Photo from our Canvas 2.0 team workshop in NYC in February 2019

We have been working on the next version of the Community Canvas for the last couple of months and this post is a summary of the clarity we see on where we are headed. We’d LOVE to hear any feedback or reflections you have, you can leave a comment below or email us at team@community-canvas.org. This post was collectively put together by our project team: Daniel Brooks, Chris Chavez, Michel Bachman, Sascha Mombartz, Sita Magnusson and myself.

Project intention

Here is what we are sensing for version 2.0 of the Community Canvas:

  • We believe we live in a disconnected world where communities have a tremendous power to impact society in a positive way. “Whatever the problem, community is the answer.” (Margaret Wheatley)
  • The ultimate intention of the Canvas is to help people across the globe build healthy communities and weave the social fabric of society more closely together.
  • We want the Community Canvas to be a gift to community builders across the globe. We want this to be a generous project and make the Canvas as accessible as possible. While there are no commercial expectations attached to the Canvas, we want it to be a beautifully designed invitation for people to take action towards the bigger dream of a connected world.
  • We want the Canvas to be a tool that feels accessible and useful to people who have traditionally been marginalized and oppressed by society.  
  • We are hoping to turn the Canvas from a tool into a methodology that can guide community builders on an ongoing basis. As part of that we want to develop a training for community builders based on the Canvas methodology.
  • We want to become more specific about what kind of communities we are encouraging people to build. We still have a lot of work to do, but we are talking about healthy, resilient, thriving communities. By that we mean cultivating communities that are dedicated to building meaningful relationships, but also have clarity around their identity & roles, know how to resource themselves and deal with conflict etc. We know of too many community leaders who burn out because those topics haven’t been addressed. We want to change this.

Project goals

  • Publish a next iteration of the Canvas by Q4 2019
  • Revise the conceptual framework
  • Provide more examples, case studies and best practice
  • Launch a first iteration of a training for community builders, based on the Canvas
  • Launch an MVP for a technical tool that will help people use the Canvas (“wizard”)

Design Principles for Canvas 2.0

Drawing by Sita Magnusson

These are our work-in-progress design principles for developing the next version of the Canvas:

  • Inviting: approachable, friendly, simple
  • Humble: we don’t have the answers and know that we’re building on the work of many who have come before us
  • Relational: ultimately this is about building relationships and inviting deep dialogue
  • Dynamic: adapting to different contexts and needs
  • Generative: creating tangible value
  • Beautiful: aesthetic, nourishing the soul