Step 1: Kick-off / initiative
How to get started, how do you kick-off the whole process – methods and approaches to bring people together (promotion, ways to make citizens aware and make them interested to show up in the very first place etc.)
- „Kitchen table conversations“ -> Get in touch face-to-face with your locals in an informal way to get to know them, their needs and their problems. This way they might open up easier.
- Creating groups on the internet -> You can create closed groups on Facebook, where you can discuss problems with your locals. You can either invite them or put a few questions on entering the group about why they want to join, or how they found the group (make sure to name the group right, it has to be visible).
- Local communities -> You can host open evenings for everyone and give everyone the opportunity to talk about their needs and wishes. You can either invite them or advertise it through social media/ via newsletter/on a website or press. Advertising is everything!
- Interviews -> You can always go the classic way and do interviews. Either face-to-face or through a form. That way it can be also anonymous.
- Development/change of needs -> You have to listen and watch what your locals want and need and THEN react to it. Cities change, needs change. You have to keep that in mind and go with that.
- Action groups -> Look for people who already formed a group because of a problem. Ask around and make something out of it.
To conclude you can find active citizens in individuals, Action groups, Community Councils, Municipality councils, Mayors etc.
„Don’t start looking for volunteers, start looking for passion!“
Also always go for Face-to-Face and don’t force YOUR wishes on your locals or the inhabitants you want to work with. You have to identify and understand their problems and react to it. It’s all about meeting people and taking them serious.
The following bullet points partly overlap with the tops under 1, but nevertheless are important!
- Interviews (forms)
- Kitchen Table Conversations
- One on one meetings/ talks/ open evenings
- Go out on the streets! Don’t just sit in your office! Life happens on the streets.
- Make it personal!
- Involve your locals!
- Describe your problem correctly and listen!
- Take your project to a different level! Find partners (neighbour villages) and grow stronger