The GLEN Action Learning Ecosystem

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To support The GLEN’s exploratory learning, we have developed the diagram above illustrating the GLEN Action Learning Ecosystem. It shows how the different learning elements of The GLEN interact to create a real ecosystem for connecting people, advancing our knowledge of collaboration, and supporting change projects and tools aimed at working with challenging issues.

Read through these and if you want to know how to join, a button below takes you to an applications page.

PURPOSE:  Our north star is our strong alignment on a shared purpose of advancing the field of collaborative practice. We do this by catalyzing connections between key people, organizations, and community, and advancing as we go field of concepts and tools involved in collaborative practice. Our whole Earth image in the logo reminds us of our commitment to think systemically and act collaboratively—worldwide.

NETWORKING:  Being known and appreciated by a network of committed colleagues is critical in sustaining the intense work that change consultants and collaborative organization leaders take on. The GLEN’s commitment is to keep the network at a size where people can actually get to know and trust each other. We encourage a diversity of spontaneous connections as well as diversity in age, cultural backgrounds, and geography.

EXCHANGES with other members: "Exchanges" are what we call the programs and gatherings that intentionally work with the pooled experience of participants. Together, often catalyzed by hosts who are especially interested in the topic,  participants explore significant questions at the edges of their practice to generate insights. These sessions are sourced and led by GLEN members.

“Exchanges” as a metaphor invites us to:

  • Examine deeply-held assumptions and beliefs
  • Evolve collaborative learning fueled by curiosity 
  • Experience deep reciprocity and mutual empowerment.

Exchanges happen over video conferences and during in-person retreats and gatherings.

COLLABORATIONS on key issues:  Members sponsor and lead action learning collaborations focused on critical issues, pushing the edges of methodology to support collective impact. These projects provide opportunities for members with diverse experience to work together and support each other on their different initiatives. Members who express interest in a particular collaboration, co-create their own processes with the hosts. These often lead to generating more extended inquiries, taking action, co-authoring new media, and developing new tools for collaboration. All collaborative project teams are encouraged to harvest and share learning with the membership as a whole.

LEARNING RESOURCES Members are invited to share experiences by authoring self-directed explorations of how members are advancing the field—using a full vocabulary of text, graphics, and video. For authors, the website allows for feedback preliminary to wider sharing in other media. For learners, it provides a chance to review the videos and materials emerging from key Exchanges and Collaborations. 

Currently David Sibbet works as the lead facilitative editor. As we evolve an editorial support team will help members with these kinds of communications.


We anticipate a range of levels of involvement. Those members who are most highly engaged in guiding action learning Collaborations, hosting Exchanges and contributing Learning Resources are invited to participate as The GLEN’s meta-trackers, coming together as a core group to follow threads of interest and synthesize what The GLEN community is learning. They will help shape the projects and topics addressed, and they will be stewards of sharing insights and evolving methods with the larger field.

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