Hard to reach or maybe we just need to work harder to reach them?

Photo by Ben Wicks on Unsplash

Children have traditionally been placed in the too hard basket when it comes to community engagement. Organisations and professionals generally find engaging with children too time consuming, too resource driven and just too much effort. …


For the last few weeks I have been working from home for the first time which has been both strange and liberating. After 18 years in various public sector roles where time was spent mainly in open plan, grey walled offices or in a community setting speaking with citizens I now find myself flying solo (albeit in a national team) and surrounded by the comforts of my home life. …


Over the last four or five years professionalism has started to creep more and more in to the field of Community Engagement. Focused qualifications, specific modules in University degrees and salaries/contracts increasingly matching or growing beyond the levels of those in other professions where the stakeholder is the focus. With climate change now a focus of many responsible governments around the world we are also starting to see the language of community engagement being used on a global scale with the likes of citizens juries and assemblies, deliberation and co-creation all being widely used.

Whilst for those working in or…


Is there a hidden level on the IAP2 spectrum — ‘con’-form?

You see a A4 laminated poster on a stobie pole/lamp post. You walk past it ever day for a month. You can see it has small print, some in bold, but you ignore it. Then it’s gone and somewhere inside you think, maybe I should have read it. However you forget about it.

Two months later on your usual walking route you come across a building site right in your path. They are erecting a mobile phone tower, felling trees and changing your route from around the lake to up a dirt track and back through the houses.

How did…


Members of the Engage 2 Act collective across the world

Late last year I was thinking about how every day now seems to have a celebration attached to it. Days that are celebrated locally, nationally and globally and not just for religious, country’s or famous people anniversary’s but celebrations for really random stuff such as:

International fun at work day — 26 January
Doughnut Day — 1 June
Chocolate Day — 7 July (though there are loads of other chocolaty versions such as chocolate covered peanut day 25 February or hot cocoa day on 13 December)
Yorkshire Day — 1 August
Search more here…


Christmas is close and the office party is looming. Kris Kringle or Secret Santa strikes dread in the heart of many across the world. What can you buy for the community engagement geek in the office?

Well never fear, Engage 2 Act are here with their top 5 gifts for Christmas for that one person in your life that loves community engagement just a little bit too much. 5 gifts to cover every budget from the under $10 bargain book to the generous $150 shiny consultation tool.

So get ready St Nick because we have you covered in the world…


BY ANDREW COULSON

Originally posted at www.engage2act.org where you can join the newest and fastest growing community engagement collective for free.

Back in May 2015 I wrote a blog called Future Local Government: Adopt a Councillor based on a concept I’d read about from New Zealand. The concept wasn’t old or new but was amazingly simple and innovative yet seemingly barely used or spoken about. I’d read about it being trialled by one council, Hamilton City Council, in 2011 when Councillor Angela O’Leary initiated the idea with Hamilton’s Whitiora School. However I struggled to find out anything about both the trial and the…


In recent months I have been reading a lot about participatory budgets or PB for those who struggle with the jargonistic muthful. (I have read so much that I have may written things here that I have read and not referenced, sorry). There have been case studies from America, reports on toe testing community funds in Australia and demos of online tools that seem very much in abundance. I was also lucky enough to listen to Shari Davis (Shari works at The Participatory Budget Project) twice during Open State in Adelaide talk about her involvement in PB for various projects…


I’ve been in South Australia for 4 years now and there has been a steady build up of amazing opportunities for the community to get involved in the decision making process. The South Australian Government since 2013 has shown an extremely strong commitment to supporting a culture of effective stakeholder and community engagement. Not just highly marketed campaigns with glossy adverts and photo opportunities but high quality activities and events that allow the South Australian public to get involved, debate and decide on some of the State’s wicked problems.

Premier Jay Weatherill has shown passion and commitment in promoting his…


The other day I was asked is it easy to make friends in Adelaide? Being new(ish) to Adelaide, having moved here a year ago, I thought I was qualified enough to answer the question. But as I started to do so doubt set in and here’s why.

My reply to the question was: “Adelaide is a very friendly place and networking easy (doubt sets in here)… there are good social networks and groups via social media as well as plenty of groups etc from wine drinkers to sports”. Now that looks to be a very clean and agreeable answer don’t…

Andrew Coulson

Innovative Community Engagement. @engage2act Director and Board member, #engage2act advocate, #gatehashing instigator.

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