The “best practice” would be constantly improved – Mat Dryhurst

Ninth in our Best practices in Community Empowerment series.

Mat Dryhurst is Community Manager at Craigslist Foundation, and has worked on its LikeMinded project from design to implementation. “Best Practices”, Mat says “are dynamic pieces of information. Things change, our tools change, our perspectives change. A ‘best’ practice can’t be confirmed without sharing the information fast, and seeing how it holds up over time in a multitude of environments. One has to think that THE best practice would be constantly amended and improved by a diverse range of people confirming it’s status as champion. From this perspective, hoarding information like it is tinned food seems like lunacy.” These are Mat’s recommended resources:

Open Book of Social Innovation (6MB pdf) – NESTA are an organization in the UK that have been blowing my mind recently. They published the Open Book of Social Innovation, and it is about as inspiring a publication of it’s kind I have seen. A perfect balance of analysis and ‘real stuff’, with guidelines as to how to develop a praxis cycle of assessment, idea generation and execution, and real world examples of sometimes staggeringly simple solutions to complex social problems.

What is ‘legitimate’ civic engagement – I am a huge fan of Pete Peterson, and remember being inspired and sobered up by this brief article on what constitutes ‘legitimate’ civic engagement. I.e ACTUALLY listening to people’s opinions and including them in a decision making process. We approached the LikeMinded project without a fixed idea of what we wanted to build, and with the intention of pulling together the best ideas from the public meetings we arranged.It’s a difficult process to deliver on, but the four steps outlined by Common Sense California here make a lot of sense to me.

Collective Impact – Examples of how when Funders, Non Profits, Government Officials, Business and Civic Leaders get together regularly, things end up working better. Surprised? Surprised you are still surprised?

Createquity – Ian David Moss writes about issues facing the arts, posts jobs and curates a weekly article pointing to the best news and views related to the arts on the web. Ian David Moss is a best practice, as through his blog he has managed to build a community around the issues he cares about, lift up the work of others he admires and establish himself as an authority in a field that desperately needs vision, leadership and (ironically enough) creativity. I am a bit of a fan, as you can tell.

In Every Town: An All-Ages Music Manifesto – All Ages Movement recognizes that the lack of All Ages performance spaces in the US does not just dull and homogenize the cultural landscape, but also limits young people’s access to their community. They put out a handbook of methods and best practices

Next up: David Crowley of Social Capital Inc

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