What is Community Building?

“Right from the start, CB was the method of choice for creating and strengthening our foundations. Especially not reacting to each other right away, for me one of Peck’s key recommendations, created a culture of acceptance and respect, and a basis for trust and good will”

(Andreas, co-founder of Cambium, Leben in Gemeinschaft, Fehring, Styria)

As the community in the above quote, there are many intentional communities who use Community Building (CB) as a way to build the relational foundations for their organisations, projects, co-housing homes, and communities of every kind.

CB workshops are also offered as open workshops for anyone to attend and learn the principles of true community. [see also our events page https://commbuildaustria.com/events/ for any upcoming workshops in Austria]

A ‘true community’ is any group who, regardless of the diversity of their backgrounds, have been able to accept transcend and even celebrate their differences. They are able to communicate openly and effectively; and to work together toward common goals, while having a sense of unusual safety with one another. True community is characterised by an extraordinary respect of the members for one another.

Community Building is a group process that teaches deep,  authentic communication. It is based on the principles identified by Dr. M. Scott Peck in his books, The Road Less Travelled and The Different Drum. Dr. Peck and a group of eleven colleagues further developed this process through the work of the Foundation for Community Encouragement.

Experiential in nature, Community Building is an adventure in human interaction based on a set of guidelines and principles rather than an agenda or particular procedure. Participants are gently guided by specially trained facilitators who take the group through a process that shows how to look beyond the cultural, political and religious differences that prevent us from embracing our common humanity. 

At a Community Building event the group’s goal is to become a true community. The process of reaching community is an adventure. It is normal to feel uncertain at the outset, but we learn through adventure. Therefore, the CB technique uses an experiential learning process, believing that this is deeper and more profound than theoretical learning.

“There is a yearning in the heart for peace. Because of the wounds and rejections we have received in past relationships, we are frightened by the risk of disarming ourselves. In our fear, we discount the dream of authentic community as merely visionary. But there are rules by which people can come back together, and by which the old wounds can be healed. It is the mission of FCE to teach these rules-to make hope real again – to make the vision actually manifest in a world which has almost forgotten the glory of what it means to be human.” 

(Founding Dream of Foundation for Community Encouragement)

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