Ok. So I’ve paraphrased Henry Miller. But its true isn’t it?
This week two things have come together. A session organised by Goodmoney on Community Organising (the link is a helpful resource on some digital tools) and our evaluation report on Gig Buddies. A project that enables people, with and without learning difficulties, to build a relationship based on a shared enjoyment of music.
Both initiatives use the power of shared interest as a positive driver for change. They identify communities of interest and then act as a catalyst or support to make stuff happen. Good stuff. They both move from what can we do to people, to what can we do together? It’s that approach that provides a new way of looking at things.
I’ve been lucky enough to be involved in the Stay Up Late campaign and Gig Buddies since its inception. It’s a testament to the power of communities of interest and, although we didn’t know it then, it uses Community Connecting to marry people’s skills, talents and aspirations to opportunities in their communities. The emphasis of connecting is less on supporting people to be ‘in the community’ or to do activities, and more about them building relationships based on reciprocity – shared interest. It works. Really well. So well in fact that, like all good ideas, it leapt to the other side of the world and Gig Buddies Sydney was set up in February.
If you want read the Gig Buddies evaluation report its here – do read it, think about the power of shared interest and then, maybe, reflect on the things you want to change in your community. Its more than possible – find people with a shared interest and you have the best chance of making it happen.