Capacity Building

Realizing Common Intentions

Often, nonprofits speak of inspirational values and principles. But sometimes, those words are like items collecting dust on a shelf. Only in practicing these values and principles do we find our common intentions and take steps to achieve them.

We strive to help community members actualize their common intentions. As the image below shows, different people, ideas, and projects merge to create a sustainable future. Our work helps teach social tools for effective community development. 

One such tool we use brings together community members for structured brainstorming and prototyping ideas. We work with groups to learn and practice these tools, building a more interconnected community. We avoid wasting limited resources, we find the right partners, and we make sure we pay attention to information that may be missing.

While these processes may sound time-consuming, these tools are effective precisely because they decentralize and distribute authority and responsibility. A body is healthy and works when its parts function together, so I don't depend on my stomach to do the work of my kidney. In the same way, we are healthy as a community when we function together. When our community sees itself, feels itself, hears itself more clearly, we are informed about where we stand. Only then are we able to take steps forward.

We believe this is the essence of the proverb, "if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together."

“What we have ignored is what citizens can do and the importance of real involvement of the people involved.”

~ Elinor Ostrom

"If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." 

~ African Proverb