Dearest Constellation friends, far and wide :) !

[French and English versions early next week - en français et en espagnol début de semaine prochaine - versión española y francesa a principios de la otra semana]

Once more, we would like to tap into our global community's collective intelligence to help us "feel" the direction our organisation wants to go towards.

I write to ask for your appreciation of this latest version of our Preamble (to the Charter), crafted following many face-to-face and Skype conversations with several of you, and also very much based on the responses we had gotten from the questions we threw out on Ning several months back regarding your motivations for being a part of our movement. This document is intended as a "statement of intention", a text that describes who we are, why we do what we do, and what it is that we do. We mean to use it as a "membership statement" too, something aspiring members of the Constellation can read and subscribe to. So please read it in this light.

We would love to hear back from you! May we kindly request that you post below your response to this simple question: does this Preamble resonate with you? Why or why not? Kindly share your overall impressions rather than, say, an in-depth analysis of the wording used :) !
Also, please share your thoughts between now and November 11th.

Here it is:

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Preamble

Our dream for the Constellation is that by 2050, we will live in a world where communities take action based on their strengths to realise their dream. Our core belief based on our experience in over 60 countries since 2004 is that every community has the inner strength to envision, to act and to adapt.

Our discovery of this human capacity began with HIV. For two decades, large scale progress on this global epidemic was limited to northern Thailand, Uganda and Brazil. In these three countries we discovered that people had taken ownership of the response to HIV. This was the foundation of a local response that was effective in the reduction of the impact of the epidemic.

Communities around the world were quick to understand that this idea was not restricted to the challenge of HIV, but could be applied to other local, national and global challenges. At the time of writing, communities have applied the approach to over 40 issues of concern. Neighbourhoods tackle the issue of life in peace, the elderly and youth work hand in hand, migrants start acting for their own integration, women and men discuss sexuality, domestic workers come together and decide what decent work would look like, drug users and carers support one another and envision life without addictions, etc.

 We now call this approach Community Life Competence.

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This experience has taught us that communities can and do respond to the challenges that they face when they take ownership of those challenges. Communities change themselves, we do not change communities. The change they own is sustainable change.

It is not enough to engage with communities about programmes for them.
It is not enough to consult with communities about programmes for them.

In the Constellation, we seek to accompany the community as it takes the path to ownership of its challenge. We call this path Local Response and we call the methodology that they use the Community Life Competence Process (CLCP). Facilitators accompany the community as it applies CLCP with an approach that we characterise with the acronym SALT.

SALT stands for Stimulate-Support, Appreciate, Listen-Learn-Link, and Transfer-Trust. It is a way of thinking which, as our experience taught us, goes hand-in-hand with our way of working (CLCP).

 

At the community level, SALT Stimulates a strengths-based conversation on a human level where Appreciation is focused on who are we, individually and as a group, through Listening and Learning. These learnings are Transferred into sustainable actions where trust develops, and transformation can occur when people develop their ability to cope with life’s challenges, taking ownership and realising that they are responsible for accomplishing common dreams. This candid conversation takes place throughout the CLC Process.

 

SALT also guides our actions as facilitators and members of various communities.  As we strive for community ownership, we consistently ask ourselves “what can I do to make the community feel supported?”, “what can I do so that the community appreciates its own strengths”?, “what can I do so that the community learns from its actions?”, “what can I do to transfer what I have learned from this community into my own context?”.

 

We have found that our approach opens a safe space for authentic “human-to-human” conversation, which makes it easier for people to connect from the heart , explore their differences and commonalities, and find and express their individual voices. Experience has also shown that this way of thinking, being and working surfaces talents, helping us grow into our full potential individually and collectively. When this posture has become natural for a community, we notice a growing sense of belonging, leading to increased individual responsibility, collective ownership and sustainability of community actions.

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We live in a world where there is no shortage of challenges, whether individual, local or national. These challenges affect all of us, and if we can realise our capacity to be actors of our own lives, we can also activate our collective responsibility to co-create our  world.

Perhaps the 21st century will be distinguished by the recognition that the daily actions of billions of individuals are transforming our world. While one part of our response may come from globally coordinated action, another part will come through the decisions and actions of those same billions of humans.

Is it possible to imagine that this would lead to a world where individuals and communities recognise and respect their common humanity, and live out their full potential to contribute to society as a whole?

