Collective Impact & Complexity Resources – Check Them Out!

I’ve recently come across a couple of resources that I wanted to share.

First, FSG has recently put out a video about the Cincinnati, Ohio “backbone” meeting in March.  In some recent posts I wrote about my experiences at that conference which focused on “backbone” organizations for Collective Impact initiatives.  If you’re not familiar with Collective Impact or the concept of “backbone” organizations, this is a nice introduction.  If you look closely, you may also see somebody you recognize.  Watch the video here!

Second, my son, Jake, gave me a new book for my birthday a few weeks ago.  Jake and I have a similar, but odd, sense of humor so he often gets me a funny book or DVD.  This year he gave me “Using Complexity Theory for Research and Program Evaluation” by Michael Wolf-Branigin.  Not quite the usual fare and not really a funny book.  And, the book already had about a half-dozen pink Post It flags distributed throughout it.  Really odd.  Then I began to look at each of the pages the flags were marking.  Turns out Jake was Dr. Wolf-Branigin’s research assistant at George Mason University for over two years when he was getting his MSW.  During that time he worked closely with Dr. Wolf-Branigin on portions of this book.  Jake’s contribution was signficant enough that he gets several mentions and is credited as the co-author of chapter 7 (Developing Agent-Based Models).  Dr. Wolf-Branigin was a terrific mentor to Jake and certainly gave him some extraordinary opportunities, including co-authorship, not just on this book but on some upcoming research articles as well.

Now that I’ve had my “proud dad” moment, let me also say that the book is really good and quite useful for anyone that is a fan of complexity theory (which I am) and yet is somewhat puzzled to understand how evaluation research works in complexity (which, again, I am).

In closing, I think I’ve also mentioned in previous posts that I’m deep into data analysis and writing up research findings for my dissertation.  I’ve been trying to write occasional posts on this blog as well to try to shake off “dissertation brain” but haven’t been a regular in my posting as I’d like to be.  I’ve got another in progress that I hope to be posting by early June.  So, stay tuned.  In the meantime, check out the video and the Wolf-Branigin book.  Good stuff!

More later…

T.W.K.

Copyright 2013 by Thomas W. Klaus

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