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Liz Weaver

Liz Weaver
Liz is passionate about the power and potential of communities getting to impact on complex issues. Liz is Tamarack’s Vice President and Director of Operations. In this role she provides strategic direction to the organization and leads many of its key learning activities including collective impact capacity building services for the Ontario Trillium Foundation. Liz is one of Tamarack's highly regarded trainers and has developed and delivered curriculum on a variety of workshop topics including collaborative governance, leadership, collective impact, community innovation, influencing policy change and social media for impact and engagement.

Recent Posts

Connecting Ideas to Practice: Tamarack on the Global Stage

Posted by Liz Weaver on March 20, 2018

The international Association of Community Development (IACD) is a global network of community change leaders who are seeking to build the capacity of communities to realize greater social and economic equality, environmental protection and political democracy. Over its 15-year history, Tamarack has both contributed to and been influenced by the ideas of IACD thought leaders including Peter Drucker, John McKnight, and Cormac Russell.

In the most recent edition of the IACD Practice Insights, Tamarack contributed two articles which illustrate both the challenge and the opportunity of deep community engagement in co-creating change. Lisa Attygalle’s article on The Context Experts describes the value of citizens in sharing their expertise about navigating community systems. Context experts are people with lived experience of the situation, including children and youth. They are the people who experientially know about the issue and can share their expertise in how the issue impacts them and their livelihoods. Authentic community engagement purposefully including context experts in co-creating solutions.

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Innovation Comes in all Sizes: Reflections from Three Days on the Lower North Shore of Quebec

Posted by Liz Weaver on March 16, 2018

It was early spring 2017 when a collective impact and community engagement capacity building gathering was held in La Tabatiere, Quebec. This tiny, isolated community of 499 residents hosted more than 100 colleagues from across the Lower North Shore region over three days, many arriving by snowmobiles and air as there are few roads that lead to the community in the winter.

The participants experienced a deep dive into four curriculum content areas including collaborative leadership, community engagement, community development and collective impact. The curriculum was designed to create a common language for all participants and to have them discover the great work that was already happening in the Region. In addition, the participants also learned about education and community-based success stories which were already driving innovation into the region.

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An Action Plan to Build Community Readiness

Posted by Liz Weaver on March 1, 2018

Achieving success is not about wishing for the best future, but being prepared to do the difficult work of getting ready. Ready Set Go: Building Readiness for Collaborative and Community Impact is a brand new paper designed to help community change practitioners set into place all the conditions required to move from idea to execution to impact.

Many of us jump into collaboration without considering the context of the community or the issue that we are hoping to change. We gather around collaborative tables and look to the future, often without considering how to leverage what already exists, how our community might respond and where potential synergies might be which could be the launch pads toward impact.

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Building Collaborative Readiness:  Mapping Community Resources

Posted by Liz Weaver on February 16, 2018

A common theme often echoed through the voluntary and community sector is the lack of resources available to do the work.  Most communities have a range of investments, assets and resources, which, if deployed effectively, could prove to be a launching pad for many collaborative community efforts. 

The idea of community asset mapping has been around for several years.  John McKnight and Jody Kretzmann in their book, Building Communities from the Inside Out: A Path Toward Finding and Mobilizing a Community's Assets provided a detailed process for uncovering both explicit and hidden assets that might be found in most neighbourhoods and communities. 

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Community Building:  The Short and Long Views

Posted by Liz Weaver on February 6, 2018

When we are in the deepest, darkest days of community change work, our sightlines are narrow and our focus usually ends up on the microscopic parts of the process that are frustrating us. We want to move faster. We want to see bigger impact, bigger results. We become impatient with the process recognizing that even our best work may only have limited impact.

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Building Readiness to Tackle Complexity:  Problem Identification and Scoping

Posted by Liz Weaver on January 26, 2018

The Tamarack Institute and the Ontario Trillium Foundation are hosting a webinar series on the theme of Transforming Communities. We all know that transforming communities is challenging work. It can be made even more difficult when those undertaking the transforming process do not understand or focus on readiness as a pre-condition for their work.

Understanding community readiness is about due diligence and intentionality. The second webinar in the transforming communities’ series focused on problem identification and scoping. You can access the webinar recording here.

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