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An Overview of Community Innovation Trends - Part One: Design-Based Approaches

Posted by Galen MacLusky in June 2018

In 'An Overview of Community Innovation Trends', Galen MacLusky identifies some of the most prominent Community Innovation trends, the value of these approaches for community changemakers, and how to further your learning in this area. Not only does this paper provide a detailed look at the current landscape, but it also provides a thorough outline of resources and outlets that will help you jumpstart your practice of Community Innovation.

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Innovating with Purpose: Part Two

Posted by Galen MacLusky on June 13, 2018

We all seek to innovate for different reasons. Sometimes it’s that we feel the world is changing and we risk being left behind. Sometimes it’s because the issue we’re working to address hasn’t gone away, has gotten worse, or has changed. Sometimes it’s because we simply feel that we must.

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What Will You Stop Doing?

Posted by Galen MacLusky on May 23, 2018

If it feels like you or your organization are always having to add something new to your plate, this is for you. It feels like a default tendency of the world we live in to ask more of ourselves, our teams, and our organizations without providing the time, resources, and energy that are needed for those extras. I find that this is particularly true when the word innovation is invoked. We’re simultaneously asked to innovate but also to maintain all the programs, services, and projects that help keep the status quo afloat. A common question I hear at all levels is, "How do we innovate when we're barely staying on top of our regular work as it is?"

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What do you mean, Innovation? Breaking the Buzzword

Posted by Galen MacLusky on April 23, 2018

Have you ever left a conversation about innovation suspecting that everyone was talking about very different things? Like all buzzwords, the meaning of ‘innovation’ has become muddy and unclear over time, and yet ‘innovation’ is often seen as a panacea for our social ills. But is ‘innovation’ what we do, or what we aspire to do? Here are three questions that I’ve found helpful to narrow in on exactly what I, and others, mean when we talk about innovation.

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Innovating With Purpose

Posted by Galen MacLusky on April 10, 2018

My colleague Sylvia Cheuy recently gave a great overview of the Community Innovation landscape in her paper The Community Innovation Imperative. Sylvia highlighted the incredible momentum driving us towards innovation and the adoption of tools and methods to help us get there. In this context ­­­‑ a context where innovation is increasingly the norm demanded by and of funders, government, and communities, it is particularly important to keep the following in mind:

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Trust: An Essential Ingredient in Authentic Community Engagement

Posted by Sylvia Cheuy on February 12, 2018

I recently had the privilege to travel across Ontario to facilitate five workshops exploring an essential ingredient of community change: authentic community engagement.  Participants at each session identified community engagement challenges that were “top of mind” for them.   Common themes included:  finding adequate resources for engagement; needing to address diverse audiences and/or span vast geographies; retaining engagement once it had been initiated; and, a need for more capacity-building in this area.  A root community engagement challenge that surfaced was that residents and communities are often unwilling or, at best, reluctant to participate in organizationally-led engagement efforts. 

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Why don’t we benefit from Societal Innovations as Readily as Technological Innovations?

Posted by Denis Pageau on January 22, 2018

Since 1785 there have been 5 waves with respect to our technological knowledge. Each wave doubled the knowledge we had previously accumulated. We are now in the 6th wave. This technological knowledge produced technological innovations such as steam engines, light bulbs, cars, planes, computers, smartphones, etc. We can safely conclude that we have been very successful in using our technological knowledge to create technological innovations. 

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