There’s something about the letter C

Way back when, I had an idea to start a resource centre for activists, it would be called Cape Collective and as a part of my visioning of what this organization would be I played with the letter C (see the end of this note)

The letter C has come up for me again these past two weeks, so here’s some memorable sets of C’s from the perspective of #socialchangeasadailypractice

The three C’s of the world in 2017 (from Peter Drucker)

  • Change — the world is changing all the time, and seemingly faster or more disruptively
  • Complexity — models that worked in the past no longer work, we are in a time of accepting that we do not have all the data, know all the variables, or understand all the connections to adequately predict impact; and as a result need to work in more emergent, adaptive and learning ways
  • Competition — we have to constantly improve in order to survive

The three Cs of Doing Development

  • Codes — those transferable blueprints, best practices, engineering solutions or methodologies
  • Capital — money, whether venture capital, tax-financed grants, or public-private infrastructure financing deals, capital is transferable to the extent that what you want to do with it is legitimate and viable.
  • Competency (or Capacity?) — the know-how to pool codes and capital for meaningful results. This is hard to transfer and often includes tacit forms of know-how, political will (and beneath that the know-how to develop compelling public value propositions), and a culture of do-ing.

The three Cs of Collaboration levels

  • Conflict — partners have opposing goals and objectives
  • Compliance — there is collaboration to the extent that the rules require it
  • Commitment — there is genuine commitment to cooperation towards shared goals and a greater public good

The three Cs of Cohesion

  • Community — “The sum of all the individuals and relationships in a social milieu — that is to say, none of them in particular; therefore, the abstraction for which any of them may be sacrificed” — Contradictionary. There are communities of place, and communities of theme, connect like with like and organise according to common interests.
  • Commitment — to a common goal, with mutual accountability and joint action
  • Culture — we all have different rituals and protocols for building consensus and making decisions, methods of learning and appreciating or calling out; a cohesive effort respects and works with dominant cultures and, in the case of extremely contrasting cultures (like bringing a hierarchical institution into a compact with a grass roots network), explicitly agree to common protocols

The three Cs of Cities

  • Compact — sufficiently dense for a diversity of people and land uses to thrive
  • Connected- enabled by mobility and physician and virtual connectivity
  • Coordinated- structured with nodes of services and open spaces, gone are the days of the mega master 30 year plan but where and how we grid our services requires coordination

What C’s do you have?

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

For fun, here’s what I wrote back in 2012:

1. C is for Cape — Cape Collective is based in Cape Town South Africa. Our issues are global, our allies are global, our actions are mostly local.

2. C is for Change — Cape Collective lives the change we want to see in the world

3. C is for Community — Cape Collective is a community-based, community-driven initiative

4. C is for Communalism — Cape Collective relies on an ethos of communalism…

5. C is for Challenge — Cape Collective recognises the many social and ecological challenges facing us

6. C is for Connections — Cape Collective recognises the connections between the various social and ecological challenges we face

7. C is for Congruence — Cape Collective is a place where different issues and their change agents come together

8. C is for Critical — Cape Collective encourages critical thinking and critical actions

9. C is for Commemoration — Cape Collective remembers those who’ve fought before us

10. C is for Clarification — Cape Collective provides information and analysis for activists, and accepts where we do not have control over the implications of that research

11. C is for Celebrations — Cape Collective recognises the value in celebrating real victories

12. C is for Cohesion — Cape Collective is a place of social support and belonging

13. C is for Communication — Cape Collective listens, hears, and spreads ideas and information through written, verbal and artistic narratives

14. C is for Closure — Cape Collective recognises that activism can be traumatic, that crises are real and will support members to find closure when an event has ended, and not see the memories thereof as dangerous

15. C is for Comfort — Cape Collective is a source of comfort, encouragement and acceptance

16. C is for Context — with context comes understanding, and with understanding comes compassion. CapeCollective starts where people are, not where we think they ought to be.

17. C is for Compassion — Cape Collective is compassionate to all

18. C is for Capacity — Cape Collective connects and combines activists to reduce duplication of effort, spreading our collective capacities further

19. C is for Coping — Cape Collective understands that its not always easy to cope. We provide BASIC coping support.

BASIC — coping on different levels

· Beliefs — finding hope and building self-esteem

· Affect — through story telling and sharing feelings…

· Social — group sharing, family and peer support and essential coping support mechanisms

· Imagery — in a safe place, guiding the use of fantasy and creativity to direct activism

· Cognition — using the art of reframing, manageing fear and trauma through narrative, thinking analytically to change our behaviours

· Physiology — promoting the importance of recreation, rest, sleep and a healthful diet