In a process that shares power, community members get to shape the goals, come up with solutions, and help choose which should be implemented first. All participants get to roll up their sleeves and add ideas to the plans, as well as make decisions on what will happen.
To prioritize relationships means that we take care of one another and take time to actually get to know each other as people. It means that we do not treat people just as a source of survey data or as a means to an end. We value building relationships and trust with community members on the front lines of our coastal challenge.
This process will include all points of view, which means that we value the many kinds of diversity in our communities—and that we need everyone’s ideas to come up with the smartest solutions. To include all points of view, we have to bring all community members to the table—and we have to make sure that everyone feels respected and comfortable to share their particular point of view.
To use all kinds of knowledge means that we give equal respect to different kinds of knowledge, whether the knowledge comes from technical training or formal education, or whether it comes from life experiences, emotional responses or instinct. When we use all kinds of knowledge, we open up so many more possibilities for brilliant ideas.
We want to test solutions early & often, which means that we share and talk through ideas for solutions before we develop them in detail. We want the community to come up with ideas, choose what is most important, and help figure out how they will work. Because we are not leaping to any final solutions, we will have plenty of time to go back or change plans along the way.