During a CLT Fete event in November 2021 hosted by Community Land Trust Network, CASH invited participants to a workshop session about the impact of pandemic on outreach and how CLTs can explore new ways of engaging communities. The session focused on how CLTs can forge online spaces for curious exploration and co-operation. CASH members shared our research and invited over 20 participants to brainstorm how CLTs can expand reach, depth and effectively the membership.
The session was an immediate result of our inquiry into redeveloping our website and reconsidering our online presence more broadly. All community organisations relying on face-to-face meetings were impacted by the pandemic. While switching to videoconferencing no doubt opened routes for constructive discussions, our CLT struggled to foster bonds between people who had never previously met in person. The session gave space for members of other CLTs to share their experiences and collectively discuss what helped them stay resilient.
After the discussion we split into groups and jammed on a website board brainstorming the topics of resilience and outreach through various means. Some participants were focusing on the best ways of returning to face-to-face meetings, some discussed improvised outdoor meetups, others dreamt of creating online spaces beyond static resources, enabling curious exploration and co-operation. The session emboldened CASH to think about this website as a thinking tool and a means to open a new channel for doing outreach and expand our membership.