Get talking about community

Submitted by Andy Miller94 on February 8, 2013 - 4:42pm
A conversation with a group of young adults in Kitchener

    Today, my housemates and I took just an hour out of our time to take part in one of the "Thousand Conversations About Community" project that Tamarack has going on. It was a list of thought-provoking and insightful questions all about living in community. This was a great way to further discover what community means to the individual as well as to a collective group, and come up with ways to deepen your community experience. I loved hearing all of the personal stories that we were all sharing and really getting to know how we have all experienced community differently in our lives.


     My favourite part was a question about how to deepen our community experience; we came up with a lot of great things that not just our house, but other communites could incorporate as well.


     We had a great time talking and I highly recommend this activity to anyone else. Whether it be a family, a group of friends living together or even just a group of anyone that's interested, this group coversation was a great way to start thinking about community.

     Has anyone else done something similar to this? Maybe host a dinner and have this conversation afterwards (or during) and see which questions ring true to you. For more information on how to get your hands on this conversation guideline you can contact Derek Alton who is in charge of this project!

Best post

I know I should not judge but this could very well be the best post of the year!

Love the simplicity of the pictures and the exploration.

Please send us more!

Highlight reel


Here is the highlight reel of our specific responses:

What is my most memorable experience of community?  

·         Many of us mentioned experiences as staff at summer camp, which is fitting as that is our most common tie.  Our decision to live together came out of conversations at camp this past summer.  A large part of us living together is the desire to continue the sense of community we have in the summer throughout the year.  For many of us, camp has been a part of many of our strongest memories of community.

·         Two of us told stories of birth.  Both these stories were told by older siblings of the community that formed around new life brought into family and wider community.

·         Family also was a theme that presented itself.

Why is community important to us?

·         Because if makes us feel belonging and purpose. 

·         We can do more together than by ourselves. 

·         It’s fun! 

·         Interdependence creates a sense of security.  Community is a huge support.  

How do we express community together?

·         We live together.  It is not that common for people who have graduated university to live in such a large group.  We love it. 

·         We largely express community around food.  We eat dinner together every day and share cooking and cleaning responsibilities. 

·         We share with each other.  We try to create space that allows one another to be open and vulnerable so that we are better able to support each other.

·         We have fun together!  We play games, we play music, we go out for beer and we host friends.

·         Collaborating though hospitality is a big one for us.  We love to have people over.  Some weeks we have dinner guests or are going to someone else’s place every night!

·         We are intentional about the way we make decisions.  We have meetings and try to be aware of peoples’ needs and use consensus.

Is our experience of community together meaningful?

·         Yes.

 How could we deepen our experience of community together?

We found this to be one of our favourite questions.  It was a tough one and got some good discussion going

·         We could have more traditions and rituals (not esoteric stuff…more like sharing “rose and thorn” at dinner, weekly pupusas, music or movie nights.

·         We also thought that we should have more discussions (meetings) that focus on dreaming and fun stuff…not just work, utility bills and landlord issues.

·         Expand our efforts at building relationships with our neighbours.


Awesome Pictures

Hi Andy, I would like to echo Rachel's thoughts, this blog was very exciting, and the pictures added a lot.  Did you take any snap shots of what you wrote on the black boards?  Would you be open to sharing them?


Hi Andy (and rest of the Stone Soup Collective),

Thanks for sharing! Glad the conversation went well. Thanks for adding photos, as well!

Glad to hear the question around building a deepened sense of community grabbed you--- do you mind sharing some of the ideas you came up with to address this question??

Thanks! :)