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Flashback to the 60’s: Tips and Tools for Building Relationships


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Community change theory and processes were all the rage in the 1960’s. In this
interactive workshop you will learn how that early theory applies to your community
engagement work today. These tips and tools are beneficial for entering into and
sustaining great relationships in communities, no matter what your background.
Susan Erickson, PLaCE (Partnering Landscape and Community Enhancement) Program
Coordinator at Iowa State University

Published in: Education, Technology
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Flashback to the 60’s: Tips and Tools for Building Relationships

  1. 1. Flashback to the 60s:Tips and Tools for BuildingRelationshipsUpper Midwest Civic Engagement Summit (UMCES) 2013
  2. 2. Where were you?Tim  Nancy  Susan  Lisa  
  3. 3. Community DevelopmentProcess Models•  Historical Context•  Adoption Diffusion•  Social Action Construct•  Contemporary Models•  Strategic Planning – Community Visioning•  Asset Mapping•  Appreciative Inquiry
  4. 4. Adoption and Diffusion ofInnovation and Technology•  Started in Agricultural Education/Extension•  First researched in late 1940s and 1950s•  How do you get farmers to adopt better farmingtechniques and innovation?•  Works with communities as well.•  Ever notice how new ideas and technologiesspread from community to community?
  5. 5. Adoption and Diffusion(Key Roles and Concepts)•  Opinion Leaders: Often influence what isaccepted or rejected within a community.•  Early adopters: communities that risk earlyadoption of new ideas and technologies oftenreap the greatest benefits.•  Change Agent: person promoting change•  Communication networks… how a new idea ortechnology is communicated•  Assumes community innovation follows a pattern
  6. 6. Adoption and Diffusion(Examples)•  High Speed Internet, Cable Television,•  Economic development strategies•  Health and transportation systems•  What is a “good” community•  Fits a “best practice” model•  I-Phone
  7. 7. Adoption and Diffusion ofInnovation and Technology
  8. 8. Adoption DiffusionConclusion•  Well researched•  Applied for decades, especially by Extension•  Can utilize ideas and innovation from outside•  Communication networks (internal and external) are essential tomodel•  Problems:–  Often ignores local knowledge (human capital)–  Assumes good communication and organization (social capital)–  Inherent risks to community (political and financial capital)
  9. 9. Social Action Construct•  Developed by George Beal and Joseph Bohlenin the 1960s at ISU•  Incorporated the many concepts of Adoption andDiffusion in a Social (Community) Action Process•  Focus is upon maximization of communityresources toward accomplishing a specific goal•  Extension Agent or Community Leader as“Change Agent”
  10. 10. Social Action Construct#1 Situational Analysis#2 Problem Identification (Insidecommunity or outside?)#3 Form Initiating Set (First small groupto get things started)
  11. 11. Social Action Construct#4 Alternative course of action reviewed withformal and informal “legitimizers”(Power Actors)#5 Garner diffusion sets (broader participation)through drawing attention to issue orproblem & potential solutions
  12. 12. Social Action Construct•  How do you drawattention?•  Through “diffusion”techniques.•  Drawing attention tothe problem andsoliciting moreparticipation.
  13. 13. Social Action Construct#6 Redefine Needs#7 Get Commitments to Action#8 Set Goals to resolve issue/problem#9 Define means to achieve goals
  14. 14. Social Action Construct#10 Create a Plan of Work#11 Mobilize Resources#12 Launch Program (Don’t Forget Publicity)#13 Implement Action Steps#14 Final (Summative) Evaluation
  15. 15. Social Action ConstructConclusion•  Tried and true, almost linear process•  It is situational, but assumes community capitalscan be utilized if directed•  Seems to work best when community has localresources (financial and human capital)•  Problems:–  It’s somewhat elitist–  Works less well in communities with great poweror class differential (haves and have nots)
  16. 16. Today’s Applications•  What goes around comes around–  Issues are the same but more complex–  Transformation through partnerships is still the goal•  Use technology to catalyze and sustain relationships and processes•  Use the power of tech hybrid•  Be aware of shorter attention spans•  Who are our change agents has changed•  Use adoption/diffusion concepts to enhance volunteer management•  Laggards are more quickly being left behind•  Social action steps often move more quickly than in the past and 14steps are perceived as too much
  17. 17. References•  Byrson, John M. (1988) Strategic Planning for Public and NonprofitOrganizations. Josey-Bass:San Francisco•  Green, Gary P. (2001) Vision to Action: Take Charge Too. ISU, NorthCentral Regional Center for Rural Development: Ames IA.•  Kretzman, John P. and John L. McKnight (1993) Building Com-munities From theInside Out. ACTA Publications: Chicago IL.•  Green, Gary P. and Anna Haines (2012) Asset Building and CommunityDevelopment. (3rd ed.) Sage Publications, Inc.•  Rogers, Everett M. (2003) Diffusion of Innovations. (5th ed.) The Free Press:New York•  Walzer, Norman (ed.) (1996) Community Strategic Visioning Programs. Praeger:Westport, Conn.
  18. 18. PLaCE: Partnering Landscapeand Community EnhancementsLessons Learned onBuilding Relationships
  19. 19. Program overview•  Outreach and engagement from College ofDesign– In partnership with Community and EconomicDevelopment Extension & Outreach– Seven academic departments: Architecture,Community & Regional Planning, GraphicDesign, Industrial Design, Integrated StudioArts, Interior Design, Landscape Architecture
  20. 20. Program Goal•  Partner with communities and nonprofitorganizations to promote learningexperiences for students and providedevelopment concepts for the community.
  21. 21. Lessons learned•  Extension provides entrée for faculty increating relationships in communities•  Research on impacts of the program incommunity reveals…– University involvement can be a (sometimespowerful) catalyst for change,•  IF the community is ready, and•  IF relationships and communication are in place
  22. 22. A tale of two projectsSuccess  or  failure?  
  23. 23. Example: Charles CityPlanning Studio
  24. 24. Moving ForwardUtilizing community changeprinciples within pedagogy
  25. 25. Make A Difference Day:–  Faculty, Students, Community Partners•  Partnering outside the interior design discipline•  Utilization of outreach support system•  Projects / needs identified by the organization“Can  design  students  use  crea.vity  to  make  daily  existence  be7er  for  their  community?”    
  26. 26. House Of Hope
  27. 27. Groovy ActivityCelebrate and Share!
  28. 28. Questionsh5p://>es/ourfinestvintages