Of course, change can be either positive or negative. On one level, this resource helps people better explore and understand all of the varied and dynamic ways that their communities are changing. On a second level, we hope to better support citizen-led ideas for change that are:
- Positive, non-violent and intended to create a benefit for some part of a community
- Place-based, concerned with a particular geographic locale, of human scale
- Partisan-less, not driven by politically partisan ideologies
Examples of such changes might include:
- A general idea for positive community change
- A for-profit idea or community business
- A not-for profit enterprise, a new group, or community organization.
- A community or neighborhood project (such as a neighborhood garden, an oral history initiative, a community arts project, or a one-time event or program).
- A policy or practice that strengthens a place’s innovative ecosystem
What is our model of change?
While more is not always better, our project is based on a simple premise, derived from on-going work with community innovators: places become more innovative and thrive as more people, from all parts of the community, explore changing dynamics, engage with others, and experiment with ideas for positive change, while community leaders establish policies and develop practices that enable this to happen more frequently and effectively.
Our 4-part framework, by which this publication is structured, consists of four inter-related arenas of activity, each aimed at strengthening community and individual capacities to help more people in:
- EXPLORING community change opportunities, challenges & conditions
- ENGAGING people, assets, and networks in exploring changes and making experiments
- EXPERIMENTING with a new community-based business, organization or project
- ESTABLISHING policies, systems and environments to strengthen the idea ecosystem of a place, to enable more people to explore change, engage resources and make change experiments.