The ideas and resources presented in this manual are heavily influenced by theory, training and support that the ACPE Professional Well Being Committee and ACPE’s membership received from and in partnership with Etienne and Beverly Wenger-Trayner. We would like to acknowledge and thank them for their innovation, foresight in the field of adult education, and for their many gifts shared directly with ACPE.

Etienne & Beverly Wenger-Trayner

Etienne is a globally recognized thought leader in the field of social learning and communities of practice. He has authored and co-authored seminal articles and books on the topic, including Situated Learning, where the term “community of practice” was coined; Communities of Practice: learning, meaning, and identity, where he lays out a theory of learning based on the concept; Cultivating Communities of Practice, addressed to practitioners in organizations who want to base their knowledge strategy on communities of practice; and Digital Habitats, which tackles issues of technology.

Beverly is a learning consultant specializing in social learning systems. Her expertise encompasses both the design of learning architectures and the facilitation of processes, activities, and use of new technologies. Her work with international organizations such as the Nuclear Threat Initiative, the International Labor Organization, and The World Bank have given her substantial experience in coaching conveners and in supporting multi-lingual groups across cultures, time-zones, and geographic locations. She has published chapters and articles about learning in internationally distributed communities and co-authored a popular toolkit on social reporting. She has also been the creative director of an Open Source platform for networked communities.

The authors believe in developing conceptual frameworks and practices to address the learning challenges facing public and private organizations today. We also run workshops on social learning leadership. We are interested in large-scale social learning challenges, bringing people together across organizations, geography, sectors, and disciplines to address complex problems. In our current writing we are developing a social learning framework. It addresses the learning capability of social systems and the foundations of a learning ethic. We are preparing a trilogy that includes a learning model for visioning, planning and evaluation of social learning spaces, a set of disciplines for social learning leaders, and a social learning theory.

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