Projects for further Research

Extracted from the Part III (Open Questions for Further Analysis) of the document “International Networking in the Society of Jesus” Challenges from a Universal Mission. See the whole document

1. Work on a systematic approach to Jesuit networking with a clear definition and a more expansive typology of networks, clearly linked with purpose, function, and scope. Include a set of recommendations for Jesuit networking , clarifying concepts and questions that need to be dealt with to assure viability and to discern purpose and scope.

2. Study in detail the Ignatian values of networking based on our spirituality and history. Examples are: a global perspective from the Trinitarian inspiration of the mission, mobility, availability, union of hearts, hospitality, subsidiarity, mutuality, and solidarity.

3. Reflect on the Jesuit potential for networking, in terms of motivations to encourage collaborative action built from a sense of mission. Highlight aspects like the common mission, international presence, multidisciplinary and cross-sector approaches, the high degree of institutionalization, and shared identity and spirituality. Explore possible new levels of networked agency, moving from symbiotic to synergic, from transactional to transformational networking.

4. Research new types of leadership for a networked world, integrating Jesuit structures of authority with horizontally networked dynamics. Examine how to exercise and promote responsibility for mission through persuasion and negotiation.

  1. Integrating dimensions of communal discernment of the mission in a horizontal and fragmented world. The challenges of networking for the traditional Jesuit decision making process.
  2. Reflecting on the role of governance and leadership structures in the promotion of networking. Recommendations to create the right ecosystem for networking. Roles and strategies at different levels of governance.

5. Study the role of mission and identity in networks. Examine how to promote the Jesuit identity and mission when networking within the Society and in collaboration with others.

  1. Strategies to promote corporate identity and common mission in the local mindset. What does it mean for a local Jesuit and a local institution? How is our universal mission owned and implemented?
  2. Specific reflection on Jesuit networking and partnership with others. The role of the Ignatian family as a platform to foster new and closer forms of collaboration locally, regionally, and internationally. How can Jesuits learn from and with others how to network better?
  3. Role of the mission framework in collaborating with networks beyond the Jesuit world, with women and men of goodwill.

6. Reflect on the ethical questions raised by the practice of networking: networks and inequality; imbalanced use of resources, information, and technology; intercultural tensions; and power relations within networks.

7. Study networking among universities, learning from the Mexico experience. (“Shaping the Future, Networking Jesuit Higher Education for a Globalizing World,” Mexico City Conference, April 2010.) Develop a clearer approach to networking-with-depth from the contributions of the intellectual dimension. In think-tank style, generate spaces for new ideas regarding faith & justice and faith & culture.

8. Reflect on areas of our mission that demand networking and why. Identify apostolic areas or specific challenges that are better faced through networking solutions. Determine how to set the appropriate strategy and scope.

9. Consider the usefulness of network analysis tools for more effective Jesuit networking. Use them in a specific, carefully framed case to generate reflections on what the Society could learn from this type of exercise, with a view toward the possibility of using these tools on a wider level. Examples of areas for use are (a) the relation between interpersonal networks in the Society and inter-organizational ones, (b) identification of key players in the international arena, (c) mapping of some apostolic sectors, and (d) identification of the strategic information that could be gathered from data mining.

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