The New Volunteerism Project

The Archival Collection of
Ivan Henry Scheier


Section IX

A Network Initiation

June 1999


The page #'s refer to the pages of the "New Volunteerism  Project: The Ivan Scheier Archival Collection."
Five bound volumes placed in the Reference collection of the
Dayton Memorial Library at Regis University
Table of Contents Page #
Introductory Notes
Serious Networking Within the Group 35-41
** Guided Conversation 42-43
Mix’N Match 44-46
? Connections 47-48
(The Circle) @ 49a-49b
** The Participation Poster 50-52
(? Learning Exchange) @ 52
** The Glad Gift Game 53-56
(** Walkabout Exchange) @ 56a
** The Support Circle 57-59
? Guess Who @ 60-62
The Trade-Up Game @ 63-64
Better Togethers or Toolpools @ 65-66
The Bridge: A Guide for Networkers@
.
Notes:
1 – Brackets indicate a variation of preceding method, though distinct and might be equally significant.
2 – Asterisks indicate the method is considered ready to use:
blank means not ready; and
? means maybe in-between, I’m uncertain.
.

@ -- permission for use-with-acknowledgment
-- Appropriate permission must be secured from the publisher for re-publication


Introductory Notes on the Network Initiation Collection
Ivan Scheier
June 1999

Interest in networking was high, as I recall, from about the mid-1970's to the mid-1980's. I certainly bought into that trend, developing and field testing 12-14 distinct networking methods or variations during that period. (See listing later in this introduction). That’s more than in any other subject area for me, as you’ll note on comparing this with other packets in the collection.

A reflection on why this was so can begin with the definition of networking I used: "A network is an ongoing, sharing connection in which all participants benefit (including, where relevant, the group as a whole)." Indeed, to me, networking was a kind of "horizontal volunteering" in which participants were both volunteers and clients, and usually interacted more informally than in agency volunteer programs, screening, job descriptions, training and all. The attraction, in sum, was one way of relaxing what seemed to me our field’s over-concentration on structured organized vertically-oriented volunteering, e.g. designated helpers (volunteers) helping designated helpees (clients, patients, etc.). This was, not incidentally, a effort to get volunteerism out of the box I’d helped to put it, starting in the late 1960's.

There are two packets on networking: 1) The MINIMAX Set (Section VIII) built around the major method I developed in this area, MINIMAX, and three variations of this method, and 2) the present Network Initiation Packer, with all the other methods in my "repertoire."

The term "Initiation" in the packet’s title registers an insight for which I am grateful to colleagues on the New Volunteerism Project: that most of my network methods are far more oriented to starting networks than to maintaining them afterwards. This is true. I would only suggest that at some point the networkers themselves must evaluate the importance of the network for their purposes and, if considered valuable, then take responsibility for the network’s continuation.

The Present NETWORK INITIATION PACKET is built around Chapter Seven in When Everyone’s a Volunteer, a 1992 book published and copyrighted by Energize Inc., of Philadelphia, PA. The book title appears at the bottom of each page taken from this chapter. In addition, in different print, and without the book title, earlier versions and/or variations of the Chapter Seven methods are interspersed throughout the text.

These are mainly from The Bridge: A Guide for Networkers, a 1981, Yellowfire Press, Boulder, Colorado. This publication is now out of print but has been included with this collection.

Finally, there are a few methods, from page 61 on, I just didn’t have the heart to throw away because, though undeveloped, I felt they had promise.

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Ivan Scheier
Stillpoint
607 Marr
Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, 87901
Tel (505) 894-1340
Email: ivan@zianet.com

For comments and editing suggestions please contact Mary Lou McNatt mlmcnatt@indra.com