Friday, 26 July 2013

The #ISupport Project

Post under construction....

I have an idea related to Community Development. I have to admit that I may well be biting off more than I can chew as well as as I may be a raving lunatic to believe that Community and Community organisations can work together to achieve something good.

I have been "thinking" about this for a long while but I have been experimenting with the understanding of what it is that I want to achieve.

After attending a FREE conference today with some of the more interesting topics included:
  • a presentation that talked about Relationships, Power and Change- by 
  • A useful speech was from Australia Institute that discussed the Mining Boom and its effects on Community.  It was an interesting alternate look at the (Negative) Impact of Mining on our Local Community. Which posed a great question. "If mining is so great, why does it continue to have to advertise how great it is"! (but that is for another day...)
  • Also a discussion of the Sydney Alliance.  that is collection of businesses who a working together to strengthen our community. 
As part of the conference it was evident that the human services industry has traditionally been an industry that has real personal relationships with a number of people that you meet as you may move around the variety of organisations doing the variety of work that can be done within the Human Services Industry.
But as the goal of Community Development, at least as I see it, is getting the greatest number of people to play nice together while sharing information and understanding, with the hope, of creating change within individuals.

To allow people live with a little more #EASE and a little less #DISease.

In essence my overall goal or question would be:
  1. Can we engage a LOCAL community  through shared education and experience.
  2. Can positive change be created through a whole of community approach to education, and Leadership.
  3. Can we build a more resilient community that caters for the greater good.  Inclusive and understanding of the science of what it takes to Flourish!  
  4. Have an exploration of the strengths of a community through a a belief in "Appreciative Enquiry"
  5. Goals yet determined....
My intention may be made clear if I just add this:

#Tagdef = #ISupport - Things are better when people forget to DIS STUFF. 
I pledge MISupport to #...ABILITY!

If this idea was successful we would as I see it look the exploration of what makes a PERSON FLOURISH.

As stated above I would like us all to forget to DIS stuff..... We can forget a whole other range of DIS's in fact and not just disability which is the area that I have spent most of work life involved with.  Things that include  #...RESPECT #...APPOINTMENTS and a little bit more #...EASE. 
At the Core of the Project is the understanding that the best results from many things comes from working together and finding our commonalities rather than our differences.

I as you may have noted am a person who has worked within the community throughout my career, and I believe that Community is good but has room to allow positive change to occur. I think real change is only affected within our LOCAL Community. However as I indicated above once we understand and appreciate our COMMONALITIES we can then begin to see that our LOCAL issues may well be international issues.

I would like to see how a community that has been identified by a range of assessment as being disadvantaged (What ever that means) can work to harnessing its own strengths by a range of people from very different sources all working together.  From my personal perspective I have a number of  community contacts that exists within the Western Sydney Area of Sydney Australia.

  It is here that I am Targeting this message, but as some of you may realize there is opportunity to utilize these options elsewhere.

I would also like to engage the businesses and Local community into a shared #Support structure where Business can engage in greater input into skills training that can affect their business by directly working with local Community to drive employment and education support structures for a Diverse and Flourishing workplace. 

However this can come through a variety of ways and can be interpreted and delivered in many mediums and through many expressions:.


The ARTS and those things that are valued by how they develop ourselves as individuals.  Those things that remind us of our Humanity.  That affects us at our Emotional level.  That gives us the HOPE and creativity to dream of a better place.
The include the development of Culture and Personal and group development.
ART also has the ability to leave a lasting #PHYSICAL Legacy and reminder of the shared experience.  Eg Statue or Sculpture.
Even through the MOVIES can WE explore the many and varied characteristics of people and those things that develop Resilience as seen in Positive Psychology News Daily (PPND) that defines their Positive Psychology Movie Awards for 2012 -This is also an opportunity to have a local Cinema participate with the possibility of offering free entry to see these movies or a donation to the Project Objectives. #justanidea.

People involved in ART

A PHOTO VOICE Project with members of the community detailing the development of the Overall project and how it has changed and engaged the community and beyond. "Could be included as part of the overall project.  This could detail from a live and real community perspective say utilizing the:

"APPROPRIATE"- use of of the mobile camera!

I may have an advantage because I have already undertaken the Coursera Emotional Intelligence Course.  As it first ran from June and July 2013.... But at least in my tiny brain Business needs to come out and relearn the ART of meeting people!!!  As it is people that are also Reasonant leaders in their own right.  Also these people with LEADERSHIP skills should and are also the face of EVERYBODIES Businesses.

As stated above I have already undertaken Online Study through the website


I completed a course in Inspiring LEADERSHIP through Emotional Intelligence and It is through this course that I understand and appreciate...  The overwhelming information that came from this study is that Good resonant  Leadership (Leaders who you resonate with and are happy to be lead by) occurs when Leaders demonstrate COMPASSION, HOPE and practice MINDFULLNESS. 
PLUS those who are able to Demonstrate REASONANT Leadership also in a Business sense are more consistently able to deliver greater economic and team Building capacity within their organisations.


