This series of blog posts introduces some of the guiding principles that we use at the Ronin Institute to help the community be its best.
We build long-term sustainability into the Ronin Institute by planning our activities and their maintenance so that they can be done as easily as possible by us, and with the least amount of everything (bureaucracy, infrastructure, work, outside expertise etc). We try to keep things simple, while focusing our energy on creating the right structures that people can work within on their own. With this strategy, community volunteers can easily step into discrete roles, and channel their good will to help out in small ways–without the burden of trying to figure out how to do it.
Our Pay it Forward principle is based on creating a chain reaction of good will. After “seeding” a new initiative (e.g., helping support a community member’s activity), we hope that the member(s) who benefits will consider paying it forward to the next Ronin Research Scholar who could also benefit. Here are some examples of how this works:
- A Scholar has given a seminar at Ronin => In the future, they volunteer as a seminar host
- A Scholar has had a great experience at one of our events => They help plan a future event
- A Scholar got some useful feedback on their research proposal => In the future, they give feedback on someone else’s proposal
- A Scholar has been featured in a Ronin Institute blog post or in our Newsletter => In the future, they contribute some writing or social media posts in Ronin Institute spaces to help highlight other Scholars
In this way, heavy loads become a lot lighter and we all benefit, while also building and strengthening our community along the way.
Arika is a Research Scholar and Community Director of the Ronin Institute. She is a social-ecologist who works with human-environmental issues including, community resilience, natural resource management, and the application of science. In addition, she is the Founder of Middle Path EcoSolutions, a consulting firm that helps organizations with community building.
This post is a perspective of the author, and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Ronin Institute.