Community capacitor: anything that generates “common ground”; any community/neighborhood function, entity, organization or agency that creates capacity before and provides resources during a community crisis. Capacitors are assets that generally or specifically mitigate areas of vulnerability. All capacitors lead to common ground and create social capital.
Of course, management/leadership must be the prime capacitor…
The concept of “civic engagement” is central. Civic engagement is a critical mass state where actions tend to result from community interest more than personal interest. Cooperation, participatory democracy and collaboration are management strategies geared to seek common or convergent ground, leading to shared governance. Symbolic, qualitative information (rather than quantitative, numerical data), is used in communication-rich environments to diminish concern and build trust appropriately (with integrity). Galvanizing issues can emerge from situations of common grace (An example of common grace is the Reginald Denny trial after the L.A. riots of 1993. Denny publicly forgave his attackers on several occasions), to reinforce cohesion within heterogeneous groups.
In an environment of social responsibility, stakeholders all have spheres of interest and influence. Increased capacity results when these spheres have historical patterns of working together, particularly preparing and exercising for emergencies.
Clearly, management means something else in community crisis situations. It requires common goals, civic engagement, motivation, performance under extreme stress, the management of social impacts and responsibilities, and more.