What we are learning through process and exploration:


Great care must be taken to avoid preconceived ideas of how community systems and groups are likely to respond. These are often contextual and are constructed on historical, cultural, political, social and economic inferences.


Relationships are not easy to establish, maintain and nurture where values, expectations, needs and interests diverge.
How do we reconcile differences in meaningfully constructive ways (not just at the meta-level, but with everyday interpersonal relationships)?


Further lessons for our work indicate that time must be given for complex responses to develop, and a wide range of approaches must be considered to ensure that all relevant methods have been explored.


Management, distribution, usage and exchange of human and material university and community resources is a layered exercise because i) power is not always shared, ii) capacity is varied, iii) trust is built over time, iv) CE is not always prioritized as a significant university output.


Institutional policies on engagement need to be developed and integrated to simplify administrative processes, tools and support. Often bureaucratic instruments are a barrier more than they are an enabler of CE.
How do we reconcile communities’ need for immediate responses, relief and university check and balances?

Co-construction of Knowledge

Language is not innocent; knowledge is not neutral, and systems are not apolitical. All these are relational to a set of historical, cultural, political social and economic environments.
How do we produce socially useful knowledge (in and for) a constantly changing society?


Universities need to articulate a rethink on the role of media and communication in expressing the depth and importance of engagement work in universities.
How do we connect various communities across multiple platforms, in socially conscious and creative ways?