A Community Empathy Lab- Social Community Building
A place for people to solve community problems, and specific community members in need. Specific to rural communities.
Community members come together to learn how to solve problems in a community.
Photo by Nikhita S on Unsplash
Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)
We seek to bridge peace and prosperity through our Community Empathy Lab. We hope to help others learn to develop the habit of solving community needs by providing a physical space for people to come together to collect, then create projects to solve those problems. Some of these projects will be connected to businesses where labor opportunities can be provided to community members who are unemployed.
How the Lab Works:
1. A person sees a problem- Witness
A person hears of a problem- first hand
A person is currently going through a struggle
A person is unemployed and facing hardships
A person is underemployed and facing hardship
A person is looking to give more to community
2. These people come to Lab and report the need to a coach, the end result is to create a challenge for others to solve, or to draft an action plan. Figure out if needs funding. If it is a simple project a project plan will be created. If there is a larger need community partner will be established.
3. People can come to the lab to work on or join a project. This is where people volunteer time to solve community problems. They are peace ambassadors. People may also come to the lab for day labor jobs where they can earn wages by working on small business projects. Finally, people will come to the lab for training on social entrepreneurship, and other project-based skills.
4. MAKE IDEAS HAPPEN
Finally, people will act on the needs they came to solve. We will regularly be out in the community solving a variety of problems, helping individuals and families in need. This will all be through volunteers and partnerships.
Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)
Our beneficiaries would be high school youth to adult. We hope to establish a presence in local high schools to teach about the lab. Through labor department partnerships we can help job seekers find temporary day labor as well. So by this, we benefit families in the community.
Through our program, someone may become a recipient of service. This means that as a whole we are seeking to benefit the individual members of our community. It is our hopes to start in one rural community to build out the idea further then move it into other communities.
Community projects that stem from someone noticing.
How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)
This idea is unique in that we are seeking to help empower individuals in the community. Empowering them to notice needs then to solve for them using the design thinking process.
There are many organization seeking to do this for business we are seeking to do it for a community. The idea came when I heard of a community prayer room. Where people would post needs of others to pray for. I loved the idea, but I thought wouldn't it be great if we could come together to labor for another.
Lately being involved with a library makerspace I have found a love for the design thinking process and feel that communities that have people who think this way could create impact. So We are going to be different in the way we equip members of the community to utilize the design thinking process.
Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)
Initial Design: I am exploring the idea, gathering the inspiration and information I need to test it with real users.
Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)
This is a Service organization idea that I am working on.
Organization Filing Status
No, but we plan to register in the future.
In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.
I heard a story about 5-6 years ago of a church opening up a community prayer room. It was central to the community and people would come write-down names of people who were seeking prayers. People would come write down names, and contribute prayer on behalf of others. My idea plays off of this concept. It is similar in that people recognize a community need they come and write it down on the whiteboard, and then receive coaching on how to solve the problem.
Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).
Peace is often the result of how we give and serve others. We believe in seeing people and responding to their needs. Prosperity is something that is important to all people, we view prosperity as being able to thrive in one's community or place. The local context related to prosperity is the fact that we are a rural town in Idaho. We are 2 hours away from any major city and a majority of the income that comes into Salmon Idaho is tourism. So seasonal jobs exist then disappear in the winter. It is this area of prosperity that we are concerned about. How might we create jobs that sustain seasonal workers, or encourage them to stay in our community?
Our Empathy Lab seeks to help establish individuals are community agents, volunteering on projects that bring people peace.
Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)
We are seeking to establish partnerships with local churches, other nonprofits, and the labor department to help build a volunteer base that will utilize the space we provide. They will also be a group that can provide volunteer service in the community when needs arise.
Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)
Salmon has very rugged, and self-reliant people.
Our community knows how to step in and care for others.
Our community has many natural builders and tinkers.
We work hard for the community already.
Many different faith organizations.
Longtime ranching, farming families, with strong work ethic.
Word of mouth is fast.
We target rural self-reliant communities currently in Salmon, Idaho.
How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)
We would establish this nonprofit in the community and operate there full time. A future hope would be to expand to a rural community in Mexico to test its impact.
Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)