The Power of Place on a Global Scale

Posted on January 31, 2022
By Liz Weaver

At the heart of Tamarack’s 2030 plan is the recognition that communities drive transformational change. Over the past 20 years, Tamarack has witnessed the power and potential that is found in place-based approaches. It is at the local level, a neighbourhood, city, or region, where citizens engage deeply, care for one another and work collaboratively.

This connection to place has become deeper during the COVID pandemic. While many folks felt powerless to change the big things, they could reach out and support their neighbours and actively support the businesses and restaurants in their neighbourhoods. There are thousands of stories about connecting in our neighbourhoods and communities which have emerged over these past two years.

This is not just a Canadian thing, the focus on the potential of place is evident across the globe. Over the past two years, Tamarack has been a partner of Place Matters, a UK partnership of organizations and individuals working collectively to accelerate the impact of place-based change through learning. Together, this collective of place-focused organizations is building capacity, cohesion, and recognition of place as a driver for impactful change.

Inspiring Communities in Aotearoa New Zealand is another Tamarack partner weaving together community-led development practices. They believe that communities know best what works for them and what they need to thrive. Across Aotearoa New Zealand are examples of communities coming together to purposefully drive change. From Small Places Big Things Come is a powerful story of place, connection, history, courage and achieving results.


In November 2020, Tamarack team members, Myriam Berube and Jean-Marie Chapeau travelled to Paris, France to meet with 300 community leaders to share the experiences they had in Montreal supporting 17 neighbourhoods to develop collective impact efforts. Over the past five years, the Collective Impact Project has transformed neighbourhoods across the City of Montreal and colleagues in France were deeply interested in understanding what it takes to drive change forward.


Communities are driving transformational change. Joining together to share knowledge, resources and strategies, creates bridges across different places. Let’s continue to turn to place as we emerge from the COVID pandemic. Our communities are where we connected when times were challenging, they
can be the force for change and impact as times get better.


Tamarack Institute, Placemaking, Community Change, Homepage Blog, Place-based

Liz Weaver

By Liz Weaver

Liz is passionate about the power and potential of communities getting to impact on complex issues. Liz is Tamarack’s Co-CEO and Director, Learning Centre. 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.

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