Theme of the Seminar:
"Ensure a Sustainable community development"

THE FUTURE OF THE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT 

With growing uncertainty about the future, and concern about the multiple crises - ecological, economic and political - there is a renewed interest in community development, and the importance of stronger and sustainable community structures if we are to meet the challenges ahead. Recent experience with disasters (whether natural or human-caused) has shown the importance of community development both in building communities that are able to cope with disaster, and in helping communities to respond to disasters and to reconfigure their communities in the recovery process. There is also a growing awareness that we reach our true humanity in relationship with others, rather than in isolation, and so community is essential if we are to achieve our human rights. And many human service organizations, whether government or non-government, find that a community development approach is an effective way of helping people meet their needs.

The significant social, political, economic and environmental changes currently being experienced across the globe are typically discontinuous: they are not a simple extension of the past, but rather represent major ‘paradigm shifts’, or ‘tipping points’: terms that have become increasingly common and increasingly relevant in a world where the old ways of thinking and living are becoming more obviously dysfunctional. This is the context of community development, and this seminar will explore ways for community development not only to adapt to new contexts, but also to think about our work in new ways, and to help bring about change to a more equitable and sustainable society.

Some of the challenges facing community development are the way in which the Internet and social media are changing our ways of relating and of configuring ‘community’, the replacement of economic confidence and the belief in ‘progress’, with an increasingly uncertain global economy, and the environmental imperatives that dictate that the old ways of doing things, are no longer sustainable. This requires us to rethink how we do community development. Is there still any place for traditional ways of working such as door-knocking, public meetings, community consultations, needs surveys, and using local newspapers? How do we understand ‘community’, and how do we engage with people around community issues? Is there any meaning to ‘community’ in the postmodern, risk-averse, globalised world?

 

This seminar will explore how we can engage with people in the reconstruction of the community and include practical examples of ways of working for the community and learn ways to create community participation

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