Interprets: Working Places Initiative Alumni on Proven Principles for Community Development Interprets: Working Places Initiative Alumni on Proven Principles for Community Development

About this issue About this issue

Building strong, sustainable communities is complicated work requiring buy-in, cooperation, input, and accountability from all stakeholders. This series presents learnings from community development in New England through the experiences of participants in the Boston Fed’s Working Places initiative. Hear people doing this important work describe core elements of successful community building—from collaborative leadership, community engagement, a shared long-term vision, and a commitment to holistic learning, to reimagining flawed policies and practices of the past to spark true systems change.

Series Introduction: Key Learnings from Community Development

The Boston Fed’s Working Places initiative is built on years of field experience from teams working throughout New England to boost collaborative strategies that improve the lives of low-income residents. Time to share these important learnings.

Shared Long-term Goal for Economic and Community Well-being: Aspiring toward a Common Future

Finding common ground on a vision for the future and economic outcomes that benefit all residents is one key element of successful community building.

Collaborative Leadership: Sharing the Power, Owning the Work, and Leaving No One Behind

A culture of inclusive leadership and shared ownership of civic goals, efforts, and results ensures that all stakeholders have a voice in shaping and growing their communities.

Community Engagement: Empowering and Centering Stakeholders

Effective community engagement requires specific outreach to all local resident groups in ways that enable them to have a say in crafting, implementing, and evaluating efforts to address their critical needs.

Learning Orientation and Use of Data: Informing Solutions with Holistic Evidence

Learning orientation in community building is considering multiple information sources, leveraging past successes, adapting after failures, being open to new ideas, and committing to find inclusive, sustainable solutions to community challenges.

Systems Change: Transforming Remnants of the Past and Addressing Root Causes

Disrupting the status quo is difficult but essential to solving community issues with deep roots in the policies, practices, norms, and culture of the past that hold them in place.