It all started with a map – a map of the movement: defining who was doing what and where. Then we added the ability for you to create maps and reports centered to your geographic location. Next we built hubs so people working on community change had a place to connect.
For the last seven years, Community Commons has learned what is needed to create positive change in communities, and has evolved alongside our users, discovering that there is so much more that we can do. That’s why the future of Community Commons means less emphasis on what we can provide, and more time spent lifting up the best of what’s already going on across the nation and helping you connect with it. We want to be the place you come to discover maps, tools, efforts, and ideas to power community change.
So yes: We’re shifting gears. But here’s why you should be excited.
Think of Community Commons as your favorite store. The one you visit time and time again. I know, I know – on the surface we’re nothing alike. But stick with me for just a moment on this metaphorical journey. I’m sure you know the scenario well: “I’m going in for toothpaste. Nothing else. Just toothpaste.” But somehow, you’re lured into the delightfully cheery and oh-so useful “dollar spot” right when you walk in the door. And you see the newly furnished clearance racks, marking down those fast fashion pieces. And the adorable line of hopeful, gender inclusive kid’s clothes catches your eye. And then the quirky home furnishings make it into your cart. And, and, and, …. But that’s the beauty of stores like this. They know what you want and need – and have it conveniently located all in one place, perfectly organized and presented. Just. For. You.
You could say that the future of Community Commons looks a lot like your favorite store. You’ll be able to come to the Commons like you always would – seeking out the newest data, tools, and stories. But instead of leaving with “just toothpaste,” you’ll discover new and exciting tools, resources, perspectives, and stories about the issues you care about most.
Imagine this: you come to Community Commons to learn more about food access in your community, and in doing so, you find key data about food deserts, food swamps, and community food security. Normally this is where you might check “food access” off your list and move on to something else. But in the new Commons, instead of closing that tab in your browser, you stumble upon unique maps, data visualizations, and inspiring stories of others sewing seeds for community transformation. Now, in addition to key data and maps, you walk away with several resources about starting a farmer’s market or community garden, and uncover all the organizations and initiatives working in your community to make food accessible.
We know that finding reputable, relevant, and inspiring tools and resources can be overwhelming. That’s why we’re here. It’s our job to to curate the things you need to start, or continue, your journey toward community change – conveniently located, all in one place, perfectly organized and presented. Just. For. You.
And like your favorite store, we guarantee that you’ll leave Community Commons with more than you came looking for.
We’re building this plane as we’re flying it (yes, another metaphor!). So stick with us. In the meantime, we need your to help to shape the future of the Commons by taking a short (less than 10 minutes!) survey There is so much more to come because, as always, it’s all of us together for the common good.
P.S. Stay tuned for this blog and email updates for what changes are coming and what it means for you!