Etienne is known for his seminal work on communities of practice. He has authored and co-authored seminal articles and books on the topic, including Situated Learning, where the term “community of practice” was coined; Communities of Practice: learning, meaning, and identity, where he lays out a theory of learning based on the concept; Cultivating Communities of Practice: a guide to managing knowledge, addressed to practitioners in organizations who want to base their learning strategy on communities of practice; Digital Habitats, which tackles issues related to the use of technology. Though he does not hold a full-time academic position, he is one of the most cited authors in the social sciences. He received honorary doctorates from the University of Brighton and the Open University in the UK and is a visiting “professorial fellow” at the University of Brighton.
Beverly is known for her work with international organizations including cross-boundary processes and the use of new technologies. Her expertise encompasses the design and facilitation of social learning strategies and coaching of social learning leaders in complex situations. Once an activist for international equitable development, her passion has matured into an intellectual drive to help people and institutions get better at making a difference. Recently, she acted as learning consultant for the World Bank on a long-term development project in Africa. Her report (2014) on using the value-creation framework in this project has attracted the attention of practitioners and evaluators across the international development community. She recently published an article reflecting on the evolution of the framework in the context of that project (2017).
We are developing conceptual frameworks and practices to address the learning challenges facing public and private organizations today. We also run workshops on social learning leadership. We are interested in large-scale social learning challenges, bringing people together across organizations, geography, sectors, and disciplines to address complex problems.
Our two most recent books are “Learning to make a difference: value creation in social learning spaces” (2020) – the first in a trilogy about learning to make a difference (learning in order to make a difference and learning how to make a difference) and”Systems convening: a crucial form of leadership for the 21st century” (2021).
Recent Blog Posts
Our reflections and writing in progress
Recovering from online Opportunities for meeting face to face - for people in Europe and North America - are slowly opening up. Although we've been forced into more online encounters, it has been an opportunity for many people to discover new possibilities for...
Systems conveners: essential workers long term In 2014, we wrote a chapter on what we called “systems conveners,” people who work to increase learning capability across a whole social landscape that includes many practices, institutions, and stakeholders. It’s not...
The other day we did a BEtreat workshop, originally scheduled to be face-to-face, online and over three days. It was with clients who were preparing to launch an online community of practice. The workshop generated some of the same feelings of camaraderie and joint...
Living productively at the boundary between theory and practice