One of our IC team members was asked recently if there would be time at our Activate event to talk with communities about what kind of information government agencies could give them that would be useful – whether it is data or otherwise. The answer of course is yes there will be plenty of time for that!
There-in lies the value of an event like Activate where communities, Government officials, community volunteers all mingle in a neutral space – holding conversations and exchanging ideas, strengthening loose connections. There’s also so much value in using opportunities like Activate to spend time with people working in the areas you are working in, or you want to.
There is so much value in getting out of the business as usual – mixing and learning from others we wouldn’t normally get a chance to talk to. The Inspiring Communities team have really delivered a significant opportunity for everyone in Aoteroa with an interest in Community-led development (CLD) to leap frog their ideas and learning … I urge you to have a look at the programme and register http://inspiringcommunities.org.nz/activate/
Looking at the big picture – with all the talk from central government about taking a new approach to social investment this should be a very exciting time to be working with CLD. But the fact is this approach is missing the most important ingredient – Communities. We think the time has come for not only more people across the country to better understand the value of using CLD approaches, but to start integrating them in their solutions.
Inspiring Communities team are working on opportunities to insert a true CLD approach in the social investment mix. Let’s not rely solely on data sets to make decisions. We know what works, we certainly understand the value of incorporating the community’s voice, their experience, their wisdom into the solutions. We have a network of nearly 2,500 communities, practioners, academics, providers, officials, and others who understand the value, who have the evidence. Watch this space, we will share the work we are doing to activate this soon!