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The well-connected communityA networking approach to community development$
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Alison Gilchrist

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781847420565

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847420565.001.0001

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Developing the well-connected community

Developing the well-connected community

(p.161) NINE Developing the well-connected community
The well-connected community

Alison Gilchrist

Policy Press

This chapter concludes the book by setting out a model of the ‘well-connected community’, and making recommendations for ensuring that networking practice is both effective and ethical. It presents the model and the idea of ‘meta-networking’ as a core purpose of community development practice. This is fundamentally about nurturing informal social, political and professional networks using interpersonal links and organisational liaison. Complexity theory encourages us to see informal and inter-organisational networks as an extended communal ‘brain’, processing information intelligently to generate a collective consciousness at the same time. This chapter ends by noting that this book is a contribution to the discussion on how community development uses networking to develop ‘community’ and to promote ‘strength through diversity’.

Keywords:   community development, networking practice, interpersonal links, meta-networking, complexity theory

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