Systematic Civic Stewardship increases our capacity for civic innovation, collaboration, and
breakthrough results within and across neighborhoods and cities worldwide
Systematic Civic Stewardship (SCS) involves diverse civic players who steward action-learning initiatives to shift community and institutional practices for the greater good. Participants do this systematically by applying a synergistic set of tools, methods, and structures; at neighborhood, city, and inter-city levels. It draws on a number of related disciplines, including civic engagement, deliberative democracy, multi-stakeholder collaboration, community change, systems innovation, and others.
We are now organizing an action-learning lab in Boston to demonstrate
how systematic civic stewardship can achieve breakthrough results at
the neighborhood level, while building capacity to scale successes in
communities city-wide (see proposal). The lab's aspiration is to contribute to an emergent social movement for participative civic stewardship that is already underway.
SCS's distinctive feature is an integrative, multi-level structure that enables participants to leverage civic tools and methods systematically:
Neighborhoods are framed as communities of purpose, with stewardship coalitions that shape local practices to improve outcomes (health, etc.).
Communities of practice foster learning and collaboration, engage institutions, and scale successes within and across cities.
- Meta-community members help participants build civic stewardship capabilities (for methods, measurement, civic media, and monetization), engage institutions, and scale the work.
Cities are framed as strategic contexts
for achieving societal wellbeing, because they are where problems as
well as problem-solving resources are most densely concentrated, and
where diverse communities and institutions connect in catalytic ways. Half the world lives in cities today, and it will be 70% by 2050. Get cities right, and we can get the world right.
SCS draws on innate human capacities for learning, connecting, and aligning to shared aspirations. Participants transform themselves as they transform their communities and cities.
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Slide presentations of the Boston lab proposal and SCS background concepts
Monograph on systematic civic stewardship (work in progress)
Related publications, brief bio, and contact information
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