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Deep hanging out. This can be seen as a preliminary stage before Collaboratories

  • The Usual suspects (us)
  • People not here who could be here (share your values, but are excluded)
  • People who don't want to be here (don't necessarily share your values)

All of these people are important in different ways. All are the focus of the CANs

The usual suspects are all the civil society organizations, activists and existing social entrepreneurs who are already engaged in working for good in their community. They largely know each other but are often siloed and competing for funding.

On the edges of the networks of the usual suspects are many thoughtful, creative citizens who – for reasons of unconscious bias – are not included in the conversation about how change happens. They probably share values with the usual suspects but rarely get to meet them.

Beyond that is often the largest group, which are the disengaged citizens. Some of them are simply alienated through poor circumstances. But many more are just distracted, preferring to leave the bigger challenges to others.

The Usual suspects (us)[edit | edit source]

Actions for us: ask ourselves

  • Are we ready to collaborate better with each other? To face outwards and meet the needs of the people, working with them, in this moment of crisis and opportunity?

Networking the networks[edit | edit source]

This preliminary and preparatory discussions stage of a co-lab is to bring the usual suspects into conversations that promote collaboration. First, actors that are a good fit with each other – with advantages to trade. But increasingly with a whole community vision. How can we work better together for the sake of meeting the multiple crises we face and bring on flourishing?

At this point, the conversations may not yet be fully diverse – but begin with the energy you can find to generate a core of capabilities ready to be in service to the process of collaboratories.


  • Meeting the usual suspects: people who have been constructing a new system of operation for a while. Civil society, social enterprise, volunteer networks
  • Spending time in the community, finding out who is there but not appearing in the public spaces where people meet and discuss
  • Go to meet people where they congregate. Listen and understand what binds them. Make friends.
  • Always ask who is not yet in your field of vision. Are there people you are unconsciously ignoring or afraid of?
The Art of Hosting - The Four-Fold Practice
Authors: InCommonsOrg
Date: 2012-04-30


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Authors Phil Green
License CC-BY-SA-4.0
Language English (en)
Related 0 subpages, 52 pages link here
Aliases How to make a CAN in three steps
Impact 339 page views
Created February 15, 2021 by Phil Green
Modified February 21, 2024 by Phil Green
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