Teaming for the planet: Team Earth, our sister cooperative
If you need to get upstream from a problem, deepen the impact of and ability to see and measure your theory of change, understand and visualize an ecosystem of groups - organizations, projects, initiatives, or networks - Team Earth can help.
Co-founded by Socialroots steward and knowledge ecologist, Christina Bowen, Team Earth is a strategy and participation design services cooperative. Grounding their work by taking a living systems perspective, Team Earth looks at the vibrancy and dynamics on not only of human interactions within groups, but of knowledge exchanges across them. Their clients are groups and networks of groups taking on systems change efforts towards human and planetary health.
System and network maps by Team Earth apply data visualization in a linked and unique way to visualize a knowledge ecosystem, create adaptive strategies, and engage stakeholders in participatory community-centered design workshops. Integrating understanding about systemic challengees surfaces opportunities for change, and Team Earth helps groups find both their differences, and what Socialroots advisor and Team Earth colleague Aldo deMoor calls their 'minimum common ground'.
"Innovation depends on the coexistence of pairs of apparent contradictions."
- Amy Edmonson, Teaming to Innovate
Team Earth parnters with Socialroots for research on leadership, teaming, group health, systems change, and other topics. Both cooperative enterprises share a vision of the supportive conditions necessary to create more space for possible shifts in health - not only of groups, but in our ways of relating with the Earth and each other.
what Socialroots has learned from Team Earth's work
Team Earth would likely not exist without the system and network mapping tool, Kumu, which offered Christina an "exoskeleton for the mind" at a key moment, and continues to be a core Team Earth tool for visualzing hard problems, organizational landscapes, shared resources, and more. The 'kumus' generous sharing of mapping work from so many perspectives on the various challenges and opportunities for changing systems is a fountain of inspiration and energy.
The thinking, work, and curiosities of other complexity wranglers inform the knowledge ecology approach Team Earth is developing. Socialroots advisor Aldo deMoor's CommunitySense and related network ontology, Luke Craven's System Effects and his surprising blog, Pig on the Tracks, and the work of our shared partner, nRhythm, are significant influences, and well worth exploring if you are looking for help creating effective systems change.
If you'd like to get a further sense of the perspectives informing Team Earth, Daniel Thorson interviewed Christina in 2018 for his wonderful Emerge podcast. You can listen here: