A partnershipPioneers in social learning
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.
We are co-editors of the book Learning in landscapes of practice, where we contributed several chapters, in particular the framing chapter (2014). We are the lead authors of a journal article on their value-creation framework for social learning (Wenger-Trayner et al., 2017). And we have a book in press called “Learning to make a difference: value-creation and social learning spaces” (Cambridge University Press) which marks a big step in the direction of the theory.
Recent Blog Posts
Our reflections and writing in progress
You asked for it! We’re doing it. We’ll be running a retreat for leaders of social learning, including communities of practice and networks, in Setúbal (50 kilometers south of Lisbon) from June 5 - 8, 2018. Hold the date, we’ll be putting up more information and...
In April 2016, we visited the Academic Enhancement Center at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University in Suzhou, China. We did a keynote at their Learning and Teaching Colloquium and participated in a series of activities. The team created a great video report of our...
Last year we hosted an individual retreat for Jacquie McDonald of Southern Queensland University, Australia. She stayed with us in Grass Valley and we spent ten hours over three days, where “there was a really nice balance between the imagining and then getting down...
Living productively at the boundary between theory and practice