What will the next decade look like for community engagement and collective impact?
In a time of vast change, challenge and confusion, our team explore how communities will come together and excel at the nexus, with their predictions for the next decade.
Donna Shepherd, Managing Director
Donna Shepherd is the Managing Director of Creating Communities, she’s passionate about people and has spent the past six years as the chair of World Vision International.
As global forces and crisis, including pandemics, cause many to turn inward. Creating Communities will be leading a counter-vailing movement to draw communities together by encouraging people out of their homes, to meet with each other, learn from each other, find meaning in community and in the process discovering new purpose, improved wellness and quality of life.
Andrew Watt, Director – Engagement, Planning, Education and Ageing
Andrew Watt is a former school principal, who is now a director at CCA. A self-confessed sport addict, Andrew hosts the podcast Sandgroper Sports and enjoys spending his time with his dog, Flynn.
In ten years’ time we will likely see a greater emphasis on relationship-based engagement that fosters a more localised connection, while still reflecting regional issues. This will be in response to an increase in use of technology, to provide more authentic experiences, while also utilising the most contemporary technology tools.
There will be a rise in the expectation of ethical investment – with greater emphasis on socially and environmentally responsible development.
We will see greater involvement of younger people in engagement, after decades of the public debate being dominated by older, well-resourced community members. Young people will be more proactive and involved than ever before.
Creating Communities will be at the forefront, seeking a better understanding of community needs and aspirations and aligning these with the proposed strategies and actions of our clients.
Melanie Billig, Creative Lead
Melanie is the brains behind CCA’s creative strategy. She’s passionate about design, the minimal aesthetic and a lunchtime power walk.
Communications, creative thinking and innovation beyond what we already think possible will become an integral component of community development and engagement. We are only just scraping the surface on the power and opportunity to use visual communications and storytelling to completely elevate our projects, our outcomes and our impact.
Joanne Patroni, Senior Research Consultant
Joanne is a Senior Research Consultant at Creating Communities with a strong interest in regional remote communities. She enjoys playing barefoot basketball on her travels through the Kimberley and Pilbara.
Organisations are beginning to recognise the tangible benefits of connection. In Community development, we’ve seen developers realise the intangible sense of community and how that translates to higher property values, while in the corporate space we’ve seen the monetisation of social licence to operate.
Through digitisation and participation, feedback provision has become easier to access and companies can be taken down by social media. Community engagement is no longer just “good to have” it is expected by local communities, consumers and constituents on anything that will impact them, the “ask for forgiveness” approach is now too risky.
I think Indigenous peoples are being heard, both globally and in Australia. While intra-community connections are becoming more explicitly examined and developed, connections between corporates and communities are becoming more resources and intentional.
The world is becoming more connected, and there is more need for connection. CCA’s role in facilitating that will be strong.
Ross Robins, Senior Consultant
Ross is a senior consultant in the Community Development team. In his spare time he enjoys gigs, playing the guitar and hopes to one day write a book, he’s just not sure what about.
I think some of the main trends we will see over the next decade for community development will be from the impacts of an ageing population, higher density living, more diverse communities, impacts of climate change and how automation will impact that workforce – especially in such a FIFO centric place like Perth. This might mean we have less resources (human, financial and environmental) that can be spread across communities, potential for segregation and fracturing of communities and an increase in inequality across communities that can afford to isolate themselves from the challenges ahead.
I think places like CCA can influence impact by in its own small way around these areas:
- Educating communities about the systems in which they exist
- Helping communities to learn how to get out of silo’s and collaborate together with less resources
- Assist communities to come together for a common purpose and then work with communities on how they can advocate for themselves and influence change
- Reframe society and communities in purely economic terms, that we are humans with human needs such as connection, feeling valued, supported and being part of something bigger, and this is as important as GDP figures.