This blog is part of an online learning platform which includes the Pathways to New Community Paradigms Wiki and a number of other Internet based resources to explore what is termed here 'new community paradigms' which are a transformational change brought about by members of a community.

It is intended to offer resources and explore ideas with the potential of purposefully directing the momentum needed for communities to create their own new community paradigms.

It seeks to help those interested in becoming active participants in the governance of their local communities rather than merely passive consumers of government service output. This blog seeks to assist individuals wanting to redefine their role in producing a more direct democratic form of governance by participating both in defining the political body and establishing the policies that will have an impact their community so that new paradigms for their community can be chosen rather than imposed.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Exploring New Pathways

In September of this year, this blog proposed a more inclusionary and expansive perspective of community governance. One that went beyond the current paradigm of government by city halls led by city councils and managed by public sector professionals with elections every four years.

This is to be done by giving far more power to the community itself and while it is not necessary to eliminate city councils, it is necessary to change the relationship with the community by significantly changing how they work within the community.

On the surface, this raises a number of seemingly insurmountable challenges. The paradigm shift proposed by new community paradigms shares its momentum with other societal transformations currently occurring, including drastically reduced budgets, substantial economic hurdles and adverse but perhaps unavoidable changes in public sector employment.

New community paradigms does not eliminate the many challenges, it only points to possible pathways for overcoming these challenges. Some will be daunting, such as, addressing communities that have become discouraged or disenfranchised from participation in local community governance and have adopted dysfunctional processes that have kept an entrenched culture in place in an attempt to attain at least minimal benefits. In particular, getting past the cynical form of skepticism so prevalent today.

It will require rethinking how we see governance at the local level, not only within the institutions of government but arising from the workings of civil society. New community paradigms is not intended to become its own separate organization against existing institutional local governments but to serve as a catalyst for local organizing efforts by providing a collection of resources that can be chosen among to address the issues facing different communities. Each community will need to define its own unique set of new community paradigms.

New community paradigms also provides though a platform for change. Not being defined as an institution gives new community paradigms a significant degree of freedom in bringing about change. As a catalyst for change, it is not restricted to any particular role. It recognizes that there is a difference between governance and politics, and that there is a difference between governance and business or management but it can still adopt resources from these other disciplines. It is also freed from being restricted by the past practices and expectations of city hall government.

This provides a number of different pathways to be explored and developed in future blog posts.

Past Posts