By LINDA HULL
Rotary Club of Los Alamos
“We need community building more than ever before,” began Lori Gosselin, CEO of Kalliergo Consulting, when she spoke June 22 from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada via Zoom to the Rotary Club of Los Alamos.
Gosselin, who firmly believes in the “power of community to change lives and organizations and the world itself”, spent more than three years researching and writing Sounding the Drum: Community Building in the Digital Age, a book that explores community building and its differences from team building. Her book expands upon the ideas presented by author M. Scott Peck in The Different Drum: Community Making and Peace. Kalliergo is the Greek word for grow, a concept Gosselin enthusiastically applies to community building.
Comparing community building to a circle and team building to a triangle, Gosselin explained that both are valuable, but achieve success differently. With its members drawn as if around a campfire, community building embraces shared leadership, recognizing each member’s experiences and talents; there are no power struggles, but collaboration and support.
“Community building is about culture,” she said.
Team building begins with leadership at the top, the point of the triangle, and spreads downward to emphasize strategy. It is not effective unless the culture of the community is understood. Both embrace camaraderie among its members.
Community building confronts the “epidemic of loneliness” that was noteworthy even before the isolation of the pandemic, and works to be inclusive. Gosselin stressed that community building has always been essential. It was critical for survival in prehistoric times; a means of support for pioneers; and in today’s world, a form of protection that offers each member of the community acceptance and importance.
“Community represents the furthest evolution of group dynamics,” she said. “Every community is also a team, but very few teams are communities. True community is rare. Let’s change that.”
Gosselin is a community facilitator, author and teacher. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia and a Master’s of Organizational Management from Crandall University in Brunswick.
The Rotary Club of Los Alamos, through its 1312 Club Foundation, is a 501(c)3 non-profit and one of more than 34,000 clubs worldwide. Rotary, which now has 1.5 million members, was founded in 1905; the local Club was chartered in 1966. Rotary areas of focus include promoting peace; fighting disease, particularly polio; providing clean water, sanitation, and hygiene; supporting education; saving and enhancing the lives of mothers and children; growing economies; and protecting the environment.
Beginning July 6, the Rotary Club of Los Alamos will resume meeting in person, 12-1 p.m. Tuesdays in the Community Room at Cottonwood on the Greens at the golf course. Guests are always welcome. A Zoom option is available by contacting Linda Hull at 505.662.7950.
To learn more about the Rotary Club of Los Alamos and its humanitarian service, contact Linda Hull at 505.662.7950.