One of the key issues to the community involvement around a social project is how to inspire people to change habits and embrace new solutions that might improve their lives and their community.
I find the act of visioning an Utopia as the first step in creating that inspiration you need. Plus it will give the necessary guidance on how to integrate within the community to maximize the positive impact. Knowing what one doesn’t want can be very important (to protest), but where will it lead? A community, without an idea in which direction to change, won’t be able to articulate a solution and act in a more efficient way to create a positive change.
Promoting the creation of a Positive Vision of the future within a Community, might bring the concept of Utopia to a more practical sense, by connecting it to an action. Plus, if it is a collective visioning, created by a group or even a whole community, you manage to create engagement and civic participation.
Being part of this community visioning, as a NGO or an individual Social Entrepreneur, can help you be part of a more holistic project, understanding better what can you do and how to do it, plus it can help you to connect with them, creating synergies. Since it’s a participatory tool that allows you to know better the community, you are working with, and also allows them to know your intentions and vision.
As once said Fernando Birri, “Utopia is in the horizon, every time you walk 10 steps in it’s direction, it will go further away 10 steps.” So why is it there? To make you walk. It serves the purpose of a guide, to help you orient yourself while acting upon this world.
In future post I’ll talk more about practical tools that will facilitate a community visioning. Meanwhile, here are more tools and practical sugestions about this subject: Transition Network Website and Conservation Tools Website.