Awareness Simplicity Flexibility Community Forum About Work Raft

Working together for a shared future

The communities we live and work in will be vital when major change occurs. Of course communities are important now: they're where we live and shop, they're the people we work with, they're our clients and suppliers, and they're our neighbours and families.

But communities are much more than this almost invisible network of relationships: in the face of change they have to be able to support us in very real ways.

A community could provide local markets and alternative food sources, work together to build local water and power networks, provide local assistance to those who need it, share resources and information, work together to overcome shared problems, and much more.

Strong communities have five key components:

  • Effective local communication. Newsletters, magazines, web sites, social media and more can be used to build and maintain a community -- whether it's a business community, a corporate team or a geographical community.

  • A community centre and other shared spaces. Parks, libraries, community houses, cafes (and company cafeterias), and telecentres are not just 'nice to have'. They can be vital supports once the community is under threat. (For a free briefing paper on telecentres contact us.)

  • Shared information. What roads are most at risk from slips or floods? How many people or staff live there? Do any residents need assistance with mobility? Who owns a 'People carrier' that could be used as a bus? Who grows tomatoes, or grapefruit, or beans, or runs a dairy farm? Where is the nearest electrician, builder or plumber? This is only a snapshot of the information that could be useful.

  • Opportunities for social interaction. Community members should be encouraged to meet and converse at team events, public events, in clubs and societies, at cafes or sports clubs, and at other events. Such encounters can be the building blocks of community life and help share and spread useful information and knowledge.

  • A shared understanding and commitment. This is perhaps the most important and it is the end result that all business and community leaders should be aiming towards. Only when everyone is involved, committed and working together can the community as a whole hope to develop and grow (and survive any major shocks along the way).

But it will be too late to build such a community once a disaster strikes or the pace of change gets too much: the tensions of the time will make it difficult. Strong communities evolve over time and the time to start building yours is now.



Work Raft helps

Work Raft works with organisations, community organisations and local government to design and develop appropriate telecentre developments, develop a stronger sense of community, map community facilities and capabilities, and build stronger ties within teams and across wider communities.

Contact us for more information on how we can help your team, community, district or region.



Last updated: 13-Feb-2010.  Copyright Bevis England. All rights reserved.
Comments, suggestions and feedback welcome: bevis@workraft.org.nz