As the end of the Design Dog Park initiative is drawing near it’s time to jot down some experiences gathered along the way. To make this easier, our working group has put together lists of advisable and unprofitable courses of action.
* Find a sufficient number of enthusiastic and committed people to execute, plan and develop the initiative.
* Strive to make use of local skills and connections because you might find solid expertise and passion for the initiative amongst residents.
* Draw up a plan that has a clear schedule and a realistic risk analysis.
* Name a leader for the initiative and define his/her duties.
* Don’t hesitate to ask local businesses to support your initiative (explain the benefits).
* Give out information about the development of the initiative regularly and visibly and discuss with the area residents, associations and other entities that might be affected by the initiative.
* Don’t be afraid to give people tasks – you might be surprised to see how happy they are to help.
* Remember that negotiations/productisation with the sponsors must be initiated early enough. You’ll also need to co-operate with city administration.
* Perseverance! Don’t be discouraged/disheartened when working with the city and remember that officials are people too.
* Put effort into selling your good ideas, take up the initiative everywhere and seek leverage from the media.
* Amongst the initiative partners, look for individuals who have a passionate attitude to the initiative theme.
* Keep getting excited. Praise and encourage others who work with the initiative.
* Remember that there’s life beyond the initiative!
* Don’t promise to do more than your resources, skills and time allow.
* Don’t keep problems to yourself. Don’t hesitate to be open and ask for help.
* Don’t put your own money in, unless you have agreed so with the other members of the working group.
* Don’t let the first setbacks discourage you.
* Don’t paint a misleading picture of the initiative status to outsiders.
* Don’t argue, even if you’re right.
Gammel Dogs Association / Anna Saarnisto
Translation by Pigasus Translations.