I had the pleasure of meeting and talking with a wonderful community engagement practitioner, Ben Neil. He has so many stories from his wealth of experience. Here is some of what we spoke about. Max: Ben, give us a really brief description of your role at Capire and professional background? Ben: I have been at…Read More
Something we don’t discuss much is the importance of the ‘do no harm’ principle when engaging the community (especially relevant now with the Covid-19 pandemic). Anthony Boxshall and I identified ‘people feeling unsafe’ as one of the key challenges to co-design. We rely on bringing together a diverse community of interest, but what do you…Read More
There is much being said and written about deliberation. This is not surprising, especially in Victoria, Australia, where the new Local Government Act stipulates this is the way to now engage communities. So, I thought I’d make a contribution as a practitioner who has promoted, designed and facilitated deliberative processes for over 20 years. In…Read More
Engaging communities at a time of physical distancing presents some real challenges for local government.
Let’s face it, community engagement is never perfect. It is never perfectly representative; the processes are not perfectly supported by organisations, nor is the output perfectly considered. It is always a matter of making trade-offs with our processes, limited by budget, time-frames, and the capacity of communities to be involved. But we have come a long way in the last 20 years. Here are some things that I’ve noticed are much better.
As many of you will know I have long been a fan of Fran Peavey; especially her work in developing the concept and practice of strategic questioning. Fran put forward the power of questions that make it impossible for the status quo to remain. Questions that create movement; questions that cannot be answered immediately, without…Read More
I am very excited to be the winner of the recent IAP2 Australasia Wordsmith Competition. The Wordsmith competition asked members to come up with the best definition of an engagement practitioner using everyday language. My winning entry was: “An engagement practitioner helps individuals, groups, organisations and decision makers with different interests to talk, listen, learn,…Read More
Max Hardy discusses Citizens’ Advisory Panels and their usefulness to councils.Read More
Urbanist Anna Kelderman, Director of Shape Urban recently sat down with Community Engagement Specialist Max Hardy of Max Hardy Consulting, to discuss the nexus between community engagement and urban planning. Anna: You have been practicing a pretty intensive type of engagement for a while now across Australia; what one major benefit would you say results…Read More
When it comes to community engagement, influence matters. There must be some evidence that something has changed as a result of the process. There would appear to be no value for money, or effort, if nothing appears to change; if nothing is influenced. I get that; support that; advocate for that. Always. Yet, influencing decisions…Read More