Founding Principles and Framework

Founding Principles and Framework

Start with the Glass IS Half Full

TVSC, a nonprofit 501c3, was formed in 2007 (under the name Re-New London Council, Inc.) as a means of providing a cultural and social learning experience around participatory democracy. From the start the notion of “sustainability” and building community from the inside/out has played a tactical and philosophical role in TVSC’s organizing principles. As such a significant portion of our work is about learning, learning circles, and civic conversations. This includes a range of topics that touch on our building blocks but also very importantly on how we approach our community.

TVSC is a results-oriented organization, working with our communities and the leadership that comes from those communities to bring about neighborhood and community change through community prioritization and organizing. It is organizing, establishing and institutionalizing communities for long term livable environments that is key to healthy community rehibilitation, always working from the perspective of the “glass is half full”; or stated another way, building on our assets: physical, natural, social, and institutional.

Our guide to how we view the community, it’s environment and those who live and work here is from the perspective of building on our assets rather than starting with our needs or liabilities. In effect, building strength from the inside/out. These principles have been documented for all to use by the Asset-based Community Development Institute associated with Northwestern University. The proponents of this approach, and founders of the ABCD Institute, John McKnight and Jody Kretzmann, deserve much of the research credit for how TVSC works with the communities of Greater New London.

We strongly recommend a look at the ABCD Institute’s website for the wealth and breadth of work available to all communities.

During nearly a two year monthly breakfast roundtable with stakeholders throughout the Southeast Connecticut Region, what emerged was a clarification of our goals and contributions as an organzation. Subsequently Re-New London Council, Inc., while maintaining its forming principles, changed its name to reflect where we are, our emphasis on the totality of our environment or ecosystem, and the need to connect throughout the region the interdependent relationships essential for enduring success or sustainability. Hence what emerged was Thames Valley Sustainable Connections, Inc.

Jane Jacobs – Urban Thinker