The increasingly complex and interconnected challenges our world is facing require collective action. But for this action to actually shift systems, the way we organize needs to be rooted in different principles than those that got us here. We need organizing that re-aligns us with living systems. Systems convening is an essential toolkit for this change.
Greaterthan is a collective born from two impact networks, Enspiral and Ouishare. We have a decade of experience and research in leveraging networks for systems change.Learn more
Those on the forefront of systems change are increasingly turning towards ways of organizing that are in integrity with their values: in place-based communities, self-organized collectives, impact networks and DAOs. As seasoned community builders and network practitioners, we can guide you through the stages of initiating, growing and evolving thriving communities and networks (and consciously closing them, when the time is right).
Community weaving and network orchestration
Community governance and ownership
Exit to Community
The challenges of our times require us to work beyond our own organization and usual bubbles and engage in meaningful action with all affected stakeholders. We bring an array of practices, tools and processes to help you identify, activate and facilitate key players in your ecosystem to grow partnerships and support collaboration.
Participatory process design and facilitation
Ecosystem mapping and engagement
Collaborative funding and grant distribution
Participatory conferences, festivals and events
Complex challenges are best met by mission-oriented, multi-disciplinary teams that can re-shape and re-prioritize as contexts shift. We support these teams from forming to closing, creating the conditions for them to achieve their purpose and work in flow.
Roles and accountabilities
Communication and conflict
True innovation happens when ideas, people, resources and opportunities are combined in new ways. We help you and your ecosystem put network dynamics to work to innovate and thrive.
Innovation sprints and prototyping
Ecosystem asset mapping
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The Panda Labs team was one of the main innovation units within WWF. It brought together smart minds from across the organisation to accelerate projects and foster a more innovative organisation overall. Through a two-month design sprint, we supported this team to upgrade ways of working, introducing key operating principles of self-organising, collaborative decision-making practices, approaches for developing a joint narrative, etc. This allowed the team to have a clearer structure and a culture that gave them a clearer identity and particular way of working that were presented back to the rest of their vast network to expose them to potential teams that would work with them to accelerate innovation in their organisation.
A key number of stakeholders wanted to support the creative economy in the region of Saarland, Germany. Their approach was to open a makerspace as a meeting and connection point between creatives and other economic actors that could employ them. We invited our partners to take a change of perspective and start establishing community relationships before engaging major resources in the makerspace. We designed a six months process for key actors to meet each other, first online, and then in-person in two workshops that led to working groups and live collaborations. This was the prototype that validated the investment in the makerspace and created the conditions for that space to be supported by an already nascent community.
The Multitudes Foundation aimed to launch a European Community of practice for enabling more inclusive political representation, focused on marginalized groups. We supported them with the kickoff of two community-building initiatives, in Berlin and Marseille, during which diverse activists were invited to form national communities aimed at achieving greater representation in politics. During a series of workshops, these communities deepened their understanding of each other's realities, developed a shared vision and mobilized around concrete action points and collaboration strategies. Our role was to create spaces for these communities to emerge within, and support the organizing team in connecting local efforts to a broader European network.
The Goerdeler Kolleg for Good Governance, a two-decade program by the Robert Bosch Foundation, aimed to empower leaders from Eastern Partnership countries to foster projects with democratic principles. After its closure, we were hired to support the Alumni network in becoming self-organized. Through a year-long process, we worked with a core group to develop self-organizing skills and establish the foundation for the future Alumni community. The process culminated in an online conference where the Alumni network showcased itself to the broader Goerdeler Kolleg for Good Governance community. Key outcomes included a new network structure, participatory budgeting processes, and training in self-organization and community building, allowing the program's legacy to live on and the community to keep evolving.
The mission of the Coop Confederation of Catalonia is to promote the cooperative movement and to represent their interests. They believe that better collaboration between cooperatives is necessary to provide an alternative to more traditional enterprise models. We helped them strengthen the coop ecosystem through a series of participatory gatherings between diverse coops where participants proposed initiatives for collaboration and set up cross-organisational teams to work on these together.
Accace is an Eastern European professional services company whose vision of growth is based on nurturing trusted partnerships with like-minded organisations across the globe, rather than opening new offices in every country. They created a community of businesses (the Circle) to learn together and to provide services to large multinational clients with minimal organisational overheads. We supported Accace in this mission by providing advisory on community building and facilitating their core team for over a year. We also hosted a gathering for the Circle, attended by over 20 organisations, where participants gained alignment around their shared purpose and created meaningful connections with their peers.
The mission of the fisheries team in WWF is to increase the number and quality of sustainable fishing grounds across the Mediterranean sea, while improving the livelihoods of the fishing communities. We supported them in mobilising and hosting a series of participatory gatherings between fishing communities to learn from each other, with special emphasis on how to monitor and protect fishing grounds, the use of traditional fishing methods, and, most importantly, how build strong brands that ensure higher prices and appreciation of the wider communities they live in. As a result of this process, fishermen and women from different countries established trusted connections across countries and felt encouraged to pursue sustainable and profitable fishing practices.
The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation and the EU launched a two-year initiative with 60 countries from the Global South to bring together a diverse representation of stakeholders from each country to assess their national food systems. We designed, trained and hosted participatory workshops using systems thinking methodologies, where stakeholders of each country were able to characterise food systems and identify key levers for positive change. These levers were then used by the EU Delegations of the respective countries to prioritise and contextualise the allocation of resources to projects.
To strengthen food systems in West Africa, the World Bank and ECOWAS sought to enhance inter-agency collaboration on food crisis response. We identified and mobilised hundreds of organisations and individuals, including many who are not traditionally invited to governmental initiatives. Our approach was to connect people across the region for participatory knowledge exchange online. We co-curated and hosted learning spaces, culminating in a multi-day conference for 500 people that generated critical momentum at the launch of this 10 year program.
Munich has a diverse civic ecosystem of non-governmental sustainability players. In service of increasing local impact, it became clear that greater collaboration was needed. Creating spaces for exchange, with a focus on sharing information and resources, was identified as a key leverage point to build trust and strengthen relationships. We designed and facilitated a series of 4 launch events to build a shared vision and make needs and potential contributions visible. These were then supported by regular events that deepened and strengthened collaborations within the local sustainability community. The meaningful exchange enabled by these events and shared project efforts, built the trust and collaboration capacity needed to ultimately set up a formal coalition, which is now able to represent interests to the local municipality of Munich and is addressing sustainability within 8 areas of action in the city.
Given the potential of climate finance to accelerate transformation towards low-carbon and sustainable livestock chains, The World Bank wanted to identify investment opportunities to channel climate finance into the livestock sector at scale. We worked on fostering and strengthening connections between climate finance and the livestock sector by launching a Community of Purpose with ~80 experts from the ecosystem. We designed and hosted a series of community workshops to build trust between members and gather collective intelligence for this strategic endeavour. This Community of Purpose identified and published six strategic investment opportunities that respond to the diversity of the sector and offer multiple benefits in addition to climate change mitigation. .
Innovation for Change is a global network of organisations that come together to protect civic space and overcome restrictions to basic freedoms of assembly, association and speech. To ensure the long term sustainability of the network the governance needed to extend beyond the initial catalysts to being more fully community-led. Over two years we advised and worked with the network on building capacity for a self organising network as well as co-designed and hosted multiple workshops and governance meetings. Ultimately a governance structure was set up that enabled the members of the network to self-organise independently from the initial funding bodies.
Peter Larsen Kaffee is a medium sized coffee roaster in Skandinavia. They intend to transform the coffee industry, moving it away from extractive practices by creating an ecosystem of organisations (from farmers to retailers) that collaborate at large scale based on circular economy principles, with transparency and ensuring the sustainability of the entire system. We supported Peter Larsen Kaffee with advisory on community building and hosted a series of participatory gatherings to cultivate trusted connections and enable learning.
This consortium was born at the COP26 in Glasgow, where the protection of land rights of indigenous communities was recognised as a key way to preserve land and ecosystems, and in turn mitigate the effects of climate change. We supported the consortium in the mobilisation of a diverse range of actors across the continent to foster connections and learn from each other’s failures and successes. This led to the co-creation of an evidence database that is being used by many institutions for policy making.
For decades, the Spanish bank CaixaBank has run a prestigious fellowship programme for PhD candidates and postdoc scientists. CaixaBank wanted to involve all fellows in the shaping of the annual programme to increase relevance and impact. Since 2020, we design and host participatory workshops where the fellows discuss and co-design learning topics and formats that most meet their needs and desires.