Bridge Builder’s Handbook
A guide to building bridges across divides
Over the course of the Covid pandemic, our communities have achieved an extraordinary amount. We’ve met people we have never met before and we’ve gained an insight into how others live down the road. At the same time, we’ve spent an unprecedented amount of time apart and tempers have, understandably, frayed.
As we move forward, we must focus on healing divisions and building strong, connected communities. We’ve teamed up with Neil Denton and the After Disaster Network at Durham University to create a Handbook to inspire and guide those willing to embark on this journey.
We’ve built thousands of little bridges which connect us outside of our usual bubbles. These bridges are powerful things – they’re the infrastructure of new friendships and, in aggregate, the engineering of stronger, more resilient communities. The more bridges we can build, the more resilient our communities will be.
What’s in the Handbook?
The Handbook has been designed to help you to think like a Bridge Builder; to find ways to solve problems, strengthen relationships and build more connected communities.
It will help you:
- Recognise and celebrate the bridges you have already built
- Identify where your bridges are strong, where they could be stronger and where they are under strain, or yet to be made
- Explore practical ideas, ways of working and guiding principles on how to make positive connections across divides
Who can be a Bridge Builder?
Anyone can become a Bridge Builder in their community. We think the Handbook will be of particular interest to community groups, voluntary organisations, faith groups, Local Authorities, elected representatives, and others wishing to harness the positive potential of disagreement, cross divides, and build bridging social capital in their communities.
What are the academic underpinnings?
In producing the Handbook, we have drawn from what we consider to be the best elements of; Conflict Transformation (John-Paul Lederach), Nonviolent Communication (Marshall Rosenburg), Mediation/Peacebuilding (Johan Galtung) and the research that evidences the critical importance of Social Capital to disaster preparation, response and recovery (Daniel Aldrich).
We are looking for partners to pilot the Handbook. In participating, you will gain bespoke, expert support in applying the principles and steps of bridge building in your own community.
If you are interested in taking part, or to find out more please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org
In brief In this blog, Neil Denton lays out the importance of building bridges across lines of difference as we move into the next stages of the pandemic and shares an invitation to get involved in our Bridge Builders pilot. Neil is a leader in community mediation and...