Civic Engagement

Civic Engagement

For More Information: A Small Group, www.asmallgroup.net

 

Purpose:

To shift the language of civic debate to questions that build accountability and commitment for a restored and reconciled community.

 

Outcomes:

Shifts perspective to accountability and commitment belonging to the individuals in the community

 

When to Use:

When a group wants to create an alternative and intentional future through accountability and commitment

 

When Not to Use:

When patriarchy is the dominant and preferred method for engagement

When individuals can achieve the same outcomes as the group

 

Number of Participants:

15–200

 

Types of Participants:

Internal and external stakeholders (all levels of an organization)—volunteers for the cause!

 

Typical Duration:

Preparation: 1 week

Process: 2 weeks

Follow-up: 1 week–6 months

 

Brief Example:

Youth Dialogue: Adults (30+) and youth (under 25) were invited into conversations to establish an ongoing dialogue. Youth were required to attend (draftees). The questions, such as “What don’t adults get about you?” made the most difference between the two groups. Breakthrough listening occurred. The result: The context shifted how adults see, hear, and respond to youth. The youth stopped posturing defensively and got “real.” A diverse group made contact in a way they didn’t think possible. The outcome: the group made a commitment to continue the conversation.

 

Historical Context:

Created in 1995, amended in 1999 and again in 2003 by Peter Block. This work is based on the works of

Robert Putnam, John McKnight, and Peter Block.