Sarasota County Openly Plans for Excellence held the first of three community-building “High Tech, High Touch” workshops Tuesday morning at the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex in Sarasota.
At the workshop, about 30 people participated in a variety of activities aimed at answering questions about the community in which they would like to live.
SCOPE director John McCarthy said the responses gathered would be used to develop data that will eventually be a part of the organization’s community report card. SCOPE last put out a community report card in 2008, and McCarthy said they've been receiving several requests to bring it back.
McCarthy was satisfied with the progress made at the meeting, which will be followed by one in Venice this Friday and one in North Port Thursday, Aug. 29.
“It was amazing to see how united some of the thoughts are,” McCarthy said said. “People cared about a bringing in a diversity of people in solving a problem, about having an attitude change.”
Group events included visualizing an ideal community by drawing a picture and live voting via text about the most pressing issues in Sarasota. Participants voiced their concerns about everything from the environment to aging issues to poverty.
Van Jazmin, a graphic recorder, collaborated with SCOPE through Ringling College to illustrate many of the concepts discussed at the meeting as it was ongoing.
“Ringling is interested in economic development,” Jazmin said about his involvement. “I’m very passionate about community workshops and community building, so it was a good fit.”
The next SCOPE workshop will be held at 8:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 23, at Venice City Hall.
Contact David Conway at [email protected].