Engagement, co-creation, co-production consultation, and membership development all are high on the list of priorities for many. Yet it can feel like an uphill battle to get beyond the usual suspects to establish a genuine engagement with the community.
Are we beset by a tide of apathy?
Or a complex web of cultural barriers that amount to intentional exclusion?
Either way – what can we do personally and collectively to overcome these barriers to engagement and participation?
To reduce them, undermine them, clamber over them?
Is it possible to be disengaged – or are we just engaged in other things, with other folk? Do we label people apathetic as a way of avoiding a real inspection of our own work?
Apathy historically means ‘free from pain’. To what extent are choices not to engage sensible means of avoiding pain, disappointment and failure?
How often is the ‘engagement’ that we are offered really in our own interest? Or is it often more serving policy makers and service providers.
Whether you are on ‘the outside looking in’, or on the inside, wondering why we don’t engage… let’s start looking for clues…
I would welcome your comments, insights and experiences of engagement, good, bad and ugly…
Please follow the link below to a pdf of the mindmap produced at the Dismantling Barriers event…