Main Consultant: Ken Gillgren

Experienced Community Development & Communications Professional | Passionate About Citizen Journalism & Youth Engagement | Strategic Project Design & Technical Support

Over 30 years of experience in community-based technology projects focused on fostering and sustaining stakeholder engagement. Proven strengths in strategic project concept development, cultivating partnerships and collaborative efforts, integrated development of Web/social media assets, project design, staging, training, and technical support. Experienced in grant writing and working with diverse cultural and organizational stakeholders.

Enlivening organizations, communities, and businesses through communications as engagement

Music, dance, sculpture, painting—all are said to have their own language, a living structure that enables each form to express, inspire and engage. The language of music, for example, in its rhythm, melody, composition not only helps us understand the power of the art, but guides those who create it. Just as Christopher Alexander describes good architecture, the best of artistic expressions become as rich and complex as life itself—indeed they become somehow alive—”like ocean waves or blades of grass [their] parts are governed by the endless play of repetition and variety created in the presence of the fact that all things pass.”

Perhaps similar principles apply in the social creations of our life, the families, organizations, communities and businesses in which we “live and breathe and have our being.” There are organizations, gatherings, companies that are full of vitality and those that seem lifeless or even oppressive. We are able to both experience this life-enriching quality when it is present and participate in releasing it.

Over the course of my career, I have come to recognize the key role of communication as engagement, as multiple, diverse ecosystems integrating content, tools, platforms, channels and practices in specific contexts, often emerging or taking shape as patterns for releasing insight, energy, and creativity. And that what I have been learning in the course of my work in community development,  corporate communication, and more recently, citizen journalism, could provide useful guidance for others, whether or not they show up in formal leadership roles, to engage in the art of building organizations, communities and business environments that are enlivening.