Promoting Professional Development and Best Practice in EE
New Approaches to Public Engagement: Seeking Relevance, Response-ability and Resilience
In the December installment of NAAEE's monthly webinar series (Bringing New Ideas and Innovation to the field of EE) we heard from Curtis Ogden of the Interaction Institute for Social Change.
Even in well-meaning efforts to build capacity in communities through various forms of public education and engagement, we are running into the limits and problematic nature of expert-driven models that simply attempt to download information and “gather input.” These approaches can result in missed opportunities or worse, in leaching valuable resources in terms of time and trust. Given growing demographic diversity, we need a different approach to be relevant and responsive to communities and complex issues, and to avoid simply doing “no harm” but actually contributing to social and environmental health. This webinar will explore examples of approaches to and guidelines for public engagement that seek to honor and contribute to the richness, resourcefulness and resilience of people and communities.
Curtis has served as Senior Associate since 2005 and brings to IISC his experience in education, community building, leadership development, and program design, as well as an abiding passion for work at the intersection of racial justice and environmental sustainability. For the past several years he has built a robust practice in support of numerous multi-stakeholder collaborative change networks, including Food Solutions New England; Inter-Institutional Network for Food, Agriculture, and Sustainability; Cancer Free Economy Network; Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network; Vermont Farm to Plate Network; Connecticut Right From the Start; and the Education Justice Network. He is a recognized thought leader around network development and social change, and has presented numerous webinars and keynote speeches and is a regular contributor to the IISC blog on this and other related topics. He is co-author of “Equity as Common Cause: How a Sustainable Food System Network is Cultivating Commitment to Racial Justice” (Othering and Belonging Journal, April 28, 2017), co-designer and facilitator of the 21 Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge for food system advocates and was featured in the Getting Smart Podcast on “How Networks Make the World Better.”
In addition to his work at IISC, Curtis is an Advisory Board member to EmbraceRace, a community dedicated to discussing and sharing best practices for raising and caring for children in the context of race, and a member of the Research Alliance for Regenerative Economics (RARE).