Practitioner Innovation Communities

Practitioner Innovation Communities (PICs) are online and offline working groups dedicated to developing issue-specific tools and resources for social entrepreneurs. The mutual desire to address common social enterprise problems or “pain points” catalyzes the formation of a PIC.

Once the group is established, members engage in collective problem-solving and community-based resource design. seToolbelt’s role is to facilitate the PIC process and in doing so, greatly reduce the work burden on participants.

seToolbelt remains largely anonymous while: synthesizing community discussions, coalescing knowledge and experience, bringing in industry expertise, and helping PIC participants develop social enterprise technical resources (tools, processes, principles, methodologies, etc.) to address their common issues.

The PIC first creates “prototype resource” which members field test and validate in their social enterprises. Prototype resources are refined and adapted through trials until they are deemed “final products” by the PIC and then distributed through seToolbelt.

PIC Benefits:

  • Encourage collaborative design of new resources, group problem solving, and sharing of resources, experience, and lessons.
  • Practitioner leadership, management, and ownership of community products, processes and decision-making.
  • Brings a grassroots practitioner perspective to the fore, a critical voice that has been largely missing from the social enterprise field-building discussion.
  • Resource creation approach produces field-tested final products.
  • Practitioner participation and buy-in ensure that seToolbelt will be a forum for generating social enterprise best practices.
  • More free technical resources for all practitioners.


PIC Resource Development Process

PIC Resource Development Process
  1. Problem Identification - Using a bottom up market research process enabled by seToolbelt, practitioners identify common issues, concerns and technical needs related to planning, starting, managing, and growing their social enterprises.
  2. Group Formation - Practitioners self-select a volunteer “working group,” and convene virtually and/or in-person to discuss their common problem and/or technical needs as well as to set the terms and define the product or output of the working group.
  3. PIC Knowledge Management – To maximize efforts and minimize time of already overburden practitioners, seToolbelt captures group knowledge, adds technical value and then feeds it back to group for comment through an iterative process.
  4. Prototype Development – Group information is synthesized and distilled, then prototype resources are developed and field tested in practitioners’ social enterprises.
  5. Refine & “Productize” Tools – Results from field tests are analyzed by the group, adjustments to tools are made and then refined tool is retested by practitioners until prototype become a product.
  6. Disseminate – information/new resources are disseminated free and in open-content through seToolbelt.


>> Read more about current and past PIC Projects