What is Community and who are Community Connectors?

According John McKnight and Peter Block, “community” is a general term to describe what occurs outside systems and institutions. It also refers to an aggregation of people or neighbourhoods that have something in common.

… and (from John and Peter), characteristic of “community connectors” are people who are:

 

  • Gift centred; see the positive, the half full, in everyone;
  • Well connected themselves, in associational and civic life;
  • Trusted by others, and know how to create new trusting relationships;
  • Believe in the people in their community, and
  • Get joy from connecting, convening, and inviting people to come together.

 

Over the next several weeks, I plan to give a shout out, on this blog, to a few of my local, community connectors, and maybe one or two from afar, too.

And, I’m wondering about community connectors that you know.  What makes them amazing community connectors? I’d love to know, and will gladly share, here. Leave a comment or send me an email.


Comments

  1. That’s a great idea Ben! Community connectors are so important, these are the people who are always willing to lend a hand and help connect people with what they are looking for, be it, personal or business related!

    The people that I know that are community connectors have warm characteristics, open, non-judgmental, and most importantly they have genuine curiosity in what you are saying! These people are connected to so many people because of those characteristics and their willingness to help!

    Jason
    @jasondyk

  2. Hi Jason. I like your emphasis on the “warm” characteristics. Hadn’t thought of that word (warm) as a descriptive. It’s a good one. Very homey-feeling. Makes me think of someone / someplace that is welcoming, making connections through law of attraction… Hey, someone just like you! And, thinking of that awesome twitter chat you and @mediatorjeff orchestrated last night, and which connected a lot of folks.

  3. jagdish Sharma says:

    Recently when discussion was taking place at a Croydon Congress session about community leaders I interjected by pointing out that in my long experience in community and voluntary work I have come across many community leaders who become more of ‘gate keepers’ – keeping others out. Once recognised as leaders they become attached to their chairs or their positions than connecting people in the community. Thus they develop a disconnect with their cvommunity. I suggested that we need to look for genuine community connectors.
    After the meeting some one poited out that the term ‘community connectors’ is very commonly used in the US. So, when I googled , I found this link. Good one. How do they say? ‘wisemen think alike’.

  4. Thanks Jagdish. And, your comment about ‘gate keepers’ is a good one, and speaks to the paradox of the gate keeper role – facilitating and making connections… or disconnecting and closing off.

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