Posted by: peterhact | July 21, 2013


Canberra seems to have lost the community spirit that it had a while ago. Often, community ideas were events that brought everyone together. Whether an industry event or a group of like minded businesses, there were attempts to build interaction and collaboration between people in groups, but the success was based on the value that was seen for the event.

Why is it that an event that you pay for seems to attract more participation than one that is free? is it due to the feeling that if it is free, there are no constraints on attending or that you aren’t really expected to turn up, whereas if you paid for the ability to attend, this will drive you to make time to attend?

The only event that I am aware of that is free for certain components of the event and gains momentum is a specific industry event, but the attendees are usually competitors, so there is no main networking benefit.

There was an event that had a great concept, but the organisers have put it on hiatus. The numbers of participants did not warrant the effort the hosts had to put in.

How can canberra regain a sense of community? how can we build events, attendances or interaction in the old style of physical face to face engagement and avoid giving in to electronic communication?

Maybe, it is due to the time of year. Perhaps an event in summer or spring would be better as the temperatures are warmer and the doldrums of winter have been shaken off.

The first place that we can start to build a community is by our modifying our own actions. If we criticize others for their lack of perceived engagement in a community, be it a club, a group or a gathering event, but don’t welcome the idea of a community, how can we be judging the behavior when we are a culprit?

I learned a valuable lesson today. I witnessed a discussion where the person looked out to others for the spirit, the community spark and gave more than he got in return. This is the way a family acts. They forgive, they support and they seen no gain from their actions for monetary benefit, they see it as an act that allows the overall community to grow and prosper.

Perhaps this is where the event with a great concept failed. The perception was that the event was a drop in if you can approach, which would only lead to participation by dedication. To gain dedication, you first need to set routines and diversity in the event.

So it is a clean slate for me. I can see where the community spirit can be provided by me to allow others to feel the same way. I can see where I can provide support and allow this support to allow others to learn and grow with me in a bigger aspect of a group – a community is, after all, a group of people that work, support and strive to the same goals.


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