Monthly Archives: March 2012

Core Change–What’s Next?

The Core Change Summit was a huge success at engaging citizens (over 500 people attended), inspiring new relationships (the room was as inclusive as any gathering ever held in Cincinnati), and generating new ideas for transforming our communities from the bottom up (almost twenty work groups developed “rapid prototypes” for action).  The question now is whether this energy can be sustained and transformed into the kind of “whole systems” change promised by Core Change leaders.

Attendees overwhelmingly found the summit to be powerful and inspiring.  The focus on appreciative inquiry, engaging all voices in small groups, and great (but overly long) learning modules provided most people with a new, more satisfying way of approaching community issues.  Many work groups have already began meeting to implement their prototypes, and all made commitments to build on the summit’s momentum.

For some, one frustration came from the general absence of “traditional powers”–the City of Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Business Committee, large institutions and foundations, etc.  Implementing change will be more challenging without subject matter experts, financial power, and government/institutional structures.  Indeed, the purpose of convening “whole community systems” is to co-create solutions not possible within a single sector.

In other words, a major promise of Core Change remains largely unfulfilled:  truly engaging the whole system to work together on the urban core. For the great energy of the summit to grow and thrive, we all must contribute our gifts to 1) continue to gather people, especially newcomers, in the spirit of the summit, 2) interconnect the evolving initiatives, story lines, and learning, and 3) design and facilitate settings “that connect the grass roots with the grass tops” in a way that meets the needs of all stakeholders.  With a collective commitment along these lines, the summit will have indeed shifted the core of our City.

Member Meeting

CCR will be hosting an open-to-the-public members meeting Wednesday, April 4th, from 6-8:30 p.m. at Aquarius Star Cafe in the Clifton Gaslight District (free to non-members, including coffee/tea, and light appetizers; five dollar suggested donation for non-members).  To support efforts to engage more citizens in public life, every quarterly member meeting will:

  • Connect by sharing personal stories of civic engagement;
  • Learn a civic engagement skill;
  • Improve the community by identifying:
    • A hot community issue that needs CCR-facilitated public deliberation (the next deliberation event is May 10);
    • A key civic project that CCR and its membership should address by engaging citizens;
    • What you want to learn at future events, courses, and newsletters.

Our member meetings are the place we come together to figure out how we can collectively inspire people to get off the couch and step into communal life.  Please join us April 4th and help us see what’s possible.