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The 2021 ASU Social Embeddedness Network Conference agenda is driven by participants and features 250+ university/college faculty, staff, students and community partners delivering various presentations, all woven together through one Zoom framework. In 2020, the Conference moved to a virtual format to increase accessibility during a time of social distancing. This virtual conference is designed to bring together community-engaged professionals from various backgrounds to highlight new, exciting and insightful work happening in the field of community engagement and public service. The conference is a place to connect with other community-engaged professionals or those interested in community engagement, who believe in the importance of community-university partnerships.
How might we prepare to receive and integrate partners into collaboration so that we truly leverage their knowledge, expertise and experiences? The preparation approach can sometimes feel generic or haphazard. There may be existing relationships or history that requires exploration and research before a healthy relationship can begin. Partners have high expectations of their collaborations, and we should fully lay the groundwork to ensure we can rise to those expectations and accomplish common goals. How might we establish trust and build opportunities for authentic collaboration?
How might we set up partnerships to be long lasting? We must encourage continual learning with supportive behaviors that will shape the way that partnerships evolve. Collaboration skills enable us to work with others in complex environments, with the understanding that successful collaboration requires a cooperative mindset and mutual respect. How might we explore and share strategies to make collaboration smoother, more straightforward, and more productive, despite the complexity of the challenges we are facing together?