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Disruptive Times Require Skilled Changemakers

Posted by Liz Weaver in February 2019

In this paper, Liz Weaver describes three elements that every changemaker needs when approaching complex challenges - a mindset shift, an agile and adaptable approach, and knowledge and skills in each of the five interconnected practice areas.

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Research on the Benefits of Social Connection

Posted by Pete Bombaci on March 16, 2019

The GenWell Project, a global human connection movement, is on a mission to make the world a happier and healthier place by reminding people about the importance of face to face human connection and inspiring them to take action and get connected.

The research on the benefits of social connection is clearer than ever before. Spending time with others face to face can reduce anxiety and depression, increase empathy, compassion and resilience and can even make us live longer. Maybe even more importantly in our daily routines, social connection is the single largest indicator of happiness in our lives. For some this may not be news, but for all of us the importance and the clarity of the message likely is.

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Education Beyond School Walls

Posted by Glenda Cooper on March 13, 2019

What do you do when you have children craving adult attention in a neighbourhood with disconnected adults fearful of ‘trouble-making’ youth? A school in Wisconsin, USA conducted a community survey and learned that the community did not know anything about the school.  What the neighbours did identify in the survey was that there were young people running around the neighbourhood causing trouble. The survey results prompted the school to ask: How do we extend education beyond the walls of the school and utilize the gifts and the assets of the neighbours, organizations and institution in the community?

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New Zealand’s Novel Idea: A Well-Being Budget

Posted by Glenda Cooper on February 18, 2019

Societal well-being is as important as economic well-being. This was the key message from New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, at the 2019 World Economic Forum. This was a bold statement made even more poignant given the announcement that the New Zealand government will present a “well-being budget.” This signals a new decision-making focus, one that ensures impacts on the quality of life for citizens are considered, rather than the traditional focus on just the financial impacts. In practice it means that any decisions made, policies implemented, and money spent by the government will need to demonstrate how they benefit New Zealanders and how they work across ministries and party-lines to ensure ongoing positive impacts. 

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Community Adhesive: A Discussion on the Work of Aristotle and John McKnight

Posted by Jonathan Massimi on February 11, 2019

I love reading, unfortunately, I can’t commit to reading one book for an extended period, thus leaving many suspended mid-chapter. Outside of cluttering my nightstand, such a practice allows me to bring a variety of thinkers into unlikely conversation. A recent conversation featured Aristotle and John McKnight. Surprisingly, I found a strange affinity between their work, particularly, Aristotle’s discussion on friendship, and John McKnight’s emphasis on gifts.

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A New Chapter for Cities Deepening Communities

Posted by Glenda Cooper on February 6, 2019
I am so pleased to be part of the Tamarack Institute and I am looking forward to meeting and l e arni n g with y ou! I thought I would take this chance to do a quick intro and let you know a little bit about what I bring to Tamarack’s dynamic team. I had my first experience with the field of community development in 2002 when I started working with a grassroots non-profit organization focused on youth development. This fuelled a passion I didn’t know I had and I spent the next 12 years working with them.
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Reflecting on the Basics of Effective Meetings

Posted by Heather Keam on January 25, 2019

As I reflected on my 2018 year, I realized that I spent a lot of time in meetings at work and in my personal life. Meetings are an effective way for a group to get together and work on projects, communicate and to share resources. I am the type of person who wants to get in and get out with optimal work done. Having spent A LOT of time in meetings last year I realize that more than half of them were not as effective as they could have been. 

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