Communities of Practice in the context of European Programs

Written by Randolph Preisinger-Kleine on Τετάρτη, 28 Μαϊος 2014. Posted in Discuss Topics

Communities of Practice in the context of European Programs


The DISCUSS partnership currently is conducting a series of interviews with stakeholders and members of communities of practice (CoP), which have emerged in the wider context of the Lifelong Learning Program of the European Union. The major aim is to find out more about the specific characteristics and features of those CoPs, and the experience gained by their members. Looking deeper into the social mechanisms and day-to-day activities of the CoPs is expected to deliver important cornerstones towards the building of a future European platform for CoPs in Lifelong Learning.

From the findings available so far, it seems that a particular topic to take further is centered around the question of institutional embeddedness of CoPs. The feedback from CoP actors here shows quite ambiguous. While some of the communities seem to gain their importance and relevance from strong institutional alliances, key actors of other communities, quite conversely, explain their success by the absence of any institutional ties. Between those two poles we find a bulk of communities, which seek to combine both aspects in a more or less pragmatic way.



Leadership in Communities of Practice

Written by Randolph Preisinger-Kleine on Τρίτη, 29 Απριλίου 2014. Posted in Discuss Topics

Leadership in Communities of Practice


Beverly and Etienne Wenger-Trayner in their recent blog post described distributed leadership as a key feature of Communities of Practice. Distributed leadership helps to expand the social learning capabilities of a Community of Practice, and push forward their overall learning process.

In order to implement the concept of distributed leadership, Wenger-Trayner propose to set up  leadership groups, each of which serves a specific learning need of the community.

  • Agenda activists: driving the learning forward
  • Community keepers: weaving the social fabric
  • Critical friends: reflecting on the process
  • Social reporters: creating a shared memory
  • External messengers: communicating with external audiences
  • Value detectives: making value-creation visible
  • Organizational brokers: connecting with organizational stakeholders

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This project is funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.