Working together for a shared
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.
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
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
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
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 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.