Making the Decision to Move Forward with the Multi-Purpose Centre

Authors: Caryn and Sarah


During our initial multi-stakeholder meeting, Joey, the representative from the municipality, had expressed that he believed the MPC was a want of the community, not a need. During the time before the second multi-stakeholder meeting, the working group members and the WPI team worked on compiling a proposal to explain that the MPC would greatly benefit the community, and that it was not just a want, but also a need. Joey reviewed the document, and during the second meeting, he said that he was still not a fan of the idea of a multi-purpose centre, but he could clearly see that it was indeed a need.  Once we realised that Joey was on board, we had to decide how we to move forward with the MPC design

Cast of Characters

Trevor, Jack (CORC), the working team, WPI students, Scott.


Outside of the wendy house, in the area proposed for the MPC.


When Joey said that he was on board with the MPC, implementing the building went from being a hope, to a reality. This was motivational and exciting, but also meant that there was a lot of work to be done over the next six weeks. It was agreed that the first step to take should be figuring out how to begin the planning process.

The meeting began with a discussion about design plans for the MPC. Finalising the design is an important first step, and will help to ensure that all the stakeholders are on the same page. It also must be done early on so that a formal cost analysis can be created for the building. Decision making in large groups is always a difficult process, especially when multiple stakeholders are involved, all of which have varying priorities for the final product. There was some confusion on whether or not the existing poles in the wendy house area could be used in the structure, and also a lot of debating over where to put a parking area, which is an aspect that Joey said must be included. Joey also mentioned that there were space restrictions due to the planned placement of the road, which will be built starting in January.

Due to these restrictions, and the time limitation, it was decided that over the next six weeks the concentration should be on designing and implementing the half of the building located in the area across the greywater channel from the wendy house. This was not an easy decision to make, and took a lot of negotiating. Scott took the lead on explaining how planning this section would allow a structure to be on the ground after six weeks, which was one of the main goal for the trip. Trevor was the only one not entirely in favor of this, but since the majority was, it was decided that moving forward with the planning for that area was the best option to pursue.

Reflection and Learning

The idea of Shared Action Learning in group decision-making was used throughout the process of moving forward with the design for the MPC. Taking into account everyone’s opinions and ideas can be very difficult, but in order to ensure the success of the project, everyone must feel as though their ideas are heard. At times it is essential that one person take the lead in order to help move the project forward. Scott took the lead for this decision making process, and helped to negotiate and come up with a compromise so that the majority of the stakeholders were happy with the final decision. This meeting was very productive and has set a clear goal for everyone to work towards during the coming weeks. Hopefully our future meetings and decision-making processes can incorporate everybody’s ideas and arrive at a successful agreement as well as this meeting did. The SAL model will be very helpful to learn from and implement throughout the project.