Aside from a small number of schools and playgrounds, there seems little evidence that the needs of children are reflected in our built environment. As a parent and a community-builder down in Menlo Park and founder of theÂ Playborhood blog, Mike Lanza has become a passionate advocate for children’s right to play outside in their neighborhood streets. Mike shares his insights with NENfm.
On June 2, 2011, hundreds of people who are passionate about their communities – from local government to neighborhood activists to nonprofit leaders – will gather for Craigslist Foundation Boot Camp to connect with one another, grow their skills and expand the tools and resources they use to strengthen and enrich their neighborhoods.
Boot Camp includes keynote presentations, more than 20 workshops and discussions,Â and interactive sessions where attendees get to learn not just from session leaders but also from one another. Two workshop themes that will be explored this year are collaboration and storytelling:
The current economic crisis drives the demand for workshops that address collaboration, facilitation and the skills to successfully lead collaborative organizations. With ever more limited funds and resources, we have to work better together. But working together presents new challenges and requires new leadership skills. In addition to a NEN-led workshop on “Community Engagement 2011” we’ll offer workshops on Courageous Leadership, “Using Collaborative Consumption and the Sharing Economy to Strengthen Neighborhoods,” as well as hands on skills for facilitation and collaboration and â€œCreating a Shared Vision for Your Community.â
This year we are also excited to publicly present our new online program, LikeMinded, an innovative community storytelling platform generously supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Like Boot Camp, LikeMinded is all about connection and collaborative learning, and serves to help success stories travel better between communities throughout the country.
We should all live in great communities. Strong, healthy, democratic, sustainable, collaborative places. We built LikeMinded to make that happen, and make it possible for good ideas to travel from your block to every block. Take a look atÂ www.likeminded.org, Â and share stories of your good work for others to learn and get inspired by today. And as a friend of NEN, save 25% on Boot Camp through Friday, April 15.
Neighborhood organizers get a real energy boost when they come together. In fact, it’s essential to community work. That why, on Saturday August 14th, we at the NEN were so excited to be part of theÂ 2010 Craigslist Foundation Bootcamp, an event that focused on capacity building within communities in the Bay Area and across the nation. The event united hundreds of activists, together with dozens of speakers, workshops, resources, and more. It was quite a day.
Although this was my first experience working with the NEN in the public sphere, I found myself fueled by high energy as everyone worked hard to elevate, educate, and celebrate the work of local community members and stakeholders.
By the end of the day, not only did I come away from the event feeling empowered, but also ready to take action, equipped with a different lens of imagination.
What was the element of this event that I found to be most remarkable? It was the synergism I witnessed by organizations coming together. Whether or not someone was involved in community gardens or literacy programs for underprivileged youths, anyone could see the purpose of bringing together so many individuals and organizations and letting them share their knowledge and resources. While I have been to some â€œcompetitiveâ€ conferences, what made this experience different was that the air was friendly and team-work oriented.
What touched me was that every organization advocated civic engagement, was open to possibilities, and was ready to exchange ideas. I was reminded of the capabilities that can emerge when seemingly different organizations join forces.
Thanks again to the Craigslist Foundation for giving the NEN a chance to help steward the event to success, as well as to all of you who joined us at the event. Great things happen when we come together.
Christoph Zepeda is earning his Masters degree in English Literature with a certificate in teaching post-secondary reading. In his spare time, he enjoys bicycling, yoga, movies, and creative writing. He hopes to one day publish a novel, memoir, and collection of poems.
Embracing Web 2.0 tools, the City of San Francisco has started making its data more open to the public. NENfm interviews Adriel Hampton, web specialist and speaker at the upcoming Craigslist Foundation Boot Camp, about the potential of this move and if it’s actually possible to make sense of so much data.
Those communities that successfully tackled crime, cleaned up trash, and got the neighbors talking – how did they do it? In this presentation, NEN Director Daniel Homsey outlines the stages through which most neighborhoods go on their journey to becoming active communities. Daniel ends with the secret ingredient that carries communities beyond single-issue flash campaigns to long term resilient neighborhoods.
These are exciting times at the Neighborhood Empowerment Network (NEN). In this introduction presentation, NEN Director Daniel Homsey discusses the events, social media strategies, and partnerships at the heart of the NEN’s work.