Community support

creating opportunities for real time social interaction

The most important part of social design is working together to develop real time community support networks. This is possibly the most testing aspect of social design because it involves working to bring people who are the most disempowered and disenfranchised back into society and doing whatever is necessary to restore some degree of dignity to these people's lives while doing whatever we can together to reduce levels of hardship.

For this reason we have created two types of participation - regular participation, and reverse participation. Reverse participants are people who have eben experiencing disempowerment through a social issue such as homelessness, unemployment, underemployment, and being isolated or excluded from society. Reverse participants have direct personal experience of poverty and other social issues and for this reason in many cases they get to share their experience as a necsssary part of socikal design.

The biggest priority here is working with people who are trapped in the Universal Credit system, particularly those who have been subjected to benefit sanctions by the Department of Work and Pensions and this needs to be the focus of negating the effects of austerity, which social design is pretty much all about.

We also need to consider developing better support networks for people with disabilities, the chronically sick and mentally ill who are also welcome to get in touch as reverse participants and involve themselves on projects. Reverse participation is all about sharing your experience and perspective on being disempowered so other people can learn and we can find ways together to craete solutions and preventative measures where we can. However much of what needs to be done is to do with learning to share better to listen more and pay more attention to people who have nothing.

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