Returning in 2023: Crowdsourced Conversations – A Forum Series Curated by the People for the People.
Once again, FutureHeights and Friends are bringing you a conversation-based forum series that brings Heights residents together to talk about topics that matter to us all.
Crowdsourced Conversations begins with a community-wide survey on a specified topic. The data collected is turned into a report and also used to help create small group discussion questions for a forum where residents can gather to determine action steps (small, medium, or large) that they can take to feel meaningfully engaged in this topic they care about. After the event is over, FutureHeights generates a resource page and event attendees are given the opportunity to stay connected to their groups and continue the conversation.
DETAILS ON HOW THIS SERIES FLOWS
Pre-event: Each forum will have a pre-survey that will be widely circulated through the Heights for approximately one month. After the survey closes, we will generate a report and we will also use the survey responses to formulate action-oriented discussion topics for forum night. Survey reports will be posted on our website in addition to being shared with community partners and event attendees.
Event day: During each forum, participants will enjoy the company of small breakout groups where, with the assistance of facilitators and notetakers, they will engage in dialogue around the evening’s topic. Discussion questions will be geared towards ways that participants can find something actionable they can do in regards to this topic they care so much about. After the small group discussion, we will reconvene as a group-at-large to share what ideas were generated.
Post-event: We recognize how huge the Crowdsourced Conversations topics are and would never presume we’d cover everything in one evening. So, with that in mind, we send each group their notes and any other handouts/resources that were presented during the forum — and we also invite the groups to stay in touch as well! We encourage participants to stay connected post-forum and hope they will return to their group for the next in the conversation series to keep the conversation flowing, build community connections, and continue to brainstorm actionable ideas. Additionally, each forum topic will have a resource page on our website that includes group-generated ideas, survey results, small group questions, and more! These resource pages will be co-created by all of our community partners, event participants, and others with expertise on the topic.
Program goal: We began this series in 2022 in response to feedback that so many community events are “all talk and no action or no follow through.” With Crowdsourced Conversations, we amplify participant voices and connect residents with one another to have action-oriented discussions. Sometimes a participant’s follow-up actions may be seemingly small (for instance, at one of our 2022 forums, a resident learned about and then downloaded the Access Cleveland Heights app — a game-changer for that individual!) or seemingly large (one volunteer-based group used both the survey findings and what came up in in the small group discussions as a means to create their programming for the rest of the year). While it’s true that some of the issues we want to see action on might be the responsibility of a larger entity, our hope is that participants can find something actionable that they feel empowered to do.
We believe “everyday residents” hold immense potential to generate change in their community!
2023 SERIES TOPICS & DATES:
#1: Our Public Schools. Visit the resource page here.
- the topic survey ran from March 1-March 31
- the forum will take place April 26, 2023 from 7pm-8:30pm in the cafeteria at Heights High School.
- the topic survey will run May 1-May 31 (fill it out here)
- the forum will take place June 29, 2023 from 7pm-8:30pm at Forest Hill Park’s Picnic Pavilions 2A &2B (details here)
#3: Rental Properties & Absentee/Negligent Landlords
- the topic survey will run July 1-July 31
- the forum will take place at the end of August (details TBD)
#4: Planning and Development for the Heights
- the topic survey will run September 1-September 30
- the forum will take place at the end of October (details TBD)
2022 SERIES TOPICS & DATES:
#1: Sustainability. Visit the event resource page here.
#2: Housing & Neighborhood Preservation. Visit the event resource page here.
#3: Community Safety. Visit the event resource page here.
#4: Civic Engagement. Visit the event resource page here.
This forum series will be an opportunity to connect with other Heights residents about topics that impact us in a variety of overlapping ways. We hope you can join us for all four conversations! Any questions, connect with Sarah – firstname.lastname@example.org.
This forum series is being planned in partnership with FutureHeights Community & Civic Engagement Committee, Reaching Heights, CH-UH Libraries, Home Repair Resource Center, City of Cleveland Heights Racial Justice Task Force, Racial Inequity Repair Committee of Forest Hill Church, Cleveland Heights Green Team, representatives of Cleveland Heights City Council, and more. Thank you for the joy, wisdom, and enthusiasm you bring to the table!
Older inner-ring suburbs have their unique strengths and challenges. FutureHeights regularly presents thought-provoking and valuable presentations from local and national experts to spur community education and action. Here are some past topics we’ve covered.
- Choosing to Make the Heights Home (video)
- Community Building for Change (video)
- Creating Great Places in the Heights (presentation)
- Vacant and Abandoned Properties in Cleveland Heights and University Heights (presentation)
- The Power of Generative Journalism (video)
- Reversing Disinvestment in Our Community (article)
- Community Land Use and Development Forum (video)
- Community Currency (article)
- Making Sense of Place: Cleveland-Confronting Decline in America (article)
FutureHeights promotes citizen participation in neighborhood and community planning.
Beginning in 2000, with the Town Meeting to discuss Giant Eagle’s development plans in the historic Cedar-Fairmount neighborhood, FutureHeights has worked to promote historic preservation, good neighborhood planning, sustainability, and citizen involvement in working to keep the physical fabric of our community strong.