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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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The Legacy of the Ontario Healthy Communities Coalition

Posted by Lorna McCue on December 6, 2019

For twenty-seven years the Ontario Healthy Communities Coalition (OHCC) supported Healthy Communities initiatives across Ontario and beyond. Following the loss of provincial funding in 2018, after careful consideration the OHCC Board of Directors concluded that the work of OHCC had largely been accomplished. On October 19, 2019, OHCC held it final Annual General Meeting at which members unanimously voted to dissolve the corporation and transfer OHCC’s remaining assets to Green Communities Foundation. While all were saddened by this decision, the mood of the event was very positive as members reflected on OHCC’s accomplishments and confirmed their ongoing commitment to Healthy Communities.

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Three Lessons from Awakening the Power of Families and Neighