b) From an Individual to a Collective dream
It is also possible that, before the community gathering, someone might already have an individual dream for the community. In this video, Paulo César, coordinator of the Tempo de Plantar movement, explains how he shared his individual dream to launch the Planting Day Event project in 2019.
Paulo Cesar: Hello, how are you? My name is Paulo César Araújo, I live in Brasília, and I wanted to share with you here a story of planting trees, right? I had been dreaming of planting trees for a long time, and that dream came to me… several nights, like that. And one day I wanted to put this dream into practice, of planting trees, and I mobilized a group of friends for us to mobilize people to live an experience of planting trees. And since then, we have been involved in this movement of, every year, during the rainy season, mobilizing people to live an experience of planting trees. And this movement has been very gratifying for me and also for people. Which is a possibility for people who live in cities to reconnect with nature, right? With Mother Earth, with Pachamama, as we speak here in the countries of South America, right? And I… that’s it. I wanted to share this story with you.
In these cases, the assessment of needs and resources is still important. It can be a relevant tool to transform the individual dream into a collective one. That way, by identifying its specific needs and resources, the community can adapt to the individual dream and transform it into a shared objective for the community.
For instance, the Estrutural Committee of the Tempo de Plantar movement conducted a resources and needs assessment to adapt the Planting Day project to the context of the city in which they are located, Estrutural. Since the city is full of tight streets and small housing areas, there were no suitable spaces for trees near residences. So they came up with two different ways to adapt the dream: they planted trees in public spaces around the landfill, and also developed the idea of building vertical gardens throughout the city.
Paulo César: So, to make this dream come true, I work with a method called “Dragon Dreaming”, which is collaborative project design, which is based on the idea that if you want to make a dream come true, you need to share this dream, leave it your dream to die so that it can be reborn, so that it is not just your dream, but a dream of the collective, that of the community. And then I did it. We called a dream circle at Escola da Natureza, here in Brasília, and a group of people came and we made a dream circle, whose idea was for us to build tree planting committees, that is, each city would have its tree planting committee. And then we started to promote several meetings, every last Sunday of each month here in Brasília, in Parque da Cidade, and in these meetings we would share ideas, share dreams, and this would involve other people. And that started to infect a lot of people.
In your e-portfolio
a) Think about the projects that your community mobilization is engaged in. Did they come initially from an individual idea? If yes, do you feel this idea is a collective dream?
b) How and why this idea became relevant to your community?
c) If the idea was initially born as a shared dream (coming from merging collectively ideas and dreams), which characteristics of your community influence the project to be unique?
d) Thinking about the Estrutural Committee case, you could see that the group needed to adapt the dream of planting trees to their reality of tight streets. In your community mobilization, how did the local resources available influence the decisions on the collective dream and on the scope of the project?