In my societal commentary,”Orion … A Feline Metaphor for Hybrid Governance,” I proposed a hybrid type of governance as alternative to our current political malaise and civic ineptitude. At the center of this hybrid is the Community 3.0 Front Porch civic network. A Front Porch can be the local pub down the street or the coffee-house you get your morning the espresso from. It can be Bill’s garage where everyone hangs out to watch Sunday football games. It can even be your kitchen table. What happens on the Front Porch is what matters … not what it looks like or where it is.
The Front Porch’s purpose is to identify Solutions, whether they be in response of needs or opportunities. These Solutions are designed to help your community pick up the slack and mend its societal safety net. They can range from organizing a cleanup effort, to fixing a playground, to even spearheading a high school mentoring or apprentice program.
To get a more full understanding of the Community 3.0 Front Porch concept, please read the post, “Front Porches.“
As a part of the Community 3.0 platform we’ve put together a roster of several examples of what can come of collaborations in your community’s Front Porches. Imagine, take direct action … and this could be your community.
One of these examples is “Play Ball.”
Youth Leagues (physical and mental)
The teenage years are precarious, to say the least. Maybe these days even more so. The younger generation is submersed in a vortex of what is a likely to be an uncertain future. The jobs, employment and security that were there for their parents are completely alien to them. They go to school often feeling more like prisoners than the future hope as they walk through metal detectors and past armed guards peering at them as if they are a crime just waiting to happen.
Today’s teenagers are looked at by older generations as narcissistic and shallow as they burrow into Facebook, Twitter and “selfies” while ignoring their parents ideas of social interaction. With today’s obsession with rote memorization and endless standardized, homework often takes them well traditional bedtime hours. Teenagers are social animals, they’re going to socialize somewhere … and online is often the only way they can do it, without disengaging from school and resort to just “hanging out” and participating in often nefarious activities.
The “perfect storm” is occurring in our American schools right now. Reliance on testing, for just about anything from teacher evaluations to the fate of the schools themselves – combined with budget cuts and outright contempt by the Boomer generation has led to the gutting of pretty much all activities except math and science. Gone is art and music. Gone is physical education. Gone are more esoteric activities, like chess club. Gone are the means for this younger generation to express and find themselves.
All it takes for some kids to engage and flourish, is to give them an option, that one that they will be able to identify with. This is especially the case in depressed areas, such as the inner cities. These are also the areas where parents often can’t be there for their children. It’s in these areas and others where Community 3.0’s “Play Ball” initiative and its network of Merchants comes in. “Play Ball” will provide them with that option.
Through “Play Ball,” Community 3.0 will organize leagues and clubs for activities that would be otherwise ignored. These pursuits can be physical or cerebral. Either way, the goal is the same … provide that outlet that constructive outlet that otherwise wouldn’t be there, that outlet that provides and a positive result.
It will up to each community and its Community 3.0 Merchants and Contributors (customers) to determine what types of activities are appropriate. Below are just a few of the options:
- Basketball: This is a given. Even with virtually all communities still retaining high school basketball teams, the participation options for student are limited. Only a handful will make teams with the rest relegated to broken down school yard courts with ripped nets. In coordination the program, “Recess Time,” courts will be revitalized or arrangements will be made to use indoor facilities for the leagues. Community 3.0 Merchants will help organize the leagues and sponsor teams.
- Soccer: With the multi-cultural fabric of today’s youth and the publicity of the sport in recent years, soccer is also a given. But not all schools, especially smaller ones, offer soccer as a school sponsored activity. But Community 3.0 can … and will.
- Drama: Performing arts are often one the first extracurricular activities to be “thrown under the bus” in times of educational austerity. Unfortunately however, the teenagers that often gravitate towards drama are often the most talented, underestimated and misunderstood. But through the Community 3.0 Merchant family they will be given their “stage.”
- Science competitions: With technology being what it is in today’s world, the “shell of the oyster” has been opened and the pearl is waiting to be had. Can you say robots! The options available for science competitions and collaborations are endless. With the assistance of a 3D printer and fabricator, anything can be made … anything. Community 3.0 and it local network will arrange for the equipment and facilities to make the imaginations of these young people come alive.
- Visual art: Imagine a shared studio space where teenagers can come in and create. No matter the medium, there has to be an option for these young artists to express and hone their talents. We will make that happen. Consider the alternative – roaming the streets, waiting for “nothing good” to happen.
We ask to you be part of providing this younger generation an alternative to the diminishing means of organized self-expression available to them. Help us create a foundation for which our communities can build on in their quest for self-sustainability and well-being. As part of our Community 3.0 family, band together with us to provide the assistance that these up and coming generations need to flourish in the future. No matter what role you wish to play; whether it’s directly in your community or you’re someone who wants to lend your experience and expertise to us in devising network-wide programs … we welcome you.
To get a more full understanding of the Community 3.0 Front Porch concept, please read the post, “Front Porches.” Also please follow us on Twitter at @Community3_0, and check out the main 3.0 web site.
And when you’re ready – please comment below, tell us who you are and how you think you can better the 3.0 community.
Community 3.0 Solutions:
- “Label the Town” ~ Community “places of interest” labeling
- “Pretty Pictures on the Wall” ~ Amateur art showings
- “Is it Art” ~ Vacant area art projects: art, music, theatrical
- “Showing our Stuff” ~ Street fairs
- “Recess Time” ~ Playground restoration
- “Help Me … I’m Dirty” ~ Public and private space clean-up
- “Stop and Smell the Roses” ~ Public and private space beautification
- “Fixing the Neighborhood” ~ Neighborhood renewal and repair
- “Hey … We Need Some Help Over Here” ~ “On-demand” help services
- “Apollo 13 … Please Come Home” ~ “Resource Maximization”
- “Pop-up Community” ~ Vacant building resource maximization
- “I’m Not Alone Anymore” ~ Elderly / shut-in well-being assistance
- “Get Out of the House” ~ Adult athletic and intelligence leagues
- “Love Comes From the Ground” ~ Gardens and farmers markets
- “Play Ball” ~ Youth sports and intelligence leagues
- “Getting Up to Speed” ~ Student tutoring
- “This is What I Think … ” ~ Youth writing project
- “Making the Transition” ~ Apprenticeships and post school transition
- “Leadership 2020 Anti-Congress” ~ Student assembly