Guest Post by Noah Brod, Community Social Change Workshop, April 2013

One of the takeaways from the past weekend for me has been the usefulness of even ad-hoc, informal frameworks. Our class ended up seeing “community social change” as a process that touches upon 9 natural categories: Power, participatory development and ownership, process versus outcome indicators, networking, solidarity and agency, accountability and legitimacy, community identity and its origins, social justice, and a focus on continuity, patience, and process. Over the course of our discussions following the creation of this framework, we were able to make use of it in coming back and improving content that had been generated from discussions without any framework to guide it.

Looking over the categories above I feel like our class developed a good start at approaching the idea of community social change, but that we really only ended up with a first draft by the end of the weekend. Our framework, in order to be something transportable beyond the discussions that were held around its creation, needs clarification in many areas. Many of the categories are double or even triple barreled, and almost all of them have the same level of specificity as an I Ching category.  It’s one thing to divide the world at a set of joints that a group has collectively decided to bring into existence, it is another to actually locate those joints in the world.