Community Activists Network
Community engagement in the social eco-system dance is an absolutely fantastic paper written by activist and NatCAN member Eileen Conn. I first read this paper about 5 weeks ago and I've been reflecting on it and talking about it a lot.
The page on the Third Sector Research Council's website which introduces the paper explains that Eileen
has had a long-term interest in the dynamics of communities and the emergence of community organisations which interact with the structures of public agencies and commercial companies. She has found that complexity theory provides a rewarding approach to understanding these complex social systems.
And that in this paper she:
argues that spaces where the more organic eco-systems of the community world interact with the ordered world of power and authority create opportunities which are mostly missed. This unrealised potential may offer a way forward in the current policy climate.
I also really love Eileen's description of activists as energy waves in this video clip from David Wilcox:
Eileen is keen to be involved in discussions about her paper, and I'd love to start some here, seeking the views of activists.
- Do you identify with the systems of relationships Eileen describes?
- What would you like to see happening which could nurture the 'space of possibilities'?
- What would your advice be to people like me, who are employed in a vertical hierarchical system and trying to get the people in it to understand that we shouldn't be trying to pin a constitution on anything involving more than one person trying to do something! What sort of support should I be recommending for activists, if any?
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