Networks can help to spread learning and best practice. Some networks deliberately try to cross-pollinate ideas, sharing emerging practice to stimulate creativity. A good contemporary example is the Doors of Perception network founded by John Thackara, initially for designers but widely followed by non-designers.
Other networks bring people together to share, learn and collaborate. Examples include the international Social Innovation Exchange (SIX) which is a global community of over 400 individuals and organisations, including small NGOs and global firms, public agencies and academics, committed to promoting social innovation and growing the capacity of the field. These networks are a means of linking up separate initiatives, promoting learning and collaboration across sectors, fields and countries.
Collaborative networks including international collaborative action networks such as the C40 network of cities, the Clinton Global Initiative and action research collaboratives such as the Young Foundation’s work with local authorities on neighbourhoods and wellbeing.