Resilient Participation: Saving the Human Project

Bell, Simon and Morse, Stephen (2012). Resilient Participation: Saving the Human Project. London: Earthscan.


We all work in groups and the notions of community and localism have rarely had higher currency among planners, politicians and leaders. This book is all about how groups work and how they can be studied and aided to work better. For the first time (as far as we are aware) it sets out the need to understand why groups arrive at the analyses they do. Up to the present the emphasis has been almost exclusively upon what groups have ‘delivered’ within participation. No one seems to have set out to explain how the nature of the deliverable could have been influenced by the make-up of groups and how they have worked together (the group dynamic).

Working from research undertaken across the European Union during 2009 – 2010, the authors set out the background to the use of participation in various forms. Participation is shown to be a great idea but one which rarely get the serious treatment it deserves. It affects us all. Great teams capture the imagination, strong community fosters social cohesion, good groups lead and others are quick to follow. By the step by step application of the Triple Task method the authors show how groups can be understood, their issues and problems identified and their functionality improved.

Triple Task can be applied rapidly and coherently by many kinds of practitioner and academic but the prize is more than understanding – good thought this is. By use of Triple Task the analyst can start to understand why teams fail and how they can be enhanced. This diagnostic and prescriptive element to Triple Task takes it beyond being a research tool to being an effective means to galvanise social action.

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