Engagement expectations have changed and yet we often approach community engagement using the same techniques, strategies and messaging we have used for years. We need a new generation of tools and practices to inform, consult, involve and partner with people in building better communities.
In our cities and communities, a new generation of community engagement is emerging. Over the last twenty years (some will argue longer), people interested in building strong communities have been making an important shift. Eager to “move the needle” on our quality of life issues, they are experimenting with new ways to create community-wide strategies that yield big changes as opposed to hoping that the individual efforts of organizations and services end up being more than the sum of their parts.
As part of this we’re seeing a real renewal of energy in people who want to expand and improve their community engagement practices. There’s a revival of the understanding that the citizen voice is critical for any work being done in community change, and there’s a big push towards not doing “for” the community, but rather doing “with” the community.
This approach to community change requires us to engage in a different way. Conventional engagement techniques do not always yield the response rates we want, and are often delivered in a top-down manner of only ‘seeking input’ rather than bringing together multiple stakeholder groups and partnering with the community. Engagement expectations have changed and we need to consider what we want to do differently in this next generation of community engagement.
Technology Has Changed Everything
Every minute of every day our email inbox is filled with people and companies trying to engage us. We are riveted to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin and the multitude of apps available to help us “stay in touch” and to get the latest news.
Technology engages us. We are entertained, moved, connected and involved daily. Technology also distracts us. It is easy to become overwhelmed, unfocused, overcommitted and exhausted by the constant stream of stimulation and requests. It is getting harder to break through and to engage people so that they will read our social media posts and online newsletters, fill in the surveys we send out or to buy our products and ideas online.
How Do We Respond?
When we talk about the next generation of community engagement, we’re not just talking about “doing the old stuff on steroids”. The next generation of community engagement is all about trust, accountability, transparency, and putting the community first.
During Community Engagement, The Next Generation we will explore: What shifts are we seeing? What new technologies and practices are available? What have others done that I can leverage? How do systems change and what role does engagement play in building and sustaining movements for change?
Who Should Attend?
At Tamarack we specialize in turning theory into action. Our workshops are highly practical and personalized. Our goal is to make you more effective in your work and get better, quicker results. This workshop is designed for:
- People that have community engagement as an important part of their job
- Community Development professionals who work in not for profit organizations, government, health care, police and environmental issues
- People that are told by their city councils, boards and executive directors to engage clients and constituents in order to make better decisions
- Collective Impact leaders who understand the critical place community engagement holds in advancing their work
- Organizational leaders who want to use engagement techniques to raise more money or increase customer loyalty
You will learn the latest engagement techniques that will transform how you engage your clients, customers, funders and partners. Through dialogue with leaders in the field of engagement and social change, you will enhance your capacity to effectively hear the voices of those you serve and learn key strategies to mobilize them toward impact.
Together we will explore and learn to apply:
- A toolkit for Community Engagement practices
- Proven techniques that companies have been using for years to increase customer loyalty
- Systems change theory and the role engagement plays in building movements for change
- Engagement technologies and the amazing power these have given us to listen to and communicate effectively with large groups of people