Many of us are seeking change in our lives. Sometimes we seek personal change such as a change in our vocations or our lifestyle while at other times we seek changes in our communities. If we want to be able to successfully create change, we often find we need to build connections to others through collaboration. It does not matter what type of change we want to make if we work with others, we will be more successful than if we try to change things all on our own.
Collaboration To Build Awareness:
Awareness might have different names depending on what field we are in. When we are talking about building awareness around a business, we often refer to it as branding. When we are talking about building awareness around a social justice issue, we often refer to it as building an awareness campaign. With the wonders of technology, we can collaborate with others such as the US based Volt Creative in Nashville to create a brand using graphic and web design that will help us stand out. Teaming up with organizations in the US can also give us a different point of view about our messaging. If we are working internationally, it is important that we make sure our messaging is read and understood correctly in other countries and in other contexts.
Connecting To Solve Problems
Collaboration and connecting can help us find creative solutions to the problems we face as a community. For example, there is a growing local need for individuals who have the skills and knowledge needed to work in the field of renewable energy. Our communities need individuals who understand how to conceptualize, plan, initiate, operate, and manage sustainable energy projects. Seeing this need the University of Alberta now offers a Renewable Energy Technologies (RET) Certificate which is a one of a kind. This program is a way to connect students to the fast-growing renewable energy field. These types of collaboration between institutes of higher education and the public and private sector can really help solve the social issues that today are impacting us all.
Collaborating To Create Best Practices
Collaborating is also a useful way to create best practices within a field. Best practices can apply to one region or can apply across the board and across the globe. For example, best practices in telehealth are being developed as more and more people want to be able to connect to healthcare and healthcare professionals without having to leave their homes. Telehealth best practices can include healthcare portals which are secure and what type of healthcare should be provided virtually vs. in person. Other organizations are creating best practices around internet security and communication strategies. No matter what we want to change in our lives or our communities it is a good idea to see if there are best practices that we should be following.
Connection As Self-Care
Building connections with others is also a form of self-care. We can build personal relationships and networks. We build work-based networks that support particular communities such as small business owners who are women. We can also build community-based networks such as those which have been set up to make sure that individuals who are housebound are able to connect with others via phone, email, or letters. In addition, there are several community-based networks that are set up so that individuals experiencing health, mental health, or other challenges can connect with others who understand their struggles. These connections help us be more resilient and decrease the likelihood that we will be overwhelmed. We need to make sure we all have the community we need to know that we are never alone no matter what we might be facing.
Collaboration and connection can help us build awareness, solve problems, create best practices, and help us with self-care. We can collaborate with others to make sure that we have a strong brand, connect students to fast growing sectors of the economy, and make sure we are following best practices in our work. The old proverb goes “It takes a village to raise a child” and it turns out it often “takes a village” to accomplish many of the things we consider worthwhile in our lives.
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