Those fans of the African proverb about the power of collaboration often need a straightforward, no-cost, no-nonsense way to keep it all together – the communications, the shared documents, the compiled knowledge, and the resources. St. Luke’s Health Initiatives has an option for that, and you can find it at slhinet.org.
On slhinet.org, community members can sign in and start their own online community of practice or interest in about twenty minutes. There are no bells and whistles, just the tools that are needed to maintain a robust connection and share knowledge: (1) a listserv with running archive of all messages, (2) a library to store PDFs, spreadsheets, presentations and documents that are shared only with community members, and (3) a wiki page that functions like your community’s private wikipedia, so that you can collaborate more seamlessly. It has served as the engine for community alliances, boards and committees of numerous agencies and nonprofits, and ad-hoc working groups that have developed efforts ranging from large statewide summits to draft municipal policies – all of it aggregated, available via any web browser, tablet or phone. And all of it is accessible only to community members of your designation and invitation.
There’s no Gates or Zuckerberg involved here. The slhinet.org site is a platform that St. Luke’s Health Initiatives underwrites because we see the wisdom of that African proverb. Anyone can go fast by going alone, but if we want to go far, we’ve got to go together.