- Field Guide Wiki
- Model Overview
- Vision for Communities
- Context & Assumptions
- Common Vocabulary
- Team-Network-Community System
- Readings & Resources
- Resource Map
The Technology of Community is a discussion about building community in the 21st century.
The participants here recognize that today our communities face several significant challenges from health care and education to the economy and the environment. Many of these are structural issues that force us to be aware of the paradigms we are leaving and cognizant of where we are being pushed. Thus the discussion is based on the assumption that we must discover and utilize new tools for building community.
We also harbor assumptions about what form this technology of community will take. In particular the participants believe that we should not look first and foremost to government agencies, organizations, new funding, or outside experts for the ideas and capacities to make change happen. Instead, we think that the greatest potential for meaningful, caring, and lasting agency comes from within the community itself. We share the fundamental faith that communities can be their own solutions.
Finally, we have come here because we believe that theory and practice are neither exclusive nor finite. Clarity and analysis give us the ability to act with greater care and confidence. Action and experience allow us to perceive our world with more accuracy. Theory and practice go hand in hand – our task here is to win insights into the technology of community and act as agents of positive change.
Who We Are
- SourceMedia’s resident cultural anthropologist
- Facilitated the creation of the common news room, bringing the news staff from the TV station and newspaper into one work space to begin creating a shared identity and learning across their media boundaries
- Currently working on how SourceMedia can do community building by leveraging a background in academic research focused on social theory and one-on-one conversations with many SMG team members from all levels of the hierarchy
- Grew up in Cedar Rapids. Telecommuting from Berlin.
- SourceMedia’s community building strategist
- Currently working on how SourceMedia can do community building by leveraging a background in grassroots organizing, work on creative class city building with Richard Florida and founding two community building organizations (one non-profit and one social good startup)
- Grew up in Mt. Pleasant, IA. Live and work in the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids region.
We think of ourselves these days as SourceMedia’s community building brain trust. The company has afforded us the freedom to research, think, write and develop programming around community building without being involved in the day-to-day operations of the organization.
With this freedom, we aim to:
- Empower SourceMedia Group to implement its vision of ensuring that all the company’s efforts work toward building and maintaining a healthy, vibrant community
- Develop a practicable community building model for a media organization that allows them to make this vision a reality
- Build a strong community of community builders around the nation/world and connect SourceMedia’s community builders with them
Step 1: Find & Build Relationships with Community Builders
- Online research and mapping of groups doing and thought leaders thinking about community building (http://prezi.com/ffveyaaxwbvv/community-building/)
- Online discussion of community building (this blog)
- Coffees and relationship building with active community builders in the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids region and in our personal networks
- Visits from community builders (i.e. Jay Rosen, Jeff Slobotski)
- Keep building field map and blog discussions
- Deepen established relationships with and reach out to more community builders around the country and world
- Create regional and national events and programming to draw, meet and connect community builders
Step 2: Sketch a Model for Community Building
Our model will include:
- Articulation of our assumptions of community building
- Development of a common vocabulary and a set of values for community building, thus allowing all the participants to know where they stand and speak clearly with one another
- Layout of a process for and building blocks of building community
- Identification of players, roles and tools needed to live out the model
- Model is being drafted. The following pages outline some of the work we’ve got on paper – it’s not complete, but we hope it will give you a sense of how we’re thinking and where we’re headed.
Step 3: Test and Refine Model
- Advise teams on application of the model
- Participate in application of the model
- Listen to team feedback and watch results of model applications and adjust the model accordingly
- Help ensure that all efforts are evaluated in light of true work toward community building
- Building relationships and developing structure for collaborating with SMG’s community building teams
Thanks for reading!
We know this discussion is just getting started, great work has been done around the country already, and that this platform is not yet complete, quite right or in the best format. We look forward to getting to know you, hearing your thoughts, feedback and suggestions, and building a stronger community of community builders with you!
- Events are coming soon, stay tuned!