Ned Iceton – the founder of SDN - described the role of the community developer as helping people identify and act upon their own priorities in their own locality. This would be done in a context of seeing both the macro and micro levels of experience and challenge. He saw it as necessary for any person to begin where they are and to work from there to achieve positive change that strengthens community life. Ned also said: “You can’t be an optimal part of social development unless you’re working on yourself”.
The SDN is a non-profit unincorporated association whose primary task is the support and training for citizens engaged in constructive volunteer initiatives beneficial to the community. The SDN is a support platform only, and does itself not engage in any kind of active lobbying, projects, or public policy initiatives. The SDN does not hold any political agenda, and welcomes people from all political, racial, and social identities. The SDN is predominately a receptive space for those engaged in community initiatives to come together to discuss, reflect, learn and rejuvenate through a uniquely designed process of interaction.
The SDN fulfils this task through the following activities:
- SDN Workshops.
- Sustaining a vibrant network through communication and the provision of resources.
The SDN Workshops pursue the following objectives:
- To provide an educational process of personal capacity building for participants.
- To provide a receptive, encouraging and responsive space for participants to present the issues with which that they currently engaged.
- To provide a safe space for the presentation of personal issues.
- To provide a venue for the stimulating discussion of ideas.
- To provide an opportunity for humanising and personal growth through experiencing the unique SDN workshop process.
- To refresh and rejuvenate participants to re-engage optimistically with their own personal aspirations and challenges they face in making a difference in their local community and in their broader endeavours.
- To educate and enhance participant’s inter-communicational skills.
- To revivify the essential human quality of acceptance and respect of others as human beings beyond all apparent differences of attitude, status, gender, or behavioural style.
- To prepare and foster the creative and passionate aspirations of participants for a meaningful and beneficial life.