Now you’re ready to finalize your goals and approach for redevelopment — and actually create your Action Model. You’ll do that with your Development Community during a workshop. This section will help you get ready.
The first workshop is just a larger, more formal meeting with your Development Community. The workshop usually takes 2 to 4 hours. Usually, you’ll have a second workshop later to finalize your goals.
During your first workshop, you’ll agree on a plan and may create your Action Model during the meeting. Then, you’ll have a completed Action Model for redevelopment that you can keep refining.
An effective workshop needs preparation. You’ll need to find a good space to hold your meeting and the right supplies so things run smoothly.
Download the Facilitator’s Guide [PDF - 70 KB] to help you get ready.
Tip: Organize a potluck for your workshop — or see if someone in the Development Community can pay for pizza. Eating together builds a sense of community.
We’ve included a sample presentation [PPTX - 764 KB] (in Microsoft PowerPoint format) to show at your workshop. It uses material from this toolkit and will help your Development Community understand the Action Model and get excited about what you can accomplish with it.
To get the group on the same page at the start of your meeting, ask some key questions.
One way to do this is to ask participants:
Don’t take on a project that’s too big. Start with something small and doable. If it succeeds, it will naturally lead to bigger changes. For example:
Little improvements can grow to have a big impact. “I was working on an Action Model project to plant community gardens, and talked to a man who said he was thinking about buying an old, rundown house across the street. He mentioned that he loved sunflowers, and I promised that we’d plant sunflowers if he bought it. Well, he bought it and fixed it up. And we planted the flowers for him.” — Participant in the Utica Action Model Project
Remember, the steps of the Action Model are all questions that your Development Community will answer. At your workshop, go through each question and come up with answers:
Get your answers down on paper (using a spreadsheet can keep things organized). When everyone’s had a chance to speak, vote on your approach to finalize your answers. Once you’re done, your answers are a draft of your Action Model.
Here’s a blank Action Model form [DOCX - 29 KB] that you can use to make your own in Microsoft Word format. You can also look at this community health monitoring report from the Baraboo, Wisconsin project [PDF - 7.4 MB]. You’ll find an example of a completed Action Model starting on page 13.
Another challenge is that the members of your Development Community may come in with very different goals.
To prevent misunderstandings — both now and later — it’s important to use your workshop to find goals you agree on. You can always vote on the issues you want to address now and the ones you will save for later.
Once you have a draft of your Action Model, you’re ready to move forward. In the next section, you’ll learn how to finalize your Action Model and plan for the project’s future.