Happy New Year from Trusted Space Partners! We want to give you a brief update on our current work and our offers for the new year (a description is below or link here for a pdf version). We're continuing to provide consulting around community development and community building strategies where we are needed, and we have been concentrating some of our efforts working with large affordable housing development companies and their properties in Chicago, Detroit, Miami, DC, Bostons etc and learning a lot about this work in that context. It's challenging but really interesting.
This year we are trying a couple new things: First, putting on a few workshop/training/peer learning opportunities (Explore Series) and hoping to start catalyzing a community of practice for people who are interested in a Trusted Space approach. Second, we are actively looking for a long term partner or two that may want to go deep in a network organizing strategy. We've spent a good part of the last 18 months helping to develop and support a new "NeighborUp Network" in East Cleveland (which continues), and we are starting work to help build a new network called "Raise Up" in Birmingham AL, which is exciting. We would love to go deep in 1-2 other places in the year ahead. Thanks for taking a look - and for spreading the word if you are so moved!!
Trusted Space Partners Offerings for 2015:
The Trusted Space Approach - Today, new strategies are needed for helping people and institutions connect locally to maximize opportunities and make change. Trusted Space is an approach that believes that our biggest need and challenge is to shape new community moments that level power dynamics and invite a wider range of people to shape and share relationships of trust and value to drive change. Trusted Space Partners is directly engaged in local areas across the country, collaborating with change makers to shape new networks of people and share and explore new practices and new rooms for engagement and exchange.
We offer our support in three specific ways to individuals and teams who are just embarking on a change initiative, or to experienced practitioners and organizational leaders who have been involved in community development efforts for many years:
In this series, small groups of six to eight people from different places will learn a community change framework and several community building practices to use in a real moment of opportunity occurring in each of their specific settings. Over an intensive two month period, the groups will meet for three half-day retreats and each participant will receive up to four hours of individual strategic coaching between sessions. The retreats will focus on how to pose four guiding questions, on an iterative basis, to those with whom you are working in a specific change moment and will teach specific practices to use as you attempt to answer these questions together. For a more detailed description, link here. Three Half Day Retreats in Silver Spring Maryland: Feb 12, Feb 26 and March 12, 2015. $ 1,000 per participant; $1,500 for a team of two participants involved in the same community change moment.
Creating a “Qniversity” in Your Community: A Practical Day of Learning and Planning
Qniversity is an innovative approach to creating a new marketplace of mutual support and learning in neighborhoods. Trusted Space Partners believes that a powerful and relatively simple community change strategy is to transform a mundane community space (in a school, church, mall, home) into an on-going “fun location” where regular, everyday people can teach and learn from each other in a non-programmatic way. This strategy is based on the belief that “wisdom is everywhere” and that we do not have to wait for institutions or systems to provide us with a higher quality of life. Quality or “Q” can be ours, now. Come hear our story of creating a Qniversity space in 2014 in Lawrence and then let’s use the rest of the time to develop a concrete action plan for you to create a similar space in your neighborhood. Full Day Retreat in Lawrence MA, March 7, 2015 $300 per participant; $500 for a team of two.
Community Network Building as a Strategy and a Practice: Experienced Practitioners Exchanging and Supporting Each Other
Community Network Building is an emergent approach to building community in the 21st Century, pioneered by the Partners at Trusted Space and a community of practitioners around the country. For the first time ever, we are offering an intensive one-day gathering for experienced practitioners in local change work, who are looking for support, guidance and a community of practice for more effective, engaging, fun and impactful community change techniques and strategies. Participants will be supported prior to the session in bringing current “case examples” to share with others. Together, we will work to capture and document our collective shifts in thinking, practice and leadership, all towards a document that can be shared with others in our home communities. Full Day Retreat in Lawrence, MA April 16, 2015 $400 per participant
Co-Stewarding of Network Building Campaigns - Trusted Space has been a critical partner in a number of long term place-based changed strategies around the country. We seek out long term partnerships with high functioning institutions or organization interested in improving the way they engage and connect with their clients, customers, grantees, neighbors or fellow stakeholders. This is particularly important when this work takes place around a moment of opportunity or challenge that is facing a neighborhood, a school, a philanthropic endeavor, a public health campaign, a retail area, a hospital, a redevelopment project, an apartment building, or a community college.Increasingly, the kinds of strategies represented by the Trusted Space approach are needed to solve persistent challenges faced by a myriad of systems and institutions that are trying to serve or support local communities. Some examples:
Low Student Retention Rates in Community Colleges: The innovations being tried out in this field, such as peer mentors and academic advisory clubs, can achieve greater results if linked with neighborhood-based networks of mutual support and a more connected, trusting environment between teachers, students, mentors, advisors, neighbors, extended families and other community partners.
Income Diversity in Urban and Suburban Neighborhoods: Developers of mixed income housing and retail communities need new options for how to seed and support neighborhood initiatives that serve to bridge rather than divide those who live side by side, sharing the same parks, stores and streets.
Reducing “High Cost Utilizers” in Local Hospitals: Many in the health care field are working to engage lower income residents in preventative care and reduce the likelihood of a patient’s return visit to a hospital. Creating new community networks of mutually supportive relationships among patients, providers, neighbors and partners is an essential building block to long term health care reform.
As a critical partner, we work to build the capacity to develop sustained community network-centric practice and behavior at the local level. In return for a commitment of genuine collaboration we offer our services for an affordable flat fee for a minimum one year period.