Outside the Square is a community engagement program that celebrates local people who think a little differently to create positive change in our community. The program raises awareness and activates community participation on key community challenges.

Active Spaces was the 2015 Outside the Square theme for three evenings of community discussion delivered for the Bendigo region.

 

300+ people participated at each event and many more joined the conversation – online, through media engagement, in cafes and around the kitchen table – over 8 months exploring our spaces to live, to play and do business.

Event 1 Homes for Change explored how our homes change as our lives change100% of people at the community discussion on housing said they were inspired to take action to make a change.

Respondents next steps to making a change included: “Join action group”; “Make contact with people I have met tonight. Get on social media.”;”Share my experience and help educate others.”

Event 2 Places for Change looked at ideas for activating public spaces and unused buildings

87.8% of people said attending this event gave them skills and acknowledge to activate public spaces and unused buildings.  ideas included: “Set up a social enterprise.” “Talk to Council about ideas for activating green space.” “I will discuss this with my friends and get input from them.”

Event 3 Creative Communities celebrated the benefits creativity brings to an active city and how that can be supported in 2016.

80.77% of Creative Community participants said they were inspired to continue to build the Creative Communities of Bendigo.  Actions people were inspired to under-take include; “Be more involved”; “Connect with people and do it now!”;” Do more networking and business planning”.

The most exciting outcome of the program was that at every event we had leadership show up – existing leaders wanting to expand their vision and new leaders wanting to get started. Many ideas and new connections were generated as a result.