Building networks for learning: How can I build a sustainable peer-peer learning community for social entrepreneurs ?


Hope you’re all great. Some of you might know me, i used to work for UNDP in Egypt, ran a social innovation lab. Currently I’m doing my postgrad in London in Service Design and I am focused on social entrepreneurship. My main insight through my research is that there’s a huge need for peer-peer learning and concretising a network of people that could help each other. People are already reliant on their personal networks for help, but it’s very dispersed and informal. A lot of people don’t have access to the “support services” and they’re keen on starting something but they can’t find someone to answer their questions or to “mentor” them one-off. And the concept of meetups is virtually non-existent.There have been a few examples where people help each other without an expectation in return.

Also, I found that a lot of people have amazing experiences and insights but aren’t willing to participate in the “ecosystem” because they don’t see the value or have a negative perception of the ecosystem - but these “silent soldiers” have extremely valuable experiences. So I’m hoping to find a way to get those people to engage and to share.

So the reason why I am here is to see if anyone has any advice/resources on what it takes to build strong sustainable communities of people that help each other out. I’m more interested in the offline (with the digital aspect being a supportive tool). Questions that come to mind are:

  • who would have ownership over this “network”?
  • how will it be sustained?
  • how to motivate people to participate in it?
  • how would it be facilitated? (should there be a toolkit for example)
  • how would you reach people? how to make it spread?

Any help, examples, articles etc. would be appreciated!


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ping @soenke, is this relevant to your research?

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@gazbiasorour, also see this:

ping @labanita, ping @alessandro_mambelli

The topic of peer-peer education was a focus of the Edgeryders OpenVillage Festival featured in Egypt:

ping @hegazy

Hello @gazbiasorour, lovely to hear from you.

Do you refer to anywhere in particular? London? Cairo? Or just in general?