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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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Embracing the Messy, Unpredictable Journey

Posted by Hailey Hechtman on November 24, 2017

Looking out the window at the snow-covered ground, it feels as though ages have passed since my time at the Community Change Institute in Vancouver. Although, the seasons have quickly changed and new day to day operational priorities have skipped to the head of the line, there are many messages that remain in my mind about the content shared that week.

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Thinking Through a Different Lens

Posted by Hailey Hechtman on November 15, 2017

During my time at the Tamarack Community Change Institute, I noticed that many peoples’ focus was squarely on bringing techniques, tools and strategies back to their communities that could strengthen not only the work that they were doing, but act as a framework for future opportunities amongst partners, participants and others that have not yet come to the table.

Although, this insistence on an applicable, packaged toolkit may steer us in a direction that helps to bring ideas and actions forward quickly, it also has a downside. There is a way of approaching change, a concentration on philosophy, on values, on process that needs to be melded into the activities that we do in order to see sustainable impact.

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Finding Permission to Loiter, Listen and Learn

Posted by Susan Emerson on October 30, 2017

I typically approach my work with the following mindset; the busier you are the likely you are getting things done. I resonate with the following excerpt from Wendy Richmond,

What is our goal? Is it worthy? What have we accomplished today? It’s a scary state. In our society, we are taught to have a direction, a five-year plan that we then break down into day-by-day lists. When we fear emptiness and lack of purpose, we rush to fill the void. And before we know it, that precious, empty space has disappeared.”

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Collaborative Frameworks

Posted by Deb Halliday on October 26, 2017

Earlier this month I participated in a workshop on collaboration at a gathering of several hundred grantmakers, hosted by Philanthropy Northwest. During the session, Collaborative Exchange, I presented on Graduation Matters Montana, a public-private initiative that resulted in record-breaking high school graduation rates.

As I was preparing for the session, I was reminded of a Tamarack Institute talk in which Liz Weaver and Mark Cabaj described what effective change efforts have in common. There are three things, they posited: (1) a framework; (2) principles; and (3) practices. How, I wondered, could I describe our work raising graduation rates, based on Weaver and Cabaj’s insights?

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Innovation through experimentation

Posted by Hailey Hechtman on October 20, 2017

The concept of innovation, especially the idea of social innovation, is one that both intrigues my sense of professional adventurism and ignites an excitement for progress. Throughout the Community Change Institute (CCI) this reoccurring theme of creation, development and strategy has underlined all of the workshops and toolbox sessions that have been presented as forums for learning.

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How Belonging Strengthens Community Connectedness

Posted by Hailey Hechtman on October 13, 2017

The ideas are quickly flowing from the jumble in my mind to the neat lined pages of the notebook sitting on the table in front of me while I listen to the day’s overview at the Community Change Institute (CCI). As I take in the list of different tools, topics and learning modalities available to attendees, I recognize this is not just any run of the mill conference.

Although I had been lucky enough to join the CCI crew the year before in Toronto, this year would take on a new light as I prepared to become a first time learning lab leader and had a solid understanding of how the week was going to unfold.

As I readied myself for five days of learning, growth and interactions with bright, innovative people I wondered… What new inspiration will this year bring?

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