Since the research, we've run a number of connected projects including council workshops and public courses. Here are two examples:
a workshop for Banyule Council’s Older Adults Strategic Plan, with a half-day session to allow community members to provide input into how the council might work to better improve community connection.
We started by exploring people’s personal experiences of friendship over time through two mapping and conversation exercises. We then used those personal stories to connect to the broader context and themes that we’ve uncovered in our research.
Finally we discussed specific ideas for Banyule. To structure the conversation, we shared twenty-two “idea starters” to help participants add in, change, re-mix, and combine ideas for what the council might do in the future.
We ran a three-part workshop series for people who wanted to intentionally invest in their personal friendships and community.
We shared insights from our research (containers, connecting through, bids) and participants supported each other to plan small actions to deepen existing friendships or build new ones.
Participants did things like connect with neighbours in their new apartment block, join a choir, or re-establishing regular contact with overseas friends.
Beyond the content, many participants found the validation and support of the group valuable to help them get over the emotional energy needed to reach out and make a bid.