Community organising: Balancing the big hairy goal with small smooth steps

“At the start of the Community Organising process we encourage blue sky thinking. Ask the miracle question: “If you had the power to change one thing?” And we wave our magic wands all over the place.

“We facilitate ambition and hope in hard times.

“We believe that big change can happen, but people need to be able to dream of it first.

“We believe in fighting towards something beautiful, not just away from something ugly.”

Post it, pebbles and slices of natural wood spread out on a floor with messages and ideas written on them from Feburary 2023's Collaboration Station.
Photo from February 2023’s Collaboration Station at Cafe Morso Coventry.

This is the beginning of Connecting For Good Cov community organiser Gemma Musgreaves’ latest piece on Medium. We’ve been using the open digital publishing platform since February, sharing our Coventry experiences with an international audience of over 100 million people.

Gemma’s most recent article, ‘We Walk The Line’, discusses gathering people around a shared vision, dreaming and hoping together… and sometimes getting stuck in the ideas phase. Not stuck for ideas but stuck on how to turn them into real action.

She continues: “I’m told this is a normal part of the grouping process. After forming comes norming, storming then performing. There is no way to skip the storming, a team member tells me, but sometimes it won’t last too long.”

But if the goal seems far away, how do we take our eyes off the telescope and bravely jump in – putting our passions out into the world?

People sit and stand in a cafe either listening to or presenting ideas to those in the room.
Collaboration Station, February 2023.

Gemma says: “What can you do now, without permission, to shine a light on the issue? Spread the word and move the conversations you have been having to the public realm?

“You never know who you might meet by putting yourself out there. Best case, you meet people who can get you closer to that big goal. Worst case, you learn that your team will get out there alongside you.”

Explore Gemma’s reflections on the process here and check out our other community organising articles on Medium here.

Head to to find out how Coventry’s anti-isolation movement is growing, sparked by Grapevine and local people.

Want to get involved?

Collaboration Station is Coventry’s monthly ideas night for a more connected city. Bring your own idea or come to support another.

Next one is tonight from 6:00pm to 7:30pm at Cafe Morso in the city centre. Click this link to register for a free ticket and check out more dates. Everyone is welcome.