Making a Community Work

One of my favorite talks on the topic of community is Jono Bacon’s “The Engines of Community.”

The Art of Community can be downloaded for free here – http://www.jonobacon.org/2009/09/18/the-art-of-community-available-for-free-download/

Highlights: http://oreilly.com/web2/excerpts/the-art-community/chapter1.html

Key Point –  for an economy to work, every participant needs to believe in the economy. Belief is a critical component in how any group of people or animals functions. This can be belief in God, belief in values, or belief in a new future. Whatever the core belief is, the economy and the community can be successful only if everyone has faith in it.

  • A sense of belonging is what keeps people in communities. This belonging is the goal of community building. The hallmark of a strong community is when its members feel that they belong.
  • Belonging is the measure of a strong social economy. This economy’s currency is not the money that you find in your wallet or down the back of your couch, but is social capital
  • For an economy and community to be successful, the participants need to believe in it. If no one believes in the community that brings them together, it fails.
  • Like any other economy, a social economy is a collection of processes that describe how something works and is shared between those who participate.
  • These processes, and the generation of social capital, which in turn generates belonging, needs to be effectively communicated.

Digital Habitats is another favorite of mine on the topic of community.

Digital Habitats : stewarding technology for communities – South Africa, May 2010