Connected Communities

Communities are sometimes hard to define, but at one point or another, most of us have a longing for a sense of community. We find different avenues to satisfy our sense of community. Sometimes it is in the neighborhoods in which we live. At other times, it is in spiritual/religious groups or other kinds of groups in which we participate. Sometimes communities are places to which we physically go and sometimes they stretch beyond the limits of geography.

Disconnection in Communities

While communities can provide an experience that is rich and rewarding, members of communities can also feel frustrated, disappointed, and disconnected. In neighborhoods and cities, people want to see change, but do not know how to go about it. In other situations, people are not satisfied with the quality and level of engagement they experience within the groups that are the most meaningful to them. In other circumstances, communities experience significant conflict and strife and struggle to find their way through it.

Creating Communities People Want (Read More) >>

Socio-Logic has over 10 years' experience in working with neighborhoods, churches/spiritual centers and other groups and has served in a variety of roles.

Community Building.

The idea behind communities is not for them to be a mere loose collection of individuals. Communities do not have the formality of organizations; however, like organizations, communities are ideally thriving entities in their own right, abounding with mutuality and connection between individual members. Sometimes the development of bonds within a community happens with ease. At other times, focused cultivation is needed to foster the individual bonds and connections necessary to fully realize the idea of “community.”

Culture Building.

Members of communities are individuals in their own right and their individual identity cannot get lost in the group. At the same time, central to the idea of “community,” is the idea of shared group identity, arising from the shared values, beliefs, and goals of the community. While culture can be viewed as these static lists of values, beliefs, and goals, culture is also a process of dynamic, shared, and relational “meaning-making.” Culture, and all its elements, are born and “come to life” through the flow of language, communication, and other interaction. And while communities can be adept at describing the beliefs and values to which they aspire, they sometimes struggle to enact the dynamics of a thriving, “living,” culture.  

Community Organizing.

While you might find a strong sense of community and cultural identity in many groups, because communities are not necessarily formally connected (like formal organizations), there can still be a struggle to create desired change. Members of a community can have a sense of being connected to other members or belonging to the group, but still struggle to foster change and action on even the simplest of goals. Creating change takes structure and organization, and communities (by nature), are often lacking in those areas. Social media can help individuals to connect and communicate to other members of a community, but creating change requires more than “likes,” more than people rooting for a cause from behind their device. Help is often needed to strategize, organize, and create the necessary structure to enact change.

Community Facilitation.

Sometimes communities do have a fair bit of organization or structure, but these are often not central to community. Therefore, the necessary communication or interaction between these various parts is sometimes lacking. Sometimes connection and dialogue need to be facilitated between various aspects of a community to foster the change that is being sought.

Conflict Management, Engagement, and Transformation.

Whether you are building community or culture, or are organizing and facilitating, you are likely to encounter conflict. While people often avoid conflict or hastily try to restore a sense of peace, rather than digging into the deeper issues, conflict can serve as an “engine” of change. Like a cough, conflict is not always experienced as pleasant, but when engaged in productively, it can create space for "fresh air,” and can foster vitality.

How Can We Help?

Socio-Logic trusts that you and other members of your community understand your situation better than anyone. The goal is to pair your knowledge of your unique situation with social science knowledge of groups, communities and neighborhoods. Then, combine those with over 10 years of practical experience in working with communities, neighborhoods, groups, and churches. If you want to find out more about how we would generally work together, you can check here. Otherwise, the next step is a free consultation.

Working TogetherH. Scott Clemente

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Dallas, TX