5 Secret Santa gifts for your Community Engagement Geek

By Andrew Coulson

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Christmas is close and the office party is looming. Kris Kringle or Secret Santa strikes dread in the heart of many across the world. What can you buy for the community engagement geek in the office?

Well never fear, Engage 2 Act are here with their top 5 gifts for Christmas for that one person in your life that loves community engagement just a little bit too much. 5 gifts to cover every budget from the under $10 bargain book to the generous $150 shiny consultation tool. 

So get ready St Nick because we have you covered in the world of community engagement.

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1) $10 budget – Come with a whoop!: 250 child-friendly engagement activities for everyday policy and planning eBook by Moira Deslandes


At $5 (for Kindle) Moira’s  2017 ebook is a treasury of ideas for engaging children and young people in policy, planning and practice.

Moira has given us a great comprehensive guide to the hows, whens and even who's to engage when asking for children's views in policy processes.

If your Community engagement geek works with or is planning on working with children this is a great and affordable resource. Buy now from Amazon!

2) $30 budget - an EngagePhase weekly subscription


Whilst you can get a free 6 month subscription to this excellent weekly Community Engagement digest in your inbox via a free Engage 2 Act membership *cough, don’t be a cheapskate (or just do that for yourself anyway) and sign your community engagement geek up for an annual subscription starting at just $29 (price only available until the end of December 2017).

EngagePhase Weekly is a premium weekly email newsletter that tracks the emerging global community engagement and public participation industry. On a daily basis, the EngagePhase team scan an ever-increasing number of news and information sources from around the world then select the best insights to share with subscribers via the EngagePhase Weekly newsletter. This includes industry news, people on the move and global case studies. 

3) $50 budget – Max ‘Deliberative guru’ Hardy style shirt

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We have all sat and listened intently to Max at some point in our careers. His award winning, TEDx inspiring, leadership talks on the best way to run a deliberative process making us wish we could afford his talents for our own projects. We love you Max.

Most Community Engagement Geeks are self-confessed groupies of his work after watching him in action and if you’ve ever seen him on stage or had a beer with him you will have also noticed his amazing collection of shirts. So it’s only obvious that a Max Hardy style shirt will go down great as a Secret Santa for your Community Engagement Geek.

Whilst this is a very Australia specific gift those in other countries can check out Max here and see what we mean.

Check out ASOS’ extensive range of vintage print short sleeve shirts that will certainly do the job and for just $50 we think this is a humdinger that even Max would love to wear on Christmas day! (though I’m not sure Max has jeans like the models). 

4) $100 budget - LEGO® Large Creative Brick Box


Who doesn’t love a bit of Lego (or Laygo if you’re South Australian :/ ). 

If your community engagement geek is in to a bit of collaboration especially when it comes to planning projects then Lego is a great tool to get people’s creative juices flowing.

The LEGO® Large Creative Brick Box retails at about $70 and contains 790 pieces in 33 different colours including baseplates for building. People can build up a storm of ideas from new funky community centres to environmentally friendly library’s with this big box of classic LEGO bricks with lots of different windows and doors, along with other special pieces to inspire you, you can really run with your imagination. Unfortunately mini-fig community engagement geeks are not included. If you're interested in how they can be used, read this very in-depth blog.

5. $150 budget – Feedback Frames by Jason Diceman


Jason has developed a number of consultation tools in his time as a community engagement practitioner and this is his latest invention, Feedback Frames. Feedback Frames are a group decision tool that allows voting to be private and anonymous. No one can see the results during the process of giving their opinion which avoids the bandwagon effect and groupthink that can often happen with sticker dot voting. Adaptable, wall mountable and extremely portable this tool is bound to sell like hot cakes in the community engagement world.

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Whilst still in final stages of development Feedback Frames will be sold in boxes of five units for about $125 USD (ok so we cheated a little as this is about $165 AUD but your geek is worth it). Each box is sturdy and reusable for storage and travel. Each box also includes 250 small tokens, which fit 30 per column. 

Now any community engagement geek who loves a sticky dot would just love these beauties!

Easy, right? 

Have any more ideas of what to get a community engagement geek for Christmas then let us know via Twitter - @engage2act or in our Facebook group post attached to this blog. 

Merry Christmas all!