The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “dialogue

Putting the Social Back Into Social Media

Posted on April 10, 2018

Two weeks ago, many Londoners were asking whether the time had come to get off Facebook altogether. Individuals who have blithely used the platform for years were fearing for their privacy, security and politics. Yet the implications for communities are as insidious, and perhaps even more destructive, as for individuals. Victoria’s mayor, Lisa Helps, in a blog titled “Why I’m quitting Facebook,” decided the time had come for her because: “Facebook peddles in outrage . . . It has become a toxic echo chamber where people who have anything positive to say are often in defense mode against negativity and anger. Continuous reinforcement of existing beliefs tends to entrench those beliefs more deeply, while also making them more extreme and resistant to contrary facts.”…

Public Places Shape Civil Society

Posted on January 31, 2018

He called it “the Third Place,” and though most haven’t heard of it, the name has remained an intriguing part of the vision many community activists have for our quality of life. Urban sociologist Ray Oldenburg, in his book Celebrating the Third Place (2000), tried to imagine what our communities would look like without all the coffee shops, bars, stores, parks, streets, celebrations, gardens and neighbourhood stores that serve as casual intersections where citizens cross paths. His conclusion? They simply wouldn’t function as effective living spaces. Oldenburg identified “third places” as those locations where the public meets between the “first place” (home) and the “second place” (work). They have existed in every community for centuries, though some observers worry that, with ever-expanding suburbia, third…

“Start Living” – Final Community Engagement Podcast (41)

Posted on August 30, 2013

This is the final podcast on citizen engagement – 41 episodes taking us from the initial moments when each citizen lays out their terms, through exercises of better understanding, and through to an enhanced ability to listen and compromise.  And then it all comes down to this: action.  Participatory democracy is about the world we want, not the one we must accept because we can’t reach agreement.  For this kind of engagement to work, politicians must act upon what citizens have agreed upon, and citizens must be willing to act out those decisions responsibly.   Just click the audio button below to listen to the five-minute podcast.  

“Reconfiguring Our Future” – Community Engagement Podcast (40)

Posted on August 29, 2013

It doesn’t have to always be a choice between sprawl and intensification.  Between the elderly and the young.  Between sustainability and development.  Between public transit and the car.  There are other options, often found in the middle.  Other communities around the world are experimenting with such options, in the process remaking those places where they live into the communities of tomorrow.  We can’t rely on the past, nor can we just import the future.  The best communities are those that develop homegrown talent, resources, compassion and a sense of togetherness. Just click on the audio button below to listen to the five-minute podcast.

“The Art of Connecting” – Community Engagement Podcast (39)

Posted on August 28, 2013

Strangers become neighbours through empathy.  Words become action by cooperation and not condemnation.  Communities are built through process and not power.  We need to give one another the permission to be human, to connect on emotional and not just academic levels.  Above all we require time together, working on the kind of communities we want and the kind of citizens we want to be.  In many way, voting is the least human thing we do in the democratic process.  The good stuff is in the dialogue. Just click the audio button below to listen to the five-minute podcast.

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