While speaking of HOPE, COMPASSION and MINDFULNESS from the perspective of the Human Services Industry these 3 things can have a great beneficial effect on those people who are experiencing disadvantage, disability, Mental Health, Anxiety and a range of other social and emotional challenges that present as a "#NEED4SUPPORT".

For those who are also regulars to my BLOG you also realize that I am very big advocate for the value of Positive Psychology,

As described by the Positive Psychology Centre this is described as:

Positive Psychology is the scientific study of the strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities to thrive. The field is founded on the belief that people want to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives, to cultivate what is best within themselves, and to enhance their experiences of love, work, and play.
For those who are not regular readers of what Positive Psychology is NOT it is NOT the promotion of Positivity in face of adversity and encouraging a life without negative emotions.  BUT when coupled with MINDFULNESS it does allow for the development and understanding of our Selves.

As stated in Positive Psychology centre some of the goals of Positive Psychology are to build a science that supports:
  1. Families and schools that allow children to flourish
  2. Workplaces that foster satisfaction and high productivity
  3. Communities that encourage civic engagement
  4. Therapists who identify and nurture their patients' strengths
  5. The teaching of Positive Psychology and resilience skills
  6. Dissemination of Positive Psychology and resilience training in organizations & communities
As is indicated above Positive Psychology has worked its way into Education and often referred to as Positive Education. Large portions (as I understand it) of POSITIVE EDUCATION looks to work through the individual development of people's character strengths.  These strengths can be defined by VIA Character Strengths.or other measures can be CAPP.  But at any rate it is looking at changing the lense through which we look at each other.  To recognise that we cannot do it all! We need to understand our strengths and work together utilising the strengths of others to fill the gap of weakness which allows for us to identify our support needs by what we are best at.

From an employment perspective it is my experience that employees who are matched accurately by their strengths significantly improves the match between employer and employee.

The interesting fact is that this introduction of Positive Education does not have to create a greater workload for the teacher but if we engage people in a way that is Compassionate and Positive you are going to gain better engagement.  It also means that you are able to better understanding of the child overall strengths while still acknowledging weaknesses.

Or as CAPP describes Strengths are ever changing and we: 
  • Marshall your Realised Strengths - use them appropriately for the situation;
  • Maximise your Unrealised Strengths - find opportunities to use them more - especially if they will help you achieve your goals;
  • Moderate your Learned Behaviours - don't use them too much, or you'll become drained and disengaged;
  • Minimise your Weaknesses - find ways to use them less or stop using them - especially by using strengths to compensate.


It appears also from an educational perspective that if Children are given training in activities that develop their Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) which the combination of Positive Psychology, Emotional Intelligence, LEADERSHIP, Mindfulness, Hope, and Compassion does:
"that young people demonstrate significant benefits in Prosocial behaviours as well as a 28% rise in overall academic increases in unrelated studies as a reported by  CASEL.




So why put all these items together?

Well because the research and experience that I have read and experienced over time reinforces that we are all INTERCONNECTED.  Business can only be as good as its employees, which can only be as good as the states education system, which can only be as good as it is supported by the community and those who make the community what it is.

How can this be achieved? 

So what does the Project do overall? 

It gets all a bit big on me at times as to what I want to achieve and what I can achieve.
But it is expected that the community can get motivated and engaged behind a range of ideas that are talked about as being connected because they are but different people may be ready to see that at different times.

But it can be include a great many things but will depend on the resources that present themselves as the this project develops.

BUT Includes:

  • Emotional Intelligence and LEADERSHIP
Well The Course on Inspiring Leadership through Emotional intelligence is being repeated twice more.  firstly starting on the 28th OCTOBER 2013.  And again in 2014!

  • Positive Education is already underway and there are a number of resources immediately available including a WEBINAR that I was originally involved in.  seen here:

Also a number of schools already have such programs including:
Gellong Grammar School
Knox Grammar Sydney-

  • Mindfulness
Mindfulness has a growing body of evidence of  its positive effects, particularly with young people.  The idea can include the proliferation of knowledge about a recent APP I found:

"Smling Mind" APP- Mindfulness in Young People.   or Smiling Mind- Blog

  • Sport
The project would allow a perfect opportunity to engage a range of people into sport if the Project was able to hook into the understanding of the positive impacts that Physical activity can play towards delivering #wellbeing.

And regardless of the code that was wooing players to don the appropriate sports jersey. As long as people (Particularly young people at school. and (for the heads of the various codes) from a development perspective at the early years you just want kids gaining a level of coordination) are donning a jersey and particapating everyone should be happy.

But also if we focus on the development of the understanding of strengths and as seen as basic tenent of the exploration of positive psychology as well as the Coursera material that discusses the basic need for GREAT Reasonant leaders to undertake Mindfulness.

They also look at harnessing the strengths of themselves but also the strengths of those around them by creating and bringing alive a sense of vision.  BUT a vision that can be shared and developed by a greater and greater audience.  Allowing those people who have reached the top to talk about their range of strengths... And how they were developed and are allowed to flourish.

BUT at the same time our sports people show us that at the end of the day they are people and have support needs.  In fact to be at the elite level these days you are supported as an athlete by a great many people to get you to what you need to do week in week out.

But to a varying degree of frequency and strength they are people and as we all know as Sports people at times are also in need of  #Support.  For a variety of reasons, including, Gambling, Mental Health, Inappropriate aggression, and a range of other things considered under the term of #wellbeing.

  • ART
As above

  • Activities yet determined 
 Yet to be determined.

Everybody but more specifically,

People with #...ability who have a #support need!

IT is expected through increased understanding of "What are REASONABLE Adjustments are and how through increased access particularly related to IT "People with Support Need" #PWSN employment opportunities can be greater.

Through understanding and a sense of the "WHOLE" community engaging in questioning...

"What is right?, because we all cant be left....

But through greater awareness and engagement of Business, Community and Education it could be the perfect opportunity to have a community discussion about what is quality education with the implementation of the #Gonski reforms.

Support can BE:
  • It can be at a grass roots level in doing things like... "Walk with me" - (which is a community event for those that skipped the link)

In Australia the Landscape of the people with a Disability or PWSN is going to change SIGNIFICANTLY.  The NDIS and possible GONSKI review will in theory inject a large volume of capaital into the Australian Business and Education Economy and much of this money directly to service users thus effectively empowering them through an understanding that they are able to gain a greater level of control of expenditure and being a PURCHASER of goods and services- thus gaining economic value, in a society that is perceived to value only what you can contribute economically.  

PWD are going to gain a greater level of buying power for goods and services that BUSINESS should take notice of.

At this time of change is also (as I see it) the best time to implement such ideas of change when Government and other organisations will be determining how these changes will be implemented and we ask COULD the PROJECT be included as part of these changes?

In regard to the NDIS they sure as hell could be with some THOUGHT LEADERSHIP and Colaboration.  As it discusses the potential increases to the Australian Economic environment from incrased participation of PWD in the Community and the workforce.  For as I  understand it is said that from the perspective of the Productivity Commission the scheme could infact pay for itself in regard to increasing innovation and access for people of all people with so called "labels"- (AKA- JUDGEMENTS, People with Disability (PWD), Gay, Lesbian, CALD, Female, Dad, Brother, etc) and try to seek a society of inclusion.

And as all of the resources I have mentioned above are to the best of my knowledge FREE and part of the Public Domain. 

An Inclusive society to me is a society that supports ALL of its particapants which to date has not occurred as indicated for People with a Disability in the "Shut Out" report.  HOWEVER I am sure that for many specifics groups mentioned as labels above eg (AKA- JUDGEMENTS, PWD, Gay, Female, Dad, Brother, etc) there would likely be similar stories.

This Project also WORKS in a "healthy" population as well.  I mean this approach could and would  help people who are disadvantaged (what ever that means) but also assist everybody if we are able to work together through a shared understanding of "WHAT IS IN FOR THEM" and what they do and say with their actions and Leadership in the delivery of service to their customers in an ethically and econonocically sustainable way...


  • Engagement of Learning related to LEADERSHIP
  • The opportunity to participate in Community Education eg LEADERSHIP, Work readiness
  • Increased Profit through Community engagement and sharing of shared values of the GREATER GOOD.  See here: Virtuous organizations.
  • Increased student engagement through meaning and purpose.
  • deeased anti social behavior Increased prosocial behaviours.
  • Access to FREE online education.
  • Particapation in the ongoing development of LEADERSHIP
  • Increased understanding of Mindfulness
  • Increased Wellbeing
  • Increased Capacity

In effect if lots of people in a large enough area were included in a single portal for shared experience and education exchange would this create a positive social and economic increase.

AS the First lines above indicate this Post is still under construction.  Preparing for further thought and exploration of the possibilities....... So I have given myself memory joggers below to direct the further development.

But I have a bit of a mind map also...

So I am still in development if you would like to assist the facilitation of a little something (however small- for in reality the Project as a whole could always be made of a range of smaller projects that look to bring together the many aspects of items discussed above).

I would be interested in getting this concept off the ground.  So if you think you could be interested then please make comment below.

Also in response to a recent article about "LIKES" not actually doing anything this is a project that will require effort But it is believed that effort that is well worth while.  So comment below, think and maybe add something of your own or take the basis of this idea and implement the thinking within your community.

I will continue to construct and develop and share.

#ISupport with #MISupport through action and RESILIANCE!



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