A Network that Learns: Increasing Knowledge Flow and Discovery in Hive NYC


Hive NYC is teeming with experts, and experiments, that the whole community can learn from. But what are the best ways to support documenting, exposing and circulating our collective wisdom? This design charrette, hosted by Hive Research Lab, will focus on strengthening knowledge generation and flow within the Hive by working with members to prototype a range of ideas and potential experiments that might crack this network nut.



What: “A Network that Learns” Design Charrette with Hive Research Lab
When: May 12th, 10am-5pm & May 13th 10am-1pm
Where: NYU MAGNET, 2 Metrotech Center

RSVP here.




At the State of the Hive, we heard a lot of desire from members to build their capacity by learning from more expert others, create better mechanisms for figuring out who has what expertise, and create platforms and processes where members with similar interests can share knowledge. More broadly, we know that addressing these issues is critical to a strong Hive that operates as an infrastructure for innovation. Strengthening our ability to be “a network that learns” is central to Hive being an effective “city-wide laboratory”.

Key Goals


As a network (Hive Members, Hive “HQ”, Hive Research Lab) we’ll be looking to create actionable prototypes and experiments that look to solve problems around:

  • Documenting and Capturing effective (“best”) practices

  • Easily locating people with specific expertise in Hive

  • Circulating existing knowledge

  • Accumulating and building on collective wisdom so we’re not recreating wheels

  • More effectively working in the open and breaking down silos so that projects can benefit from network knowledge while in development as opposed to just after


How will this event work?


The “Network that Learns” event will take the form of a design charrette – an intensive design-focused gathering that will be oriented towards the creation of prototypes and experiments (not just technological!) that can be used in order to strengthen the network in this area. The charrette will be a day and a half, carved into three sections:

  1. Backgrounding – Hive Research Lab will kick things off and share relevant data from their research as well as frameworks from social science on knowledge management and innovation. The group will work to articulate and map current related resources and assets in the network. Finally, we’ll work together to specify the exact problems we’re trying to solve and identify their root causes as the basis for our design work.

  2. Ideating – Taking what’s developed in the backgrounding phase of the charrette, Hive members involved will be brainstorming and developing lots of ideas that might be experimented with in order to tackle these problems, and figure out which are pie in the sky and which might be viable given the right resources and stakeholder buy-in.

  3. Refining – Hivers will hone in on a smaller set of ideas that seem most promising, go through a group process to refine them, and come up with more detailed plans of what they might look like in practice by writing up a “minimal viable prototype” plan. Hive Research Lab will support participants to think about how each of these prototypes might be seen as reflective activities we can learn from (mini experiments!) by using techniques from improvement science.


What resources will we have to support our great ideas?

The plans for projects that come out of the charrettes might take a lot of different forms, but will always involve collaborative work between Hive members, Hive Research Lab and Hive HQ. HRL and HQ will be supporting project through expertise and in-house support, and Hive HQ has committed a small pot of “Hive Next” funds that will be available as well. Projects can also be submitted to the Hive Digital Media and Learning Fund down the line. Finally, Hive HQ is committed to thinking about how existing platforms (meet-ups, community calls, learning lab calls, Hive online portfolio, etc.) might be remixed or improved to help meet this mission.