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//Explore a Career as a Community Builder in Sustainable Cities | Andrea Dos Anjos

Overview Info

During this Xpert Talk she highlights the importance of community building in order to make a city more sustainable.
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Explore a Career as a Community Builder in Sustainable Cities | Andrea Dos Anjos

Xpert:  Andrea Dos Anjos
Company: We The Root
Role: Community Builder & Co-founder
Location: Madrid, Spain

Andrea is a passionate Community Builder and Co-founder at We The Root – a consultancy firm in marketing and community building. During this Xpert Webinar she highlights the importance of community building in order to make a city more sustainable. Andrea also gives us her best career advice on how to learn how to share leadership, become more resiliant and increase your tolerance of frustration. Advice that we all should take onboard but especially if you are exploring a career on the social impact side of urban development and sustainable cities.

I hope you enjoy this chat just as much as I did. Watch the full interview below or read the transcribed highlights.

X: What is community building and how does it all connect to sustainable cities?

Yeah. I think community building is something that an empowering leader achieves. It’s when people (participants) work so that they constantly feel heard and involved. The leader inspires others to work together; because we understand that together, we can go further. Actually there are many people that are community builders; that organize and lead their own communities, but they didn’t realize it. And I think this is a good thing to reflect on about this topic.

I think it’s very linked to sustainable cities. First, I believe that working with a community building approach contributes to achieving more sustainable cities. Because I see the city as a community where citizens are the centre. Citizens are humans and they are social beings, and it’s part of our basic needs to feel that we belong to a group or a community. And in this case, the city and of course, living in a community make us more resilient to adversity and even helps us to innovate, achieve our personal objectives, but not only the personal objective, also the general personal interest.

For example, we see how companies, organisations or public administrations invest a lot of time and a lot of resources in developing technological products in projects that transport the city towards becoming a more sustainable one. But they only focus on the product or on what they consider as a solution. And at the moment of implementing their solution, It doesn’t work. Because their community was never asked about their needs. For this reason, I think it’s really important to have this approach of community building to achieve sustainable cities. And of course, it’s important to listen deeply and always be validating people.

For us to build a strong community, I think there are multiple ways, but I think there are some key features:

Identify the purpose of the community and care for it.

Promote a feeling of belonging through inclusive authentic and vulnerable spaces.

Listen actively, again, again and again to the needs of the people in the community even before wanting to give your point of view. I think this is very important. Before you talk you need to listen and to ensure the diversity of the members, because it will enrich the relationships between the community.

Understand and promote the concept of interdependence. If we work together, we can go further and multiply the impact. I think this is very important in CB (Community Building). You need the collaboration between all the stakeholders in a city; City Hall or public administration, companies, NGOs etc. All the players!

X: What advice would you give to anyone looking to explore this industry?

Actively learn to listen and identify the needs of your environment. Learn how to listen more and talk less.

Practice empathy everyday when communicating and learn to share leadership. I think this is very important. And for this part, in particular, I think it’s very important to practice resilience and tolerance of frustration. Because when you share leadership, there are many things that don’t depend on ourselves. And we need to practice resistance and tolerance to frustration. And of course, learn about skills; focus specifically in connecting and creating engagement with the community. And finally, enjoy the process and the process to explore. I think this is really important.

Nexgen Careers Host Cecilia

I'm Nexgen Careers Head of Content.

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