Opening Doors: Generating new Connections to foster Social Inclusion


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Ronda Held
Workshop presented at the #2012waic Conference - Ghent, Belgium

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Opening Doors: Generating new Connections to foster Social Inclusion

  2. Social Isolation and Social Inclusion• How do we engage with people who are at risk of isolation in our community?• How can we build sustainable initiatives that will foster community inclusion?• If you were socially isolated, what would it take for you to take a risk and become more engaged in your community?
  3. Opening Doorsinto Community Are you willing to takethe lead in making your community more inclusive? A communityleadership program for SOCIAL INCLUSION
  4. Appreciative Inquiry…begins by identifying what is positive and connecting to it in ways that heighten energy, vision and action for change. Cooperrider (2008)
  5. Social Isolation• Significant risk factor for morbidity and mortality• Risk comparable to cigarette smoking• Risk factor for depression and suicide• Socially isolated people are less likely to access health and support services and engage in positive behaviours that can improve their health and well- beingThe debate about social isolation focusses on deficits.
  6. Two paths – two solutions Needs Assets(What is not there) (What is there)Services to meet Connections & needs contributions Consumers CitizensPrograms are the People are the answer answer
  7. Community Needs MapUnemployment Social Housing Child Abuse Crime Teenage Elderly Mothers IlliteracyPoverty School Dropouts Mentally Ill Homeless Truancy AddictionSocial isolation Delinquency
  8. Looking to the community not services…• Found people passionate about inclusion• People raised the issues that were important to them OPEN SPACE PRINCIPLES Passion Responsibility
  9. Community AssetsBusinesses Local Institutions Schools Associations Churches Clubs Gifts of ResidentsParks Income Artists Libraries Youth Elderly Labelled/Marginalized Social Groups Self-Help GroupsHospitals Nonprofits
  10. Program ProcessGroup Interview:• Promote conversation• Vision for community
  11. Opening Retreat• Explore leadership• Discover leadership strengths
  12. Twelve Principles of ABCD1. Everyone has gifts.2. Relationships build a community.3. Citizens are at the centre.4. Leaders involve others as active members of the community.5. People care about something.6. Identify what motivates people to act.
  13. Twelve Principles of ABCD (cont.)7. A listening conversation is the way to discover motivation and invite participation.8. Ask, ask and ask.9. Asking questions rather than giving answers invites stronger participation.10. A citizen-centred ‘inside-out’ organisation is the key to community engagement.11. Institutions have reached their problem solving limits.12. Institutions are servants.
  14. ABCD – three steps1. Discover strengths2. Connect with each other and our community3. Come together to build on knowledge and skills
  15. Regular sessions• 12 sessions over 6 months• Meet in a variety of community venues to discover local assets• Develop a community project
  16. Margaret Wheatley “There is no power for change like a community discovering what it cares about.”
  17. Opening Doors has led to…• 58 graduates strengthening their knowledge, skills and confidence to make a difference in their communities• 45 grass roots community projects that are working to increase social inclusion• Over 4000 community members who are engaged with their communities in new and positive ways as a result of these projects• A network of 50 different organisations, businesses and groups collaborating to promote social inclusion through their support of the program.
  18. Mike Green “The deepest dream of ABCD is that more and more people can come to see truly that ‘there is no one we don’t need’ and that a community without a place for everyone is a community really with a place for no one.”
  19. Strength in PartnershipPartners at the Opening Doors Graduation 2009
  20. Partners involved in Opening Doors• Inner East Primary Care Partnership• MonashLink Community Health Service• Whitehorse Community Health• Manningham Community Health• Uniting Care Community Options• Ashburton Support Services• City of Boroondara• Department of Health, Eastern Region• Womens Health East• Department of Planning and Community Development
  21. Competencies developed by working together• Affirmative Competence – a focus on strengths to create vitality;• Expansive competence – challenge conventional practices to stretch in new direction, evoking a set of higher values and ideals to inspire members;• Generative Competence – integrative systems allow members to see the results of their actions, to recognize they are making a contribution and to see progress;• Collaborative Competence – forums where members can engage in dialogue and active . Barrett, F. (1998) cited in Cooperrider et. al (2008) p 205
  22. What was most appreciated about thepartnership?• Shared vision, goal and passion.• Diversity of people involved – different organisations, different roles/levels within organisations, not “representing” their organisations, bringing resources, knowledge, leadership, linking, capacity for all to learn.• Commitment (ongoing) and motivation to achieve real change on the issue of social inclusion.
  23. What kept people most engaged?• Energy, enthusiasm, determination, excitement about what was evolving.• Learning and growth: The different, evolving and developmental nature of the approach of capacity building. The challenge of seeing ideas translate into reality. The growth and learning of individuals from being involved, and the opportunity to use their expertise and networks to address the challenges.• The importance of the issue.
  24. Achievements•Making the projects happen!•Using a new approach to the issue•The partnership itself•The outcomes and impacts of the projects
  25. Key success factors• Perceived social value of the initiative• Common vision and goals• Diverse contributions• Structures to manage the partnership• Relationships• Roles• Time
  26. Quotes from partners“Partners were prepared to work together and changedirection when they could see that the project wouldbenefit from this” “Be prepared for the long haul”“A diversity of views leads to a better outcome”
  27. GreatestAchievementThe Graduation“…confidence buildingof the students whowill continue tocontribute. They havebeen skilled up on along-term basis andempowered to usethese skills. Fantastic Graduation 2010model!”
  28. Community BenefitParticipants Community ProjectsIncreased leadership Actively working toknowledge, skills and strengthen communityconfidence to engage with connectedness and reducecommunities. social isolation in local neighbourhoods.
  29. Quote from an Opening Doors Participant “Opening Doors has challenged many of my beliefsystems. Through its many unique experiences I now see and experience our world and myself differently.Where I saw hopelessness, weakness, deficiencies andindifference I now see beauty, strengths, potential andpassion. I step forward now, empowered and hopeful.”
  30. Quotes from participants“Honestly, it’s made a huge difference in my life…in fact life changing.I think doing this course has opened my eyes to what’s possible andgiven me renewed faith in others…especially myself. I have moreconfidence and faith in my abilities and that’s a big shift.” MikeOpening Doors gave me insight into how I can contribute. It helped meto focus on my strengths and see a different way to attract people tobecome involved. BunnaryI learnt a lot from that program, most importantly how to listen. MargaretI have learnt that a lot can be achieved with a small beginning. If wehave a simple idea, a clear vision, along with persistence anddetermination, anything is possible. Linda
  32. Resources
  33. QUESTIONS? Find us on facebookEmail:
  34. Sponsors of theManninghamCommunity HealthService