Community Visioning Initiative Clearinghouse Website
This website, the Community Visioning Initiatives Clearinghouse website, and its companion website, the Community Teaching and Learning Centers Clearinghouse website, are an outgrowth of “The IPCR Initiative Critical Challenges Assessment: Summary Report” (444 pages; January, 2012--with updates August, 2012; accessible from the Interfaith Peacebuilding and Community Revitalization (IPCR) Initiative website homepage at www.ipcri.net). [For a quick “Executive Summary”, see the longer Table of Contents (p. 5-8) in “Many Danger Signs Flashing Red” (69 pages; November, 2012) (see above link in "Key Documents" section) and/or "A List of Ten Critical Challenges" (which is also part of the current outreach package).]
A companion document to the “Many Dangers….” document—“Key Organizations, Initiatives, and Insights” (see above link in "Key Documents" section)—is offered as an indication that we have the resources to overcome the challenges of our times. It would be demoralizing, from this writer’s point of view, if citizens were overwhelmed with information and analysis about critical challenges ahead without also providing sufficient evidence that we can overcome such challenges. Even more so, on the positive side, it can be very inspiring to accumulate information about the efforts of people and organizations who have already (for decades) been working on appropriate responses to the critical challenges of our times. This writer highly recommends that readers skim through the longer Table of Contents (p. 5-18) in the “Key Organizations, Initiatives, and Insights” document.
This writer advocates for a combination of preliminary surveys to 150 local leaders (as preparation for Community Visioning Initiatives), time-intensive Community Visioning Initiatives supported by many “Community Teaching and Learning Centers” (offering workshops suggested by the preliminary surveys), and “sister community” relationships as a way of creating local community specific and regional specific “constellations of initiatives” responses to the challenges of our times.
Community Visioning Initiatives (CVIs) can be described as a series of community meetings designed to facilitate the process of brainstorming ideas, organizing the ideas into goals, prioritizing the goals, and identifying doable steps. One of the main goals of Community Visioning Initiatives is to maximize citizen participation in identifying challenges, and in solution-oriented activity.
Workshops at Community Teaching and Learning Centers can focus on subject matter identified as critically important by preliminary surveys (to 150 local leaders). Workshop curriculum contributed by (for example) Gaia Education, La Via Campesina, Oxfam, BALLE, Fairtrade, Doctors Without Borders, United Religions Initiative, Global Network for Women of Faith, Sister Cities International etc. can guide Socially Responsible and Sustainable Investing, and can lead to a careful and deliberate channeling of time, energy, and money in the marketplace—to support Community Visioning Initiatives, Community Teaching and Learning Centers, Food Sovereignty, Ecovillages, Permaculture, job training, emergency assistance, “sister community” relationships, local currencies, and a just transition from dysfunctional systems which are very complex to functioning systems which are much less complex.
The sharing of Community Visioning Initiative experiences and Community Teaching and Learning Center experiences through this Clearinghouse website, and the Community Teaching and Learning Centers Clearinghouse website, would be a key (if we will use it) to making the most of learning experiences worldwide—and such sharing would surely contribute much to transforming the many challenges ahead into inspiring experiences of collaboration, peacebuilding, and community revitalization.
Stefan Pasti, Resource Coordinator
Community Visioning Initiative Clearinghouse
Community Teaching and Learning Center Clearinghouse