We had a busy, exciting, and productive time last weekend (May 19th and 20th) on Clare Island looking at ways to grow and develop Common Ground over the coming year and beyond. When setting the goals for the weekend we had three main areas in mind:
- To make Common Ground as open and democratic as possible: to make it as easy as possible for members to find out what’s going on, get involved and have their views heard; so that everyone is able to contribute as much as they want to, and to help Common Ground continue to grow and flourish as a community.
- Looking at how to develop and improve the day-to-day running of Common Ground: making the most of the space we have and looking at the classes, groups and facilities available to members.
- Looking at ways that Common Ground can play an active role in making Bray (and beyond) more sustainable and environmentally friendly; and how we can most effectively help people take active steps towards reducing their environmental impact and living a more sustainable lifestyle.
Highlights of the ideas and themes we went on to look at are as follows:
- Looking at ways to open up the way Common Ground activities are run, and the decision-making process around these activities, with the goal of making getting actively involved in Common Ground as easy and accessible as possible; and making Common Ground as open and democratic a place as it can be.
- Looking at ways Common Ground can increase its focus on the environment and promoting sustainable living: both by being more active in the local community; and by holding more regular talks and workshops to bring in fresh ideas about ways we can all have a positive impact.
- How to improve our use of the basement to make it a great space for members to use whenever they want to.
- Potentially increasing the space rented by Common Ground, giving us the option to open up a zero-waste shop and/or permanent café space.
- Formalizing a constitution, so the aims and purpose of Common Ground can be clear to everyone; and providing clear information and guidelines about how to get involved and make the most of the groups and facilities that make up Common Ground.
- Holding a yearly AGM to give everyone in Common Ground the chance to see and hear what has been going on; and to have visibility and the chance to provide input on all aspects of the way Common Ground is run.
Some of these ideas for change are exciting, but will need input and guidance from the wider Common Ground community and outside experts if they are to be a success. With this in mind we are planning to hold a series of talks and workshops over the next couple of months where we will share these ideas, listen to outside speakers with experience of what we’re trying to achieve; and work collaboratively with any members who wish to be involved in taking these ideas and turning them into reality.
If you are interested then please keep an eye on the Common Ground web-site and any emails sent around for details of when these events will be run.