The following is an excerpt from an article originally published by The Nonprofit Quarterly on 30 December 2013. The original article can be found here.
Very loosely described, networks consist of entities (nodes) in relationship with one another, and the flows (ties) that exist between them. These ties can be thought of as conduits or channels. The network is made up, then, not only of connected entities but of the stuff that is transferred between and among them, creating a “circulation of” and evolution of meaning. Networks often have hubs or cores that organize work. Sometimes there is one hub (even if it is made up of multiple members) and a more centralized approach to decision making, and sometimes there are multiple hubs, and the network essentially self-organizes, often through the sharing of information and strategy. In networks, the importance of loose ties is recognized. Network edges or peripheries consist of those who are involved, but less so.
These important actors in the network are the bridges to other networks that may, in fact, prove critically useful at some point to inform or lend weight to your network’s work.
Read the entire article here. From 27-29 March, diverse actors from the world of philanthropy will converge on Istanbul for WINGSForum 2014: The Power of Networks to discuss emerging trends and other issues important to the sector. Follow on Twitter with #WFnetworks.