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ARTICLE | Little Red Hen - Paradox of Community Engagement

Community Engagement, Articles

Remember the story of the Little Red Hen who tried to engage her friends to help her to plant wheat and then harvest it, make flour and eventually bake bread? She could not engage them until, of course, the bread had come out of the oven and was ready to eat. 

Technology has brought new expectations for engagement and, like the Little Red Hen’s friends, most people want bite-size, ready-baked solutions they can “like.” We struggle to mobilize people in doing the heavy lifting required for social change work.

Paradoxically today, a new generation of community engagement is emerging in our cities and communities. More people want to: be engaged in decisions; work together; and, create better outcomes for themselves and their neighbours. They desire to generate a collective impact.

Paul Born

By Paul Born

Paul Born grew up as the son of Mennonite refugees. This is what has made him deeply curious about and engaged in ideas that cause people to work together for the common good. Paul is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Tamarack Institute and the Founder and Director of Vibrant Communities. He is the author of four books, including two Canadian best sellers. Paul is a global faculty member of the Asset Based Community Development Institute (ABCD) and a senior fellow of Ashoka, the world’s largest network of social innovators.

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