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Creating Containers and Co-Design: Transforming Collaboration

Posted by Liz Weaver in July 2018

In 'Creating Containers and Co-Design: Transforming Collaboration', Liz Weaver identifies the role of collaboration in Collective Impact initiatives, and community change efforts more broadly, as well as framing the roles and tasks of community collaboratives as containers for change.

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The United Kingdom Addressing Youth Loneliness

Posted by Justin Williams on August 17, 2018

Two big announcements on youth loneliness have recently come out of the United Kingdom. First, the United Kingdom announced £2 million from its Building Connections Fund to support youth-focused initiatives to be distributed by the Co-Op Foundation. The funding announcement pairs with the launch of the report “A Place to Belong: The Role of Local Youth Organizations in Addressing Youth Loneliness,” by UK Youths which the Co-Op Foundation supported.

The Building Connections Fund is a collaboration between the Government, Big Lottery Fund and the Co-Op Foundation in response to the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness. The aim of the fund is to reduce loneliness in England. The fund contains two strands £9 million from the main fund and a separate £2 million that is targeted toward youth. The youth strand will provide £80,000 to organizations to co-develop approaches with youth to combat loneliness.

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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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Movement of Young Leaders Changing Communities Across Ontario

Posted by Emily Branje on August 13, 2018

A decade has passed since Community Living Ontario first reached out to young people across Ontario to inform its understanding of how youth were experiencing their community. In doing so, we learned that a large number of youths, and especially youths who have an intellectual disability, often feel isolated within their schools and greater communities. They do not feel a sense of belonging and therefore, lack an abundance of meaningful relationships with their peers and community members. We acknowledged that this void puts youth at risk and limits the opportunities available to them. As the numbers rise, the constant restrictions placed on young people contribute to the overall poor health and sustainability of Ontario’s communities. So in 2008, we put out a call to action and invited people to join us! An idea had sparked and a movement was born.

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Creating a Sense of Village in Your Neighbourhood

Posted by Karen Reed on August 9, 2018

There is a growing understanding about the richness of life that has been lost with our fragmented and isolated lives, and attention is now being given to restore the historic nature of neighbourhoods. The close proximity and frequency to run into neighbours is what builds social capital - that relational fabric in a community. Sociologists have been sounding the alarm regarding our plummeting social capital; the absence of it is impoverishing our lives and communities.  It is what builds civil society. This social connectedness is a primary contributor to a person’s sense of wellness and it is shaped by our local, daily life.

How do we combat the trends of ‘living above place’ versus being rooted, the trend of valuing the private over the common, and of the increasing isolation, fragmentation and speed of life? How do we live out our values – not as professionals – but as neighbours?

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Community Change Is Not A Recipe

Posted by Galen MacLusky on August 7, 2018

It starts simply enough; You go to a conference and learn about an exciting new framework for bringing about change. Maybe it’s Collective Impact, or Design Thinking, or Behavioural Economics. So you return to your community full of good ideas on what’s next. You’ve got a toolbox, a step-by-step process for change, and some great examples of how this approach worked in the past. As long as you follow the process, you’ll be successful, right?

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Building Healthy Communities with Youth: Halton’s Story

Posted by Kendra Willard on August 7, 2018

For some, the idea of engaging teenagers can be intimidating and riddled with questions like, what should I do? Where do I start? How do I do this? Thankfully, we don’t have to stay in a place of uncertainty too long. With an ABCD approach, we know to do things together, not alone; we know assets are there, even if they seem hidden.

We have a story to tell about how communities in Halton, Ontario (Acton, Burlington, Oakville, Georgetown, and Milton) are creating ways of working together with youth to shape the places we all call home.

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