-------------------------------

We look forward to hearing from you :) !

Warm regards,

Celicia on behalf of the GST.

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Replies to This Discussion

How great this description ! How complete and hopeful in its choice of words, sentences and structure.

One suggestion: try also to make it into a digital story (pictures in motion with spoken word that accompanies the pictures) .

Keep up the good work !

A well explained context of what CLCP is all about. The context is clear and very easy to understand.

I suggest photos or different presentations from different communities to be used.

Good work.

A powerful mantra of SALT, and CLCP, to turn  our Dreams to real.
This preamble is a good curtain raiser.
I am sure everyone will shout  "Encore!" 

Warm thanks to each of you for your insightful remarks, which provided us with much-appreciated food for thought these past few weeks :) !

I would like to submit this "new new" version of the Preamble, updated according to your remarks and those of friends in three language communities (English, French and Spanish). Once again I am in awe when I look at the variety of responses we have received, which reflect the variety of application of the approach- thank you :) !

We're thinking of submitting this text to the organisation's voting members very soon.

Preamble to the Charter – November 2016

Every human community has the inner strength to envision their own future, to act to realise it, to share what they learn with others and to develop their solidarity. The Constellation dreams of a world where communities take action based on their strengths to realise their dream.

Our discovery of this human capacity began with HIV/AIDS. For two decades, large scale progress on this global epidemic was limited to northern Thailand, Uganda and Brazil. In these three countries we discovered that people had begun to address the issue publicly, to recognise that it was theirs to deal with, thus also taking ownership of the response to HIV. This was the foundation of a local response that was effective in the reduction of the impact of the epidemic, and spurred the foundation of the Constellation for AIDS Competence in 2004.

Communities around the world were quick to understand that this idea was not restricted to the challenge of HIV, but could be applied to other local, national and global challenges. At the time of writing, communities have applied the approach to over 40 issues of concern in more than 60 countries. Neighbourhoods tackle the issue of life in peace, the elderly and youth work hand in hand, migrants start acting for their own integration, women and men discuss sexuality, drug users and caregivers envision life without addictions, etc.

 We now call this approach Community Life Competence.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Our experience has taught us that communities can and do respond to the challenges that they face when they take ownership of those challenges. Communities change themselves, we do not change communities. The change they own is sustainable change.

It is not enough to engage with communities about programmes for them.
It is not enough to consult with communities about programmes for them.

In the Constellation, we seek to accompany the community as it takes the path to ownership of its challenge. We call this path local response and we call the methodology that they use the Community Life Competence Process (CLCP). Facilitators accompany the community as it applies CLCP with a mindset that we characterise with the acronym SALT.

SALT stands for Stimulate-Support, Appreciate, Listen-Learn-Link, and Transfer-Trust. It is a way of thinking which, as our experience taught us, goes hand-in-hand with our way of working (CLCP).

SALT guides our actions as facilitators and members of various communities.  As we strive for community ownership, we consistently ask ourselves “what can I do to make the community feel supported?”, “what can I do so that the community appreciates its own strengths”?, “what can I do so that the community learns from its actions?”, “what can I do to transfer what I have learned from this community into my own context?”.

SALT is also a mindset we transfer to the communities we work with, stimulating a candid conversation in a non-hierarchical setting where community members genuinely share and learn together. With this mindset, every occasion becomes an opportunity to connect, learn from collective intelligence, and grow.

 We have found that our approach opens a safe space for authentic “human-to-human” conversation, which makes it easier for people to connect from the heart, explore their differences and commonalities, and find and express their individual voices. Experience has also shown that this way of thinking, being and working surfaces talents, helping us grow into our full potential individually and collectively. When this posture has become natural for a community, we notice a growing sense of belonging, leading to increased individual responsibility, collective ownership and sustainability of community actions.

------------------------------------------------------

We live in a world where there is no shortage of challenges, whether individual, local or national. These challenges affect all of us, and if we can realise our capacity to be actors of our own lives, we can also activate our collective responsibility to co-create our world.

Perhaps the 21st century will be distinguished by the recognition that the daily actions of billions of individuals are transforming our world. While one part of our response may come from globally coordinated action, another part will come through the decisions and actions of those same billions of humans.

Is it possible to imagine that this would lead to a world where individuals and communities recognise and respect their common humanity, and live out their full potential to contribute to society as a whole?

 

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