One of the possible threats for our design proposal on how to make Texel as a host more sustainable is the willingness of companies to participate in this project. We assume that there has to be a strategy to convince society of the island about benefits that our solution can bring.
What is the best legal way to approach companies to convince them that it is a good idea to make the information public? This question is very important for our design proposal, because our concept is based on the willingness of companies to participate. But what if it will be hard to convince them to do so? Therefore we decided to analyse what are the strategies to get people involved for collaboration.
Tom Wolf, the PhD, who specializes in the community psychology made some research on how to maximize the involvement of the community in the process. Some of his ideas are interesting and can be adapted and used for the research.
Tom Wolf describes the community as those, who are the mostly affected by the issue, and according to him the main key of involving any community is to do with the community and not doing for the community.
He describes main elements which are essential for true collaboration
- Building the trust
- Providing safe place.
- Accommodating the members
- Being inclusive
- Honoring diversity of membership through understanding and practice.
- Sharing governance and decision making.
To make the involvement of the community possible, it is important to answer following questions:
- Who might you engage?
- Who cares about the issue?
- What are strengths and gaps?
- How much you go about engaging them in your work?
Also Tom Wolf states, that this is important to define the formal and informal community sectors. Formal sector is part of the community that represents the major institutions such as government, education, health, business. Informal Sectors: parts of the community best connected to the residents themselves, such as neighborhood associations, PTO’s and church groups. These sectors have different influence on the community and to make the engagement of the community possible, it is important to involve grassroots organizations and their leaders. It is important, because according to Tom Wolf: “The main reason for someone to participate is that someone they know asks them.”
Other aspect is to keep community involved in the process, because it is very common that people lose their interest in the participation or their expectations do not match the reality. To handle this problem Tom Wolf presents 6R’s: Role, Respect, Relationship, Reward, Results, and Recognition. These 6 aspects create the motivation of community members. Moreover, community has to be in the charge of the norms and changes, because only then norms and changes stop being someone else’ program and are adapted more easily. A good example of community being in charge of norms and changes are smoking and seatbelts.
Conclusion: According to this strategy, the one of the best ways to involve more parties and increase their willingness to participate, it is necessary to convince one reliable representative. That will make other participants to feel more safe and positive about the project.