The Norwegians have a word dugnad can best be described as a type of civic and communal mindset where people get together and volunteer to fix, clean, paint or tidy things up for the betterment of their community. Dugnads are organized in neighborhoods, blocks of flats, at summer homes, marinas, mountain cabins even at schools and especially places of work. It can be summed up as a time of coming together and contributing.
Recently the World Economic Forum released a study ranking countries on their ability to convert economic growth into well-being for their citizens. Norway came out on top. While there are many reasons for this, I’m sure no small one is their focus on community engagement in the form of dugnads.
Community 3.0 connects local businesses to its customers by solving their community’s problems directly. These are our version of the Norwegian dugnad. I call these participating businesses, Front Porches. They are hubs of civic involvement and volunteerism. Imagine a social hub where like-minded can come together under no condition of hierarchy or pre-determined authority to just do good for the community we all live in.
A community’s Front Porches give it its personality; and a big part of this personality are its businesses. How a community wishes to be seen, felt and portrayed is dependent a large part on how it supports its business ecosystem.
An integral part of the Front Porch network is the bleedingEDGE Experience Platform. The platform is the marketing conduit that connects the Front Porch (Merchant), the customer and their community. It is Community 3.0’s loyalty vehicle designed to help create the customer experiences and memories that will give local businesses the competitive advantage.
Each business or Front Porch on the network will sponsor Solutions as part of their involvement in the Community 3.0 network. These Solutions are designed to fix the problems and take advantage of the opportunities in your community that too often are left unaddressed by our traditional institutions. They can range from organizing a cleanup effort, to fixing a playground, to even spearheading a high school mentoring or apprentice program. And by being a Member, you can get involved with whatever Solution fits your strengths and fits your desires. Community 3.0 transforms our businesses into ones that you would be ashamed NOT to do business with … something no box store or chain store can compete with.
Leadership 2020 is a Community 3.0 program that takes a community’s student population and embeds them in Front Porch network. Trained in the new world concepts of empathy, collaboration, sustainability and altruism – these young leaders will be connected to the community in a way that is attuned to its needs and opportunities and equipped with the skills and tools to effectively make change on the grassroots level. These changemakers can be enrolled as either college or high school students.
Below are several possible Solution options your Front Porch can use to improve your community. These are only a few of the potential ways you can make an impact though. You are limited only by your imagination.
- “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” ~ Community “Resource Maximization”
- “Pop-up Community” ~ Vacant building resource maximization
- “I’m Not Alone Anymore” ~ Elderly and shut-in well-being assistance
- “Get Out of the House” ~ Adult athletic and intelligence leagues
- “Love Comes From the Ground” ~ Community gardens and farmers market
- “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 school transition assistance
- “Leadership 2020 Anti-Congress” ~ Student assembly