Paul Born - Why Community?

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In this podcast he shares his thoughts on community and invites friends from all across Canada to join him in exploring some of the key questions and issues that emerge...

Paul Born has been exploring the phenomenon of community for most of his 25 years of professional life. He grew up in a somewhat cloistered Mennonite community in Abbotsford, BC, where he experienced a deep sense of belonging and core meaning. He reflects that as he got older he lost some of that deep connection. And he adds that when he talks to others he gets a similar sense of sadness, and even confusion as to what we mean when we talk about community in the contemporary world.

In this podcast he shares his thoughts on community and invites friends from all across Canada to join him in exploring some of the key questions and issues that emerge.

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Take the Seminar!

In this seminar Paul Born shares his thoughts on community and invites friends from all across Canada to join him in exploring some of the key questions and issues that emerge...

Group of people with heads togetherPaul Born has been exploring the phenomenon of community for most of his 25 years of professional life. He grew up in a somewhat cloistered Mennonite community in Abbotsford, BC, where he experienced a deep sense of belonging and core meaning. He reflects that as he got older he lost some of that deep connection. And he adds that when he talks to others he gets a similar sense of sadness, and even confusion as to what we mean when we talk about community in the contemporary world.

In this seminar he shares his thoughts on community and invites friends from all across Canada to join him in exploring some of the key questions and issues that emerge.

Learning Objectives:

  • To learn about Tamarack’s Seeking Community initiative
  • To hear participants’ thoughts and feelings about community
  • To think about definitions of community
  • To explore fundamental premises of community

On this page, you’ll find:

Paul BornMeet Paul Born

Paul Born is the President and Co-founder of Tamarack and has worked with many organizations and communities to develop innovative and sustainable ideas that motivate people to collaborative action and change. Learn more about Paul on his profile page here.

The Seeking Community Initiative

The Seeking Community initiative has a number of components including the following:

  • An exciting new tele-learning series, Seeking Community in Chaotic Times, designed to engage participants in a better understanding of the purpose and value of community in their lives and in the lives of those they serve.
  • A new website using the latest in Web 2.0 technology.
  • A new book by Paul Born on seeking community in chaotic times - coming soon!

The Importance of Community

By seeking community, we can learn to develop deeper connections in our lives with our families, friends and neighbours. We can create a better world.

These are times of massive change, fueled by financial uncertainty, environmental destruction, terrorism, globalization, war, and a world food crisis. It is natural to reach out to each other for security, sense making and belonging.

Yet, many years of not really needing each other, relying on government intervention and embracing individualism and consumerism have left us without the skills or resources for community.

Many people are seeking to remedy this and are relearning the skills of community. Tamarack’s Seeking Community initiative is intended to help them on that journey.

Hear Paul talk about what calls him to this work:

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Defining Community

We say that it is our natural state to seek community, to reach out and connect with others. We believe that together we can be more and do more than we can on our own.

Many of us have community in our lives. For some it is a place where they live or a feeling they have when they go to church.

Each of us is different and each of us experiences community in our own way.
Sometimes seeking community is a search for purpose or meaning.

Paul talks about his struggle to find a definition of community:

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Five Principles of Community

Paul talked about five principles of community:

  • Seeking community is natural
  • We all have many communities in our lives
  • We can choose to deepen our community experience
  • Seeking community is part of our spiritual journey
  • Healthy community leads to individual and collective altruism

Listen as Paul explores the five principles of community:

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Questions for Reflection

  • What are the experiences in my life that called me to live and/or work in community?
  • What would it mean to me to “relearn the skills of community?” How might I make that kind of learning available in the communities of which I am a part?
  • What can I do to seek community online?
  • What leaders evoke a sense of community? Why?
  • How does working in community shape the person I am becoming?

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Related Resources

 

Community Engagement at Tamarack - We think community engagement means people working collaboratively, through inspired action and learning, to create and realize bold visions for their common future. Read more here.

Robert Putnam on the Decline of Civil Engagement - Robert Putnam has been described as one of the most influential academics in the world today. Read about his contribution and its significance for informal educators and animateurs here.

Charter of the Human Services Planning Coalition - This document lays out the organizational structure and sector representatives for the Human Services Planning Coalition (HSPC). HSPC ensures that every perspective is considered – not just the viewpoints of experts or those supported by large budgets. A defining characteristic of the human services sector is this inter-relatedness. Read the Charter here.

Governance Options - This document presents three models for the organization of leadership in a comprehensive community initiative (CCI) – top-down, bottom-up and hybrid. It offers a consideration of where each model is most effective, and how the models combine with different sponsorship strategies to produce different results. Learn more about the models here.

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