About the Learning Lab

Many people today are deeply involved in the network way of working, but are struggling to find tools and a place to build skills for this new way of connecting across boundaries.

We provide ongoing webinars, an annual training academy, leadership workshops and customized trainings to provide conversations about collaborative leadership, activities and exercises to share and demonstrate skills and ideas, and practical tools to translate back to practice to become more effective network members and leaders.

The VNL Learning Lab is the space where we gather with our partners and customers in trainings and workshops to share best practices for expanded impact and real-world examples in the practice called Network Leadership. Our Denver leadership training courses have more than 450 alumni over the past six years.

“I found my people! This further intensifies my interest in network science! Leaving the NLTA, I feel uplifted and genuinely connected and really respect VNL for what you do an how you do it!”

Our Learning Lab programs are perfect for those in any sector whose work involves:

  • Coalitions & Strategic Alliances

  • Cooperative Agreements

  • Collaboratives

  • Partnerships

  • Networks

Learn more about each our our training and collaborative leadership workshop offerings below!

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The NLW is a two-day workshop with a smaller cohort to allow for a more intensive, hand-on training experience. Led by a small group of network practitioners with diverse backgrounds and skill-sets, the Workshop gives participants the opportunity to focus on areas of most interest to the group. Past topics of discussion include:

  • Creating a Culture of Collaboration

  • Emotional Intelligence & Leadership

  • Group Power Dynamics

  • Telling your Network Story

  • Network Evaluation Consulting

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The NLTA is our flagship training program. In its 7th year, this seminar brings together more than 100 network professionals to learn how to build, manage and evaluate cross-sector networks more effectively! Each year, more than a dozen experts in the field join us to present and participate in panels on a variety of topics. Past sessions at the the NLTA include:

  • Using Data to inform Strategy

  • Equity and Diversity in Networks

  • Adaptive Governing Processes

  • Visualizing your Network Story

The next NLTA is April 15-17, 2019 in Denver, CO.


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The PARTNER Tool Online Workshop is a series of four online webinars with PARTNER Creator, Dr. Danielle Varda. Learn how to customize, administer and analyze the PARTNER survey to visualize the structure and quality of your network’s connections. Also discuss how to use this data to inform your network leadership strategies.

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The PCN App Workshop will explore how to use the PCN App in a clinical or client-based setting to help map social support networks and fill the gaps.

The Person Centered Network App remains in Beta testing and is not yet publicly available. Once the App is public, a workshop date will be announced to support our App users.


“The Network Leadership Training Academy was my greatest experience for professional growth and new learning this year. It was exhilarating to discover other network leaders who were dealing with the same issues we wrestle with. We found many resources and sessions highly applicable to our work. We learned how network mapping could provide practical benefits to understand network dynamics. We strongly recommend the NLTA to others seeking to lead networks effectively: Your community of peers and a rich source of learning await you!”
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“I so appreciate and value all the workshop facilitators, the diverse backgrounds, knowledge, wisdom, and personalities they brought to the table, as well as their time! As well as the safe space they were able to create. I felt so comfortable, safe, supported and inspired to share my stories and speak my truth!”

See why these past Network Leadership Training Academy participants chose to attend, what they learned, and what their highlight was at last year's event!