The Communities of Interest Network (CoIN) facilitates self-selected groups of SSP members who want to connect with others who share interests/concerns and a goal of advancing their collective understanding or sharing best practices and ideas. The peer-to-peer interaction of a community of interest builds trusted connections and lends itself to many knowledge-sharing opportunities.
These communities have the autonomy to define their focus areas, size, method/frequency of communication, objectives, and rules for engagement. Group members, in most cases, must be SSP members in good standing and are subject to SSP’s Code of Conduct. Each community is managed by one or more community facilitators and supported by our Community Engagement Committee.
Communities of interest rely on virtual or face-to-face meetings and web-based collaborative environments to communicate, connect, and conduct community discussions and activities. Community members should be willing to learn from others and contribute so that others learn from them.
Characteristics of Communities of Interest
Domain: Community members have a shared domain of interest, competence, and commitment that distinguishes them from others. This shared domain creates common ground, inspires members to participate, guides their learning, and gives meaning to their actions.
Community: Members pursue this interest through joint activities, discussions, problem-solving opportunities, information sharing, and relationship building. The notion of a community creates the social fabric for enabling collective learning. A strong community fosters interaction and encourages a willingness to share ideas.
Application: Community members are actual participants in this domain of interest and build a shared repertoire of resources and ideas. While the domain provides the general area of interest for the community, the application of the interest is the specific focus around which the community develops, shares, and maintains its core of collective knowledge.
How to Participate
Active Communities of Interest
|Community Name||Description||Start Date||Size||Access||Status|
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Join a Community
Individual SSP members and employees of organizational members can apply to join an existing group that has a status of Open. Non-members can apply to any community that is open to the public. The community’s facilitator(s) will reach out to interested applicants with more details about community participation. Click on Apply Now for the community you’d like to join.
Participants must agree to abide by the SSP Code of Conduct and stay in good standing. We recommend that members facilitate only one group at a time, though they may facilitate one group and be a participant of others simultaneously.
Suggest/Start a Community
Have a great idea for a community that doesn’t already exist? Please complete our Community Suggestion Form. The Community Engagement Committee evaluates suggested communities. Learn more about creating a new community on the New Communities page.
Sample Community Types
Below are a few examples of common community types. This list is not meant to be comprehensive and other types of communities may exist or be developed:
- Helping/Role-Based Communities provide a forum for community members to help each other with everyday work needs; focused on a specific job function or subject area.
- Best Practice Communities develop and disseminate best practices, guidelines, and strategies for their members’ use; address a common challenge.
- Innovation Communities create breakthrough ideas, new knowledge, and new practices.
- Identity-Based Communities arranged around race, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, ability, ethnicity, and other demographic characteristics to create meaningful engagement opportunities.