How can we effect change in our community?


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Why this theme?

In any community (offline and online) there exists a number of prevailing views and emotions. These can give rise to prejudice and hate towards specific protected characteristics. To successfully change this culture, it is imperative for the emotions of the community to be effectively identified and understood. Emotions do not exist in isolation and therefore a mixture of emotions will be present (at different levels of intensity and at different times). Gauging the emotional state of a group (and its individual members) allows the right engagement strategy to be employed.

One of the key ways to bring different or opposing groups together is through the identification of similarities (characteristics, values or working towards a common goal). Finding common ground may not reconcile the differences between groups, but it is the start of building bridges between groups and opening up opportunities for communication that may have previously been closed.

Intended Outcomes

  • Identify and understand strategies that can bring people together.
  • Recognise the different mixture of emotions present in online communities.

Prompt Questions

These questions are provided as examples to initiate and guide discussions around the topics in this theme.

  • How do different groups “feel” online?
    • What mixture of emotions may exist in these groups? Why?
    • How do these affect the behaviour of the group/its members?
  • What are filter bubbles and echo chambers?
    • How do they influence people’s views and behaviours?
  • Across two very different groups, what characteristics might they share?
    • What similarities could you find between them?
  • How can you motivate two opposing groups to work together?