Networking with an SF Outlook – Lina Skantze & Loraine Kennedy

Abstract:

This article explores networks from a participant’s perspective. In particular, we have paid attention to the activities in global SF networking. The emerging ideas are primarily based on the results of a survey, which together with this paper, provided a backdrop for a workshop and discussion at SOL International conference held in Bruges in May 2007. SF pioneers Insoo Kim Berg and Steve de Shazer are reported to have been adamant that SF was an approach available to all, not something they owned or patented. Our study shows that, to this end, the community spirit of sharing and learning together is what many feel makes the SF community so special. The sharing concerns knowledge, resources, ideas, perspectives and experiences. Key findings emerging from the survey and discussion atthe workshop were that this SF network is both useful, stimulating, enjoyable and valued by participants. Reflecting the SF practice of ‘asking the question’ and seeing ‘what emerges’ in the network, has provided ideas for further investigation.It appears as if the networks we researched are primarily used for learning and social support. There is openness and a generosity in sharing that appears to be unique for the SF networks. The network responses to e-mail enquiries issued on the list surpass expectations and enable thinking “outside the box”, expanding the participants’ frame of mind. Finally, the opportunity for discourse across a global range of professional approaches and applications, cultures and social norms provides the very challenge that most participants seem to value. Networking through the SF community, as evidenced in our survey, enables individuals to cross boundaries, professionally as well as nationally, allowing one to “feel at home in the world”.

The full paper is available to SFCT members in the InterAction journal.  Please add your comments to the paper below.

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