21st Century Barn Raising: Authentic Community Building for TodayFebruary 15, 2018
Communities and neighborhood organizations today are contending with one of the most limited resource pools in recent decades, making it nearly impossible to fulfill their missions and basic social needs. In the face of shrinking federal and state government purviews, many communities are taking the lead on critical issues like climate change, and cultural inclusion related to immigration, healthcare, housing, and more.
The burden of carrying our social values forward is now spread too thin and too far. In this context, how do communities leverage and develop their own resources for collective impact? Who does this work, and how can they do it when resources are so tight?
No one person or organization will have the resources to address these structural problems. But together, we have everything we need. In early American life, the barn raising was a critical economic tool for the success of an agrarian society. Does this tradition have relevance for us today?
This is half of a two-part case study series on 21st Century Barn Raising. The following is a look under the hood at an urban Minnesota community used cooperative communication action to build relationships and end-up with better processes and outcomes for their neighborhood. Like the traditional barn raising, these projects have forged unlikely partnerships to accomplish enormous goals that will benefit whole communities. These collaborations cut across property lines, and unearth new, previously unrealized resources.
Read the full Case Study here: Minnesota’s Neighborhood That Makes No Small Plans