An idea, project, or movement that grows organically within a community. You might also see this word used in the phrase “emergent leaders,” which refers to members of a community who wish to take on additional roles and/or responsibilities to ensure the success of the community. Emergent phenomena are often ideas and practices that have existed in communities for some time, but which the community manager can responsively help to support by carefully working to balance the needs and perspectives of members with the ability to mobilize and channel resources (e.g., from a parent organization).

Additional reading:

  • Social justice facilitator adrienne maree brown has brought the topic of emergence back to the fore in the community-building space with her book “Emergent Strategy.”
  • CSCCE describes ways to support emergent community leaders in our guidebook on community champions.

Citation: Center for Scientific Collaboration and Community Engagement. (2021) CSCCE Glossary: Inclusive Language in Community Building. Woodley, Pratt, Bakker, Bertipaglia, Dow, El Zein, Kuwana, Lower, Roca, and Santistevan doi: 10.5281/zenodo.5718783

Categories: Inclusive language
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