On March, 25th, the partners of the Net-Works project, gathered online for their first, out of five, peer to peer learning session led by Ateliere Fără Frontiere from Romania and ISEN - the Irish Social Enterprise Network- from Ireland, under the coordination of the project promoter, ENSIE.
The theme of this session was “the core drives of a network”, it aimed at creating a common ground to all the participants by answering essential questions regarding the motivation behind work-based adult education providers willing to launch a network or strengthen their networks at national and regional level or to further engage in transnational cooperation.
During the session, the participants divided in groups to discuss the following issues: why a network? How does a network work? What should a network do? Here is a summary of our reflections.
Why a network? There was a consensus around a few reasons to build a network: to represent common interests, to increase visibility and recognition, to support its members, to be able to have more effective negotiation and a better access to resources through collaboration (know-how, expertise).
How does a network work? Following the participants answers, a network of WISEs operates by offering support for its members and inspiring them, facilitating access to financing, promoting good practices, identifying key stakeholders and setting up an open environment for social networking.
What a network should do? According to the participants, a network should leverage its members’ assets to increase their visibility and empower them. It facilitates access to decision-making and raises awareness about the challenges of the WISEs sector in order to generate solutions for the vulnerable groups they target.
Overall, a network is a place where there should be a constant dialogue between the members and the organisation. Among partners from eight countries, there was a consensus about what is at the core of a network aim and goals. This session was really helpful to set in the ground the basis of the project around common definitions that pave the way for the future activities in the framework of the project.