The CLIPS guide explains a model for community development created by the CLIPS team. The guide is accompanied by workshops, mentoring and trainings, as well as an online platform with resources, links, examples and tools for both projects and trainers engaged with supporting communities to grow.
When we say “community”, or “community-led project”, we refer to a group of people connected by worldview, vision and goals, sharing at least some parts of their non-professional lives. This can include both eco-communities, co-housings, NGO’s, civil initiatives, business collectives, community schools, ethical banks, health circles, co-op-eratives, community-supported agriculture projects, etc.
Every community consists of individuals. A com- munity can thrive only if individuals are honoured and respected. Individuals tend to thrive in a com- munity if they approach life with a learner’s attitude, acknowledging that all they encounter is a part of the learning journey and therefore valuable, even ifit turns out to be di erent than what they anticipat- ed. Individual growth and community building work best in tandem when tools for deep sharing and feedback are consciously applied.
Community building does not happen by itself, it must be fostered consciously. Among basic requirements are common joyful activities andsharing in everyday life. Con icts and di cultiesare opportunities for designing appropriate organ- isation that supports community spirit. The form oforganisation and the means of con ict resolutionshould be complementary.
Shared intention takes people beyond the assumption that “we all want to go in the same direction”. A clear, distinct intention gives orienta- tion, especially in times when the group loses its track, unclear which way to go. Unclear intentioncan become a source of con ict, confusion andmisunderstanding, therefore clarity should be pur- sued by all means. A sign of clarity is that membersnd intention statements (vision, mission, aim, andpurpose) meaningful and identify with them. CLIPS Guide outlines examples of clearly formulated shared intentions which can serve the group well.
Efficient cooperation requires shared agreements, for instance on decision-making, organising finances, legal representation, etc. These belong to the layer of Structure, and are, sadly, often neglected. Unclear structures are among key causes of long-term problems in group projects. On the other hand well developed structures, when disconnected from other layers, tends to be repressive and short-termed.
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