What is community building?
The short answer is, enabling communities to move toward greater health, vibrancy, and possibility by developing nurturing conditions, building authentic relationships, and facilitating the emergence of explicit shared goals.
We all share a deep-seated desire to live in communities that are healthy and vibrant. Whether our community is a town with good jobs, stellar schools, and a fun downtown, an organization with passionate employees, a caring management, and good revenue, or even a school district with engaged students, inspiring teachers, and attentive administrators – we all want basically the same things for our communities: health and life. Unfortunately, we as a society are not doing so well on this score. We think we can do better.
Our basic assumption is that many local social systems have enormous potential that is currently lying dormant. Skills are unused because we don't know others well enough, projects are unfunded because passionate community members don't know where to look, countless examples of creative collaboration are being missed because people rarely meet and talk with one another, enthusiasm is being wasted because there's no good way to tap into the community system, and on and on.
A vision of what our communities might look like with active, engaged community building. What would be different? How would people and institutions relate to one another?
We're watching and shaping the emerging profession of community building in the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids region and around the world. Learn, guide and co-create it us.
> Go to Field Guide
As we go, we're documenting our experiences and lessons learned. Come reflect with us and contribute your own stories from the field.