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How do I connect and share with colleagues doing similar work at Stanford?

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Cloud computing. Content strategy. Social media. User Experience. These are just a few of many Communities of Practice (CoPs) available to help you connect and share ideas with other Stanford community members.

CoPs are groups of varying sizes that meet regularly on campus to share information and best practices around common topics of interest.

By fostering open communication, CoPs help create trusted relationships among Stanford colleagues who work in different areas of the university and may not otherwise get a chance to connect and collaborate.

CoPs began after the 2012 IT Unconference, when a group of Stanford Technical Leadership Program graduates formed a group focused on the formation of CoPs across all of Stanford’s IT personnel. Essentially, they wanted to provide a forum to continue conversations that started at the Unconference.

Now, five years later, Communities of Practices are thriving and new ones are cropping up all the time. Topics have broadened beyond IT-only — they now range across a variety of disciplines while appealing to IT and non-IT professionals alike.

Elaine Li, a marketing coordinator in the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education, who is a “marketing team of one,” said that CoPs help her get ideas on how to work more nimbly, and keep up to date with what other schools and units are doing.

Other CoP attendees say the meetings are a great way to get questions answered and see what others on campus are doing so they can integrate the ideas into their own work.

Join (or start) a CoP today

To get involved in a CoP, simply visit the Community Directory page on the Communities of Practice website to browse the groups and meeting times. Most CoPs have a regular meet-up schedule so you can block off your calendar ahead of time.

Don’t see the CoP you are looking for? Consider starting one! The Creating a Community of Practice page offers lots of useful advice on how to start your own group, including help on membership management, mailing lists, document management, and other key issues.


For more information about CoPs at Stanford, visit the Communities of Practice website and/or contact the Communities of Practice team.

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