Working at the Edge Workshops


“Working at the Edge”: Workshop with Dr Wendy Sarkissian

Friday, 11 June 2010, Adelaide, South Australia


This workshop offers many opportunities for participants to explore “the Edge” in community engagement: that place where issues and problems are complex and intractable, where ordinary run-of-the-mill engagement processes do not seem to work well and where emotions are running high.


Maybe there has been a history of neglect in this community or with this group. Or perhaps there have been many instances of betrayals and broken promises?

Or maybe everyone is bored and cynical and there is little energy of any sort for community engagement processes on all sides.

The Edge workshop builds on work in Wendy Sarkissian’s new book (with Dianna Hurford): Creative Community Planning: Transformative Engagement Methods for Working at the Edge (2010).

The workshop introduces new theoretical approaches (such as Otto Scharmer’s Theory U) and explains how they could be used in community engagement.

Three case studies from Wendy’s social planning practice are presented and discussed.

A hands-on workshop session in small groups allows participants to use the ideas generated in the workshop in a case study context (the redesign of Rundle Mall in Adelaide).


Reading and other materials

  1. The Edge Flyer, Program and Form
  2. FloydJ_HaywardP_Comm_dev_for_eco_sust_080131
  3. The Stone Ritual_FINAL_Adelaide
  4. Think Write Share Adelaide Workshop


Wendy Sarkissian