Introduction to Learning Communities

Harnessing the Power of Networks

We are facing social issues on a local as well as a global scale that are more complex and interconnected than ever before. Seeking more collaborative, creative and continuous approaches to meet these challenges, we have found great potential in the power of networks to increase the impact of our work. Although long prevalent in other sectors, network thinking is a relatively new arrival in the field of philanthropy and we still have much to learn.

Therefore, the iac Berlin is bringing together peers from the field of philanthropy and beyond in dedicated Learning Communities around individual networks. Pooling our experiences and networks, we learn from each other as well as with each other through consultations, learning labs, workshops, and facilitated peer exchange.

Our community is taking on network-building from many different angles, including: developing personal skills, solidifying organizational commitment, and shaping an inspiring community of peers in the philanthropic field.

Focusing as much on ‘how’ as on ‘what’, our Learning Communities invite philanthropic institutions to go beyond conventional strategies and to shift from concept to practice.

By pursuing goals on distinct levels, we trigger ambitions that are larger than any single institution:


We seek to become skilled and connected network-builders.

  • We are developing new competencies and deepening relevant knowledge.
  • We are establishing connections with leading experts, partners and peers.


We strive to shape an impactful network of members and/or partners.

  • We are developing a network strategy, from ambitions to operations.
  • We experiment to gain initial experience and knowledge.


We aim to create connections across and beyond institutional networks.

  • We are shaping a trusted community of peers in philanthropy.
  • We are exploring joint initiatives and collaborations with partners.


We inspire network-building throughout the philanthropic field.

  • We create, advance and test tools to build and connect networks.
  • We share reflections, learnings and insights with the field.

Through programs such as Connecting Networks and the trans-Atlantic Wasan Community, we are not only creating a community of knowledge, we are also building bonds that contribute to bringing the field of philanthropy closer together. These ties are part of our greater ambition: We are convinced that by instilling a shared sense of belonging, through creating direct connections, and facilitating a dynamic flow of knowledge, we can drive a significant increase in our networks’ ability to make a positive difference in the world.

There is no single way to solve societal challenges. However, we can collectively find better solutions by bringing together our diversity of experiences.

We will be happy learn with and from your organization and your alumni network as well. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with:

Darius Polok
Managing Director