Community Conversations, Let’s Talk and the Most Important Meal of the Day…the three products in the Community Conversation Program. The full-blown Community Conversation workshop engages anywhere from a few score to a few hundred stakeholders. It’s an hours-long exercise with hands-on work required of the participants. Let’s Talk is a scaled-down workshop, taking barely more than an hour – it’s really the first ‘brainstorming’ segment of a full-blown Conversation. The Citizen Planner Breakfast is an informational presentation with an open discussion portion. The Breakfast begins with breakfast of course, at 7:15, with a presentation running typically 7:40 – 8:20 followed by discussion ’til 8:40 and a quick wrap-up ending at 8:45. If you have a need or an idea for one of these unique valuable sessions, please get in touch via info@cc2020.org. Reports on all the sessions are available RIGHT HERE or through the ‘Reports’ button at the top of this page.

Octorara Area School District Superintendent Tom Newcome addresses participants at a Community Conversation

Community Conversations service totals to date: 3,031 citizens empowered;
29 diverse communities strengthened

If it can be defined as a Community, it can have a Community Conversation. CC2020 Conversations have been held for participants from single and multiple municipalities; for stakeholders around particular issues; for supporters of identified services, like school districts and libraries. If you think your community might benefit from a Conversation, start a conversation with CC2020, and see where it leads…

Where residential development meets agricultural land in New Garden Township – a discussion point for New Garden’s Community Conversation

Community Conversations

Community Conversations are work sessions that identify, prioritize, and address issues as identified by stakeholders. The goal is to find practical, acceptable solutions. In an evening of productive dialogue, diverse work groups produce meaningful results that serve communities and constituencies as road maps for progress.

Chester County 2020’s role in the conversation: to convene; to foster respectful and productive exchange; to organize the data collected at the initial work session into a clear, usable form; to facilitate follow-up to produce measurable outcomes.

Our region’s future supply of clean, fresh water emerges again and again as a top issue at Community Conversations

The Process

The Conversation typically begins with a representative of the host community setting the context for the work session. Next, participants name the issues they consider important to the community’s future. The issues are projected on a screen for all to see as they are developed. The issues are then prioritized by the participants.

Participants form work groups around the top-ranked issues. The work groups are asked to describe attributes of their community as they work: what a preferred future might look like; what obstacles they anticipate; what means they might use to attain the preferred future; what the next step should be. Work groups are asked to record their notes on simple forms, being as specific as possible.

Municipal officials from the Southern Chester County Chamber of Commerce service region at a Conversation hosted at Dansko, Inc.

All the work groups’ findings are gathered and collated by CC2020 staff. An executive summary report is created by CC2020 and made available in hard copy and digital formats. After the Conversation, CC2020 works with the host community to facilitate follow-up and ensure meaningful outcomes.

 

Focus on Outcomes:

The Conversation work session is only the first step in the process. When Chester County 2020 undertakes a Conversation for a community, a partnership is formed to follow up and maintain the momentum generated at the initial session.

We maintain a digital library of the summary reports from the Community Conversations. Review the roster below – you can request digital copies of any report via info@cc2020.org

Community Conversations Timeline

2015 – New Program Element: the Citizen Planner Breakfasts. Five of these scaled-down Conversations were hosted in 2015, addressing Regional Transit; Rail Service From Wawa; the Great Valley Corporate Center; (2) Breakfasts around Regional Comprehensive Planning

2014 – School Safety – Do Our Schools Need Armed Officers on Campus?

2013 – A Conversation for Ag Educators: Seeking Public Support for your Programs

2012 – Facing the Crisis in Agriculture Education – at the Octorara Area School District

2011 – Emerging Needs, for Habitat for Humanity of Chester County and the United Way of Southern Chester County; How We Can Improve the Ways We Provide Sound Nutrition to Those in Need in Chester County, for the Chester County Food Bank

2010 – Let’s Talk, 2020’s new Conversation product, released at East Goshen Township;Let’s Talk at New Bolton – Keep Farming First for 2011

2009 – Unionville-Chadds Fords School District; “When Farmers Get Together” the first farm-centered conversation; New Garden Township; West Vincent Township; SCCCC Service Region; Octorara Area School District

2008 – South Coatesville & Modena; Route One Corridor Conversation; Borough of Kennett Square; Clean, Fresh Water county-wide conversation

2007 – East Fallowfield; Under One Roof2 – Affordable Housing; Revisiting Kennett;West Bradford; Pennsbury

2006 – Talk Community With Dick Vermeil; Urban Issues – for Boroughs

2005 – Western Chester County Regional Community Conversations (continuing monthly); Getting There – Searching For Transportation Solutions.

2004- Affordable Housing Group conversations, continuing monthly

2003 – Under One Roof Housing Summit.

2002 – Chester County Countryside Exchanges, with Glynwood Center.