NEC Collaboratives

Attributes of the Collaborative

Dynamic, iterative and emergent, NEC Collaboratives are a timely approach to addressing the crucial and interdependent issues of climate change – within our own learning community and beyond

The work among members of a Collaborative (faculty, students and community members) takes shape through a process of inquiry and discernment which may lead to shared action or intervention; over a semester or longer, they ask What is the question we most want to grapple with? What do we need to know now? Given what we know, what might we choose to be or do?

An initial experience of the Council on the Uncertain Human Future (CUHF) creates a foundation of reckoning and shared insight from which questions may arise and a direction for the common work discerned

Horizontal in structure (faculty, grads, students, staff, larger community members, projects and organizations), members build a multi-leveled learning community in which questions, answers, insights and actions are co-produced

As they encourage a process of reflection and discernment from which action may arise,Collaboratives are interdisciplinary, open and creative spaces with a quality of indeterminacy; they may expand or morph over time as they develop.

In brief, Collaboratives are

    • a novel, cross-cutting organizational form for higher education
    • flexible, exploratory learning communities
    • focused on the crucial questions of our time
    • draw from a process of reflection through the Council process
    • organized horizontally
    • question-centered, producing creative and emergent responses
    • fluid, extending beyond the classroom into the campus, neighborhood, and world