Cameron Norman's blog

Curiosity and Community

In times of social conflict we seek ways to cope, communicate and thrive wherever we can. Cultivating compassion can be a real challenge, but there is a way to help that out: be curious. In this post we look at how curiosity can benefit us all.

Culture and heritage and the complexity of identity

Who we are is not as solid as we sometimes think. Our culture and heritage are as malleable as our memories and our relationships and that is something to consider when building a community.

Talking about change, engaging in real change-making

Change-making is the process of transformation and not to be confused with the transformed outcome that results from such a process. We confuse the two at our peril.

Collective action, impact, intelligence (and stupidity)

Collective impact is based largely on the concept that we can do more together than apart, which holds true under the assumption that we can coordinate, organize and execute as a unit. This assumption doesn't always hold true and the implications for getting it wrong require serious attention.

Systems thinking about collective impact

Changing the system requires systems thinking and collective impact although too often we mention the latter without the former. That needs change, too.

Who gets invited to the social innovation party?

Social innovation is all about creating value through new ideas with and for the community, yet the process of innovating itself is at risk of creating as many exclusions as inclusions if we're not aware of the ways in which popular innovation methods, models and tools favour certain people, things and processes over others.

Social innovation, social justice and emotion: Connections to community

Does your social innovation include social justice? And what does that mean? This post looks at the relationship between the two and how our emotional connections to community is a mediator between them.

Metaphor as the Sail, Story as the Sea

The story of complexity is never easy to tell, but Brenda Zimmerman came close. Her use of metaphor and stories made the unapproachable and important, accessible. While the world lost Brenda, we'll always have her stories and the leaders that she inspired to follow her.

Are we acting on failure or just failing to act?

A mindful look at what we do and what comes from it can yield surprising insights. Learning to fail is key, otherwise we likely fail to learn. Knowing when we are doing both is critical.

Understanding complexity and developmental evaluation

What exactly is complexity and should I be afraid of it? This post offers a brief introduction to some resources that can help you get a sense of what complexity is and how it might relate to developmental evaluation.