as you progress through the list of questions. These questions are a starting point to inspire further conversation and to help you integrate what you learned from the film into your life and work.

We also recommend that you begin with a focus on relationships: consider the True Stories exercise, described here, or, at the very least, a simple personal check-in. You might find it helpful to draw from the list of framing questions found in the Converge Network Toolkit.

  1. Where do you see networks alive within your life and work? 
  2. What do you see as strengths and limitations of hierarchies? Of networks?
  3. What would it mean to you to apply a network mindset to your work (for instance, in your approach to working with others, in your leadership, in how you think about strategy, etc.)? What would change? What would stay the same?
  4. What does being a network leader mean to you? What aspects of network leadership resonate most with you? Which feel most challenging to put into practice?
  5. What would it look or feel like to let go of control and emphasize greater levels of trust and self-organization in your work? What holds you back from doing this? What would change if you could do this more?
  6. If you were to catalyze a new network, how would you characterize the common purpose that would bring people together? Given that purpose, who would need to be involved? 
  7. If you are already involved in a network, what is its purpose? Who is currently participating in the network, and who else may need to be involved that isn’t already?
  8. Where have you seen the power of trusting relationships in your work? What ideas do you have for strengthening trust?
  9. What techniques have you used (or would you like to try) for helping people combine their diverse perspectives to develop a shared understanding of their ecosystem?
  10. If you are a funder, what would it look like to invest in networks in your work? What gets in the way? How would that be different from what you or your organization are currently doing?
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