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Galen MacLusky

Galen MacLusky
Galen is a Consulting Director of the Tamarack Institute’s Community Innovation Idea Area. He is passionate about working with community organizations to help build and scale new ideas that deepen their impact. An experienced design, innovation, and co-creation consultant, at the core of his work are approaches that help organizations engage with those who are impacted by their services and test new programs and services with minimal investment. Over the past five years, Galen has used these approaches to help Fortune 500 companies and non-profit organizations across North America reinvent the services and programs they provide.

Recent Posts

Principles Over Prescriptions

Posted by Galen MacLusky on December 13, 2018

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a recipe for community change? A simple, step-by-step process to follow? The problem is that our challenges are too complex and our communities are too unique to ever be encapsulated by a single prescriptive approach. Even robust frameworks like Collective Impact and the body of work surrounding it are not a substitute for grit, creativity, and flexible adaptation to the needs of our community.

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Letting Communities Guide Change

Posted by Galen MacLusky on November 14, 2018

What does it truly mean to be guided by community?

Last month I was lucky enough to speak with Diane Roussin, Director of the Winnipeg Boldness project. Diane shared stories of the work that the Winnipeg Boldness project is doing in the Point Douglas neighbourhood: how they gathered and shared community wisdom, how they have been working with residents and leaders to effect the changes that they feel are important, and how people across Point Douglas have guided their efforts at every step. There was so much to learn in what Diane shared, but two key points stood out to me for anyone interested in working with communities for change


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A Community Change Spot Check: What Are You Doing and Why are You Doing It?

Posted by Galen MacLusky on November 1, 2018

In working with community organizations, one of the most common challenges I’ve encountered is the tendency to focus on what we need to do instead of why we are doing it. This happens for many good reasons; not only are all of us are struggling just to stay afloat in our work, but we also have many competing demands on our time and attention. It’s easier to simply meet each of those demands in turn and move on to the next.

 

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Community Wisdom and Social Labs lead to Change in Winnipeg

Posted by Galen MacLusky on October 11, 2018

How does a community lead change on its own terms? The Winnipeg Boldness Project, a research and development initiative in Winnipeg’s North End, is working to do just that. Guided by community wisdom and inspired by Social Lab approaches, their story is an example of what is possible for communities that are inspired to lead change.

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Thinking Beyond the Advisory Group

Posted by Galen MacLusky on September 25, 2018

At last week’s Cities Innovating to Reduce Poverty summit in Mississauga, I had the opportunity to learn from the City of Toronto's Lived Experience Advisory Group (LEAG). These group members shared some of their fantastic work in advancing the Toronto Poverty Reduction Strategy through advocacy, education, awareness, monitoring and evaluation of the Strategy, and it was a great reminder of the importance of making sure that those with lived experience can drive the change that they want to see.

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Style Blindness: What Bruce Lee Can Teach Us About Community Change

Posted by Galen MacLusky on August 16, 2018

“Use only that which works, and take it from any place you can find it.” – Bruce Lee

In the community of martial arts there are often discussions about which art is ‘better’ than others. Is Wing Chun a better technique for self-defense than Krav Maga? Would a championship boxer win in a fight against a Kung Fu master? These types of questions have many vocal champions on either side, but they are ultimately unanswerable. So much depends on both the ability of the practitioner as well as the context. Boxers train to fight in a specific context with specific rules. So do Mixed-Martial Arts (MMA) fighters, but with a different context and set of rules. The techniques of each martial art are well attuned to a specific set of circumstances have been honed over centuries of refinement.

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