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Developing Communities in Changing Times. Seminar presented to the South West Development Commission By Dr Ma l Bryce Bunbury June 23 rd 2008. An Outline. The Drivers and Shapers of Global Change. Some fundamental changes in Australia. Key changes to Australian communities. Why Bother?

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Developing Communities

in Changing Times

Seminar presented to the South West Development Commission

By Dr Mal Bryce

Bunbury June 23rd 2008

an outline
An Outline
  • The Drivers and Shapers of Global Change.
  • Some fundamental changes in Australia.
  • Key changes to Australian communities.
  • Why Bother?
  • Some suggestions and reminders.
unrelenting technological change
Unrelenting Technological Change

21st C convergence of Biotech, NanoTech, Cybertech and New Materials

unprecedented environmental pressures
Unprecedented Environmental Pressures

Climate Change, Sustainability, Industrialization, loss of bio diversity

Atmosphere, Oceans, Forests and Bio Diversity.

the great population explosion
The Great Population Explosion

1800 = 1 Billion

1900 = 1.6 Billion

2050 est 9.5 Billion

Ageing population & mass migration

massive increase of the worlds middle class
Massive Increase of the Worlds Middle Class
  • 300 million in India
  • 200 million in China
  • 200 million in Europe

Conspicuous consumption, clean environment, safe communities and democracy

major threat of water shortages
Major Threat of Water Shortages

Contaminated water causes 80% of world’s health problems. “Politics of Water” now centre stage.

Precipitation and Ground Water !! Salinity !!

tribalization after the world of empires
Tribalization after the World of Empires.

Fragmentation of empires and nation states esp post WWII

democratization of nation states
Democratization of Nation States.

12 Democracies in 1945

122 Democracies in 2006

Great pressure on autocrats

Barrel of the gun doesn’t seem to work

greater integration and interdependence
Greater Integration and Interdependence
  • 19th Century = Dependence
  • 20th Century = Independence
  • 21st century = Interdependence
ever increasing urbanization 1950 v 2015
Ever Increasing urbanization.1950 V 2015

In the developed world 75% of people live in urban areas.

1950 eight mega cities

2015 fifty nine mega cities

we have changed our environment more quickly than we know how to change ourselves walter lipman
“We have changed our environment more quickly than we know how to change ourselves.”Walter Lipman.
australia has experienced four ubiquitous revolutions in the last thirty years
Australia has experienced four ubiquitous revolutions in the last thirty years
  • An economic revolution.
  • A gender revolution
  • A technological revolution.
  • A social revolution.
After Twenty Years of Restructuring Australia is seriously modernized.BUT: we have re distributed work and wealtheg: Household Income
  • Av income of the top 20% = $180K
  • Av income of the bottom 20% =$12K
australians working full time are working long hours boundaries have blurred
Australians working full time are working long hours.Boundaries have blurred !!
the ict revolution has changed
The ICT Revolution has changed,
  • The way we work.
  • When and where we work.
  • The way we communicate
  • The way we inform and entertain ourselves.
australia s birth rate is now the lowest of all time hugh mackay advance australia where 2007
Australia’s birth rate is now the lowest of all timeHugh Mackay “Advance Australia Where? 2007
Households are shrinking fast.More than half of all Australian households contain only one or two people.
consumption consumerism has gone crazy we now exploit even the tweeney market children 6 13 years
Consumption/Consumerism has gone crazy.We now exploit even the “Tweeney Market”…..Children 6-13 years
television viewing has reached the pits
Television viewing has reached the pits !!
  • Escapism
  • So called Reality TV
  • Focus on crime, drugs, violence, corruption and deceit.
so who are we now
So who are we now?
  • Born before WWII: The Silent Generation (real seniors).
  • Born 1943-60:Baby Boomers are the “new seniors”
  • Born 1961- 80: The X Generation
  • Born 1981-2003: The Y Generation
  • The Thumb Geners and E Geners.
the baby boomers 1943 60
The Baby Boomers ( 1943-60)
  • The stress and the great expectation generation.
  • Created the two income household.
  • Became the most divorced generation.
  • Redefined the dynamics of family, delayed having children.
  • Lead the gender revolution
  • Voracious appetite for information.
generation x 1961 80
Generation X (1961-80)
  • Individualism and self sufficiency is valued
  • They are sceptical of institutions.
  • They work to live NOT live to work.
  • They live with change and embrace it.
  • Pragmatism before “Truth” and reason.
  • They are technology and media savvy.
  • Music is huge.
generation y 1981 2003
Generation Y (1981-2003)
  • Fierce Independence as active information seekers.
  • Constantly pushing technology to its limits.
  • Views the world as 24-7 and demands real time.
  • Understands the need to verify resources and authenticate people.
  • Online people for whom race and prejudice is not important.

Quote:Generation Y will be superbly informed…..will it have enough emotion and involvement to be concerned ? Will virtual reality breed actual indifference?Justice Michael Kirby 2002 (Chain Reaction Foundation)

when i look at the younger generation i despair for the future of civilization aristotle 300 bc

“ When I look at the younger generation, I despair for the future of civilization. Aristotle (300 BC)


“Our youth of today love luxury, they have bad manners, contempt for authority, disrespect for older people and tyrannize there teachers” Socrates (500 BC)

in summary we are a rather diverse and interesting bunch
In Summary: We are a rather diverse and interesting bunch,
  • well educated and information hungry.
  • technologically savvy and relate to the online world.
  • demanding, impatient and ambitious.
  • Increasingly comfortable with change.
  • Increasingly respectful of the value of knowledge.

Decline in Social Capital.

New definitions of Community.

The static and somewhat stable concept of the geographic community (the village) has disappeared for many.

Quote:“While some forms of locational community will continue to be important- Australian society will not return to dependence on local communities as the sole or even necessarily the primary form of community”Hughes, Black (Building Stronger Communities 2007)

reasons for fragmentation
Reasons for fragmentation.
  • Busyness, time pressure
  • Greater mobility
  • Two career families
  • TV and the electronic revolution
  • Privatization of entertainment.
in the old world
In the “old world”
  • People’s identity was based on their geographic location.
  • Several generations lived in proximity.
  • Work and leisure all happened locally.
  • Our residential communities
  • Our occupational communities
  • Recreational communities

…….often have very few overlaps

we are surrounded by evidence such as diminished
We are surrounded by evidence, such as diminished
  • Informal connections between people.
  • Participation of volunteers.
  • Levels of trust and reciprocity.
  • Levels of philanthropy.
The nature and definition of community has changed …..especially in the last 10 years because of the new technology

The word “community” still implies ….exchanges that link us together in an intimate fashion HOWEVER we now have communities with and without geographical boundaries.

we now have
We now have
  • Communities of Interest.
  • Communities of Practice.
  • Communities of Culture.
  • as well as Communities of Location
Borderless communities have the potential to be more connected and cohesive than many geographical communities
communities of interest
Communities of Interest
  • Membership can be widely scattered.
  • Not defined by socio economic status.
  • Membership often fluctuates.
  • May be short lived and single issue based
  • May or may not be open to the public.
a place or a space which involves harmony cooperation support and respect
A place or a space which involves harmony, cooperation,support and respect.
Quote:“I am sick and tired of living in an economy. I want to live in a society /community.”ABC Talkback caller Oct 2007
some concluding suggestions and reminders
Some concluding suggestions and reminders.

Theory V Practice

“The wisdom of the community always exceeds the knowledge of the experts” Harold Flaming


“……..Communities have never been built upon their deficiencies. Building a community has always depended upon mobilizing the capacities and assets of a people and a place…..”McKnight and Kretzmann

the vital mud map
The vital mud map

The vital MUD Map


Do you have your community’s most important (Mud Map) readily available.Broadband is the new essential utility, as vital as clean water and good roads.

revolutionize the role of libraries
Revolutionize the role of libraries
  • Turn them into Community Learning centres.
  • Turn them on as Wireless hot spots
  • Add the coffee shop where practical.
  • Reinvent PD programs for libraries.
how good relevant are your initiatives for life long learning the work of peter kearns is excellent
How good/relevant are your initiatives for life long learning?The work of Peter Kearns is excellent.
remember that

Remember that,

More than half the community is digitally challenged (IT illiterate)

Skills development opportunities are essential.

it is time we simplified and cl early understood sustainability as a community objective
It is time we simplified and clearly understood “Sustainability” as a community objective.
Do “Creative Industries” rate a mention in your community development strategy?Check out the recent report by the City of Perth
As we strategize, remember that “One size does not fit all” communities within and without borders vary greatly

“Community development is about the journey of discovery rather than the planned arrival… is more chaotic and unpredictable than we would like and does not fit neatly into conventional bureaucratic accountability guidelines.”