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Global Action Networks: Creating Our Future Together (Bocconi on Management) 2011th Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0230285484
ISBN-10: 0230285481
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Editorial Reviews


Steve Waddell's research and writing have led the way in building up our understanding of Global Action Networks - and so in our ability to work with this critically-important new way of addressing our most complex and vital social challenges." - Adam Kahane, author of "Power and Love: A Theory and Practice of Social Change"; Partner, Reos Partners

'In a planet beset with life and death questions, a totally new social form has emerged to give the world a chance not only of surviving but to move on to the next stage of earth's evolution. These are the Global Action Networks that bring the different identities, experiences, and resources of civil society, government, and business into a new global social form that never existed before. In this book, Steve Waddell gives a very clear picture of the strategic importance of global action networks and what new framework, skills, and social processes are needed to make this new global innovation effective in the world. Having followed the literature and on-the-ground activities in this area for over 15 years, I can say without hesitation that Waddell's book contains a tremendous wealth of creative insights and unique practical know-how that can help humanity heal a planet in crisis.' - Nicanor Perlas, Winner of the 2003 Right Livelihoods (Alternative Nobel Prize) Award, Recipient, Manuel Quezon Exemplary Governance Award, the Global 500 (UNEP) Award, The Outstanding Filipino (TOFIL) Award, and the Masterson Award (of Xavier University), President of Centre for Alternative Development Initiatives (CADI)

" All the great challenges of our time, from climate change to poverty, require private actors to be part of the solution. The search is on to build and nurture effective collaborations so that individual actions become transformative movements within and across countries and regions. Steve Waddell is showing us what works and what doesn't in the rapidly evolving world of Global Action Networks. This book is not only a superb analysis of the current state of affairs. It also shows pathways for a better future" - Georg Kell, Executive Head of the UN Global Compact

'The concept of Global Action Networks is important for understanding a new, fascinating reality for different actors of governance addressing critical issues in the world. With this book Steve is making a valuable contribution to advancing both the concept and the practice of strengthening governance at every level.' - Peter Eigen, Founder - Transparency International (T) and Chairman - Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI)

'Global Action Networks is a distillation of insights from one of the top world experts in large scale activist networks. Steve Waddell's brings hands on practice and experience from network projects with many different global organizations. What sets this book and Steve's work apart is that he is also deeply grounded in theory ranging from systems thinking and network analysis to community building and organizational change. The many examples and suggestions in this book lay out a clear path for people to work together for a more hopeful future.' - Verna Allee, CEO Value Networks LLC, Author, The Future of Knowledge: Increasing Prosperity through Value Networks.

'Steve Waddell's visionary work on GANs global action networks comes to live in this new book, which provides a roadmap for GAN leaders and organizers, as well as a sound conceptual, theoretical, and practical basis for understanding what GANs are and how they work. GANs are perhaps the world's best hope for significant positive social change and in this book Waddell gives us a way of know how to move exactly this type of change forward.' - Sandra Waddock, Galligan Chair of Strategy, Professor of Management, Boston College, USA

'Global Action Networks contributes to this articulation of what's next in governance by showing how we can envision and work collaboratively to create a better future. With grounded examples and clear logic, Waddell presents a concise, effective, and useful model for local and global approaches to developing networks that are change agents. The book will help any social innovation practitioner assess her competencies, learn network approaches, and find new ways to discern and navigate our most complex problems.- Patrick McNamara, Stanford Social Innovation Review

About the Author

STEVE WADDELL educator, consultant, researcher, and network founder. He has over 20 years' experience developing inter-organizational networks and Global Action Networks. He has worked on network development at the local, regional, and global levels. Over the past 10 years he has focused on local-and-global networks in particular, and has coined the term 'Global Action Networks' (GANs).
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Product Details

  • Series: Bocconi on Management
  • Hardcover: 244 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan; 2011 edition (January 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230285481
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230285484
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,702,451 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Elad Levinson on April 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read Steve Waddell's book on the recommendation of a colleague who is also an expert in Global Stakeholder democracy and governance.
I have read several books that cover the subject matter without the sense of authority and experience that Steve brings to the subject matter.
I especially liked the chapters on "Mastering Change" and "Growing the Competencies Required for Success"
Both chapters take you inside what is to a novice an extremely mysterious and complex area of study- how do incredibly diverse systems with oft competing agendas and intentions ever cooperate and can a change agent facilitate collaboration and cooperation?
Steve makes the "Black Box" of change more accessible thereby making it also more possible to approach with tools, skills and knowledge.

Elad Levinson
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Format: Hardcover
Global Action Networks
by Steven Waddell

What a great book!
Steve Waddell's Global Action Networks is exactly what people should read today to build a world community. This is a "need to read." This includes social scientists like sociologists, political scientists, economists, as well as professionals like politicians, diplomats and world leaders, indeed, anyone who deals with global issues.

Dr. Waddell describes how governing systems are evolving around the world in new ways, rapidly. The global scene is on a frontier of major change. New systems of governance are being created at the world level beyond one's ordinary vision. Waddell is finding these systems, analyzing them, and mapping them. And he is building a new language to describe them. He is following in the path of the social contract theorists who, centuries ago, paved the way to modern democracy.

Here is what I mean.

At one time the idea of "society" did not exist. It evolved slowly as a word when philosophers began to "see" how people were organizing systems of governance beyond the state. The word "society" began to be used in the English language in the 1500s only in reference to an association that people had with one another. That's all. Then, in the 1600s John Locke began to think about society as a "social contract" that people had going beyond government. Thomas Hobbes "saw" just government (a Leviathan) as the great power and authority over people but Locke began to see autonomous structures within a "society," like the family and religious organizations. Such organizations had actually preceded the structure of government as a source of authority. And so the word "society" kept developing, its nature continued to be seen for its greater complexity.
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Format: Hardcover
Global Action Networks provides an outstanding framework for addressing today's complex social and environmental issues. It gives a comprehensive overview of current systemic, large-scale change methodologies and also describes how the complex problems we face globally are being addressed by a new type of entity, the global action network. Based on research of 80 networks, it's rife with grounded examples and concrete ways these networks have been successful.

Waddell cites trends of continuing globalization, diversity, complexity and the disruptive impact of new technology as contributing factors to our inability to address today's issues utilizing traditional strategies. These factors are an impetus for shifting our assumptions about the way the world works and the way we engage and innovate to address social and environmental problems. He posits that we need to address issues by utilizing systems thinking and including an array of stakeholders to craft solutions and envision emerging futures rather than breaking up a problem and analyzing its parts in a linear fashion. This leads to more effective, locally applicable, timely solutions that work, given the dynamic nature of our interdependent world.

Global Action Networks are basically multi-stakeholder networks that span geographical and institutional boundaries in order to effect systemic change. Because they involve systems thinking, developed by Peter Senge and others at MIT, and are designed to build connections and trust, Waddell argues that they lead to superior results. He says the networks help shift perspectives because they create a collective understanding of a problem, take into account impacts on multiple parties, and operate from a place of future possibilities.
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