Community Engagement

Community engagement is best defined as people working collaboratively, through inspired action and learning, to create and realize bold visions for their common future.  As the visual below shows, our exploration of this field has led us to appreciate that that as community engagement increases, citizens move from being passive to taking active leadership roles, as can be seen in the continuum below. As leaders, citizens can have a powerful influence and effect on the life of their communities.

     Levels of engagement


Our exploration of community engagement includes consideration of the following questions:

  • How do other people define community engagement? What does the existing literature say?
  • How are people using community engagement to improve their communities? What are some examples of community engagement at work?
  • Are there models and processes that can help us to better understand community engagement?
  • How does community engagement live out in different fields such as health or environmental restoration?