Activating community engagement in a project is crucial

it fosters a sense of ownership and inclusion, making the community feel invested and committed to the project's success. It also brings diverse perspectives and valuable insights to the table, leading to more effective decision-making and sustainable outcomes.

How to do Community Engagement and Group Facilitation, and Create Networks

To do engagement, facilitation and network building really well, learning and demonstration centres that are catalysts for community transformation need to provide the people and organisations with supportive environments that enable a creative and meaningful process of community engagement to be initiated, maintained and developed. 
Having good skills, experience and environments for facilitation and engagement will mean that the needs, interests, priorities and potential of the community and the individuals and groups within it are the primary focus (rather than an imposed agenda). 

Facilitation competencies are the ‘people skills’ that are applied to initiate and develop the processes that enable and encourage transformation to happen, in individuals, groups and across a community over time.

Alongside these facilitation skills, network weaving and network building is really helpful for making contacts and connections that extend your reach and deepen them in key areas - either geographically (such as local or regional networks), or in key fields (like regen agriculture, green building, or climate coaching).   Watch the video below and then consider purchasing the book Impact Networks: create connection, spark collaboration and catalyse systemic change to further understanding on this topic.  There is also the Network Weaver Handbook (see link below) and courses and articles produced by the Greaterthan Network on 'Thriving Networks'

When you are engaged with your appropriate and complementary networks, then it is easier to reach the audiences that will be likely to be interested in your centre, and its events, activities, learning programmes, and the many interesting or inspiring people connected to it.

Facilitation Competencies

Catalyst centres and projects will need people (in their team, or from their networks) with the skills, experience and confidence to facilitate the emergence of challenging processes of change and transformation, whether that is for individuals, organisations or communities. If our work is in this area, it’s a challenging business. So, the processes of facilitation will involve challenging ourselves and others, in the sense of challenge that brings progression and transformation, whether this arises through flashes of insight, ‘light bulb moments’, or working through deep emotional experiences. 
The facilitation process will also very often involve challenges to the status quo, and challenges to the lack of vision or narrow and depleted sense of purpose in our culture. For a detailed exploration and understanding of the skills, experience and attitudes needed in these areas see: Communication, Engagement & Facilitation Competencies. 

Doing this work really well also emphasises other important skills which help set people up to expect and welcome positive change or deeper transformation, whether that is internal in the person, external in the places where they live and work, or both.

network weaver

Network Weaver Handbook

masterclass events

Running a Successful Event Masterclass

masterclass stories

Telling your project stories Masterclass

Communities of practice document

Guide to Communities of Practice


Community Engagement Toolkit


Collective Impact Toolkit


Working with Volunteers

Many voices one song

Many Voices One Song - Sociocracy


Engagement Competencies

Case Studies

Inspiring examples of permaculture places


Regenerative Knowledge Commons

Activating Community Transformation Logo

iACT and Land Centres Handbook

Erasmus+ Logo FINAL

'iACT iwas co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme. Proj. ref.: 2020-1-UK01-KA204-079285. The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.