At the top of
one flip chart, write the title "Quality of Life." At the top of
the second flip chart write "Type of Organization." Taking turns
around the room, each participant has one minute to introduce
himself or herself by providing the following information:
For example, "My name is ___. I am a volunteer on the Watershed
Watch group in ____ and I think that quality of life includes
having an adequate supply of clean drinking water." Another
example would be, "My name is ___. I am a social worker for
______ and I think that homelessness is decreasing people's
quality of life."
- Where he or she is from
- The type of organization he or she works for or represents (health,
business, planning, education, environmental protection,
grassroots, private citizen, etc.)
- What he or she considers a key component of quality of life.
One way to phrase this concept could be to describe his or her
vision of a good community--one that has a good quality of life.
Another way to phrase this concept would be to describe a problem
or issue that he or she is trying to improve.
If the workshop is being done for a single
organization, rather than saying the organization they represent,
the participants can mention a group that they are involved in
outside of work such as school PTA, church group, etc.
This shows the different segments of the community that are
represented. These affiliations
should be kept very brief--the object is to get a list of
organizations represented and a list of quality of life
When an organization type is mentioned (state environmental agency,
health organization, etc), it is written on the Type of Organization
flip chart. If multiple people mention the same organization type,
just add a check next to that line on the flip chart.
When a component of quality of life or a quality of life issue is
mentioned, it is written on the Quality of Life flip chart. If multiple people
mention identical issues or concerns, again, add a check next to that
line on the page. Make sure that the person recording the issues is
accurately capturing each idea. For example, if two people mention
water quality but one is concerned with runoff from fertilizer and
pesticides and the other is concerned about sewer discharge, both
issues should be written down.
When everyone is done, ask the participants to look at the
organizations and identify groups that exist within a community, but are
not represented at the workshop. Frequently missing groups include business,
youth, and the homeless or other disadvantaged groups. Write the
groups mentioned in a different color. Discuss ways to get
people who represent these interests involved in a sustainable
community indicator project.
Things to Think About
- Often the most difficult, but ultimately
the most important, part of a sustainable community indicator
project is ensuring that all different groups within the
community are represented and feel a part of the process.
- It is very important to listen carefully to what people are
saying. Make sure they are really being heard.