Art of Participatory Community Building

Recently, Linkwest took part in offering a 3-day regional training on The Art of Participatory Community Building. 

The training was hosted by the City of Albany in conjunction with the Jeder Institute, Linkwest, Denmark CRC and other local community organisations. It was great to see local members of the Linkwest network there, including Rainbow Coast Neighbourhood Centre, Jerramungup CRC, Bremer Bay CRC, and Denmark CRC.

The workshop focused on participatory co-design approaches to community building that have been used effectively in community, business, government and non-government contexts. 

It was inspiring to see participants ‘stepping up and stepping in’ to try their hand at facilitating processes such as World Café, Appreciative Inquiry conversations, Circle Methodology and Open Space Technology in such a supportive environment. 

The inspiration was obviously flowing in all directions, as can be seen from the following feedback from a few of the participants…

“This workshop is a really good foundation for the work of CRCs. We know a lot about community building and also sometimes can be a bit at sea in how to put it all into practice. This is the workshop to go to for that – tools and frameworks for putting community building into practice.” Petra, Denmark Community Resource Centre

“The workshop has given me a whole host of tools, and the knowledge that it’s okay to use them, bend them, adapt them. It’s about being responsive to who is there and who is participating in the group. I think that “I don’t have to do it all ‘” has been the most empowering thing that has come out of this. What a relief! It’s changing the way I’m thinking, and I’ve really enjoyed that.” Angela, Rainbow Coast Neighbourhood Centre

“I think it’s been great. I was lucky enough to participate in a couple of Linkwest’s Discovering ABCD video conferences, and it is reinforcing for me all those messages and ideals that I would love to bring to my community. It’s putting me on the right track to be able to take the next step and being able to bring that to my community." Kate, Bremer Bay Community Resource Centre

We’ll be sharing more conversations and other sound clips from the Albany AoPCB training over the coming months.

Meanwhile, in October, Linkwest will partner with the Jeder Institute to offer a similar 2-day training in the Art of Participatory Community Building. The training will be tailored to the context of Neighbourhood and Community Resource Centres, offering tools and frameworks to enable Centres to put Asset Based Community Development into practice in their organisations and communities.

Our focus will be on learning together how to enrich our practice of community building by focusing on strengths and assets, building effective partnership strategies, and increasing confidence in hosting and facilitating group work and community events.

This will be an opportunity to learn together and share experience and practice wisdom in these inspiring ways of working within and for our organisations and communities.

Art of Participatory Community BuildingPictured: Art of Participatory Community Building 3-day training, Albany, May 2019. Photos courtesy Michelle Dunscombe, Jeder Institute.