The Community Engagement Learning Exchange is a platform for local government and other community-based public service practitioners to connect with engaged community members and scholars that focus on community engagement. The purpose is to share knowledge and insights related to community engagement practice. The exchange is a place for scholars to share their insights with practitioners and engaged community members; where practitioners share their experiences and insights with academics (in the process helping to inform research) and with the publics they serve; and where engaged community members (the focus of engagement efforts) share their experience and insights with practitioners and academics (in the process helping improve practice and also helping shape research agendas). The key is learning from each other how people in a community can productively engage in the development of the community, and better understanding how community organizations can best engage the publics they serve.
Mutual learning occurs through respectful dialogue and a desire for understanding. As such, our vision for this learning exchange is that all contributors and commenters will be honest but also respectful and courteous to one another. Not all experiences are positive ones. Indeed, we often stand to learn the most from our failures. But even difficult experiences and areas of disagreement can and should be discussed in the spirit of this experiment, which is one of dialogue and learning.
The values of policy neutrality and non-advocacy guide the School of Government’s work with public officials and citizens. Given the nature of this blog, posts and comments made by individuals outside the School of Government may differ from the School’s values of policy neutrality and non-advocacy. We hope those posts advance the blog’s goals of candid, varied and respectful conversation about civic engagement in pursuit of the School’s mission of improving government. But posts (and comments) are the viewpoints of the authors alone and should not be considered to be endorsed by the School of Government.