woensdag 17 juni 2009

Cycloop: an introduction

Cycloop is a network for facilitation and action research in multi-actor collaboration. This relates to forms of collaboration where a diversity of actors, such as governments, businesses, NGO’s, experts, citizens and interest groups collaborate to deal with so-called ‘meta-problems’ (eg. flood management, waste management, city development) in an innovative way. Multi-actor collaboration is required when different interdependent ‘actors’ jointly try to solve complex situations. This is usually the case when actors search for sustainable solutions.

Central issues in the work of Cycloop are sustainability, diversity, network organizations, social learning, leadership, innovation and system interventions. We specifically focus on the process, the dynamics and the relational quality of the tuning efforts among different actors.

Cycloop is an initiative of five organizational psychologists with a joint history at the Centre for Organizational and Personnel Psychology of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. All of them have developed an expertise in multi-actor collaboration through action research. The founders of Cycloop work in different knowledge institutions, but have joined their efforts in a network ‘Cycloop’ in order to further develop theory and practice of multi-actor collaboration from a relational perspective. Johan Hovelynck is associated with K.U. Leuven (Centre for Work, Organizational and Personnel Psychology), Marc Craps with HUBrussels (Centre for Sustainable Enterprising), Silvia Prins with Group T Leuven Engineering College, Art Dewulf with the University of Wageningen (unit Public Administration and Policy) and the initiator Koen Sips with the Katholieke Hogeschool Leuven. Several members also have a consulting business: Triagram (Johan Hovelynck), Point Consulting (Koen Sips) and Coaching for Connection (Silvia Prins).

We all have experience with action research and want to contribute to both practice and theory of multi-actor collaboration.
With our interventions we support and research the process of actual, valuable initiatives. Through analysis of experiences, the use of existing theories and joint reflection with the actors involved, we want to generate scientifically founded and practically useful knowledge. Each of us has his or her speciality and issues of interest: dealing with different perspectives and negotiation (Art Dewulf), group dynamic processes and relational dynamics (Johan Hovelynck), local communities and North-South collaboration (Marc Craps), self steering (Koen Sips) and dealing with diversity from a system psychodynamic perspective (Silvia Prins).

Cycloop offers facilitation and training for multi-actor collaboration:
• Experiential multi-party simulations
• Facilitation skills and techniques
• Mediation for project leaders of multi-actor projects
• Stakeholder management as a tuning process of multiple actors
• Large group interventions and methods for working with big and diverse groups
• Action research and “appreciative inquiry”

Cycloop can also coach project leaders who wish to start up a project, or design and facilitate a collaborative process.

Cycloop can play a substantial role in action research projects such as stakeholder analysis, follow-up of processes or evaluation of multi-actor collaboration initiatives.

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