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European Leadership Network aims to build a new nuclear network

Building a new kind of nuclear network: The N Square example, European Leadership Network , Sara Z. Kutchesfahani |Director of the N Square DC Hub, Jenny Johnston |Editorial Director at N Square 29 Aug 21,

Networks are central to the ELN’s way of working. As part of a series of reflections on the ELN’s anniversary, we invited N Square to share their case study of building a diverse network to work creatively on nuclear policy.

In 2014, five of the world’s largest peace and security funders set out to address a glaring problem. The field of professionals working to control the threats from nuclear weapons has long been insular and fragmented. While the field is filled with brilliant and committed individuals dedicated to ending the nuclear threat, they almost universally do that work in organisational silos, disconnected from other fields and even from one another (see N Square’s 2019 “Greater Than” report for a deep dive into factors inhibiting collaboration and shared learning in the nuclear field and how we might overcome them). Working collaboratively, the funders launched N Square, a path-breaking initiative built on the idea that sparking new forms of cross-sector collaboration will accelerate the achievement of internationally agreed goals to reduce nuclear dangers.

In the years since, N Square has done wide-ranging work to bring new people, new ideas, and new resources into the nuclear field, seeking to light up the field with ingenuity and innovation. At the heart of this effort is the N Square Innovators Network (NSIN), a vibrant, intentional community of cross-sector experts who work together in novel ways to tackle nuclear challenges.

The NSIN represents an entirely novel kind of network in the nuclear space. It reaches outside the sector to build bridges with other fields as well as to enable those inside the field to work collaboratively across organizations and focus areas, empowering them to work in new ways and to access new ideas that will help them achieve national security goals. At the same time, the model enables non-nuclear experts to explore nuclear issues and discover how they might apply their skills to nuclear challenges. Given the siloed nature of the field, it can be challenging for newcomers to know how and where to offer their expertise unless they are given well-defined entry points—an impediment to cross-sector collaboration that the Innovators Network helps overcome.

The network we have today includes people from fields as diverse as marketing and communications, artificial intelligence, finance, filmmaking, social science, and big data. What unites them is the belief that by working together, bringing their own diverse experiences and expertise, we can bust open longstanding problems and explore them in ways that are more effective when we work collectively versus apart. 

How the NSIN works

A key characteristic of our network is that it is iterative. Roughly 120 individuals have joined the network as NSIN fellows, but they did not all join at once. Rather, we continue to host “cohorts” of cross-sector fellows, with each cohort bringing a new mix of expertise, energy, and issue-area focus to the network. ………………….


August 30, 2021 - Posted by | EUROPE, politics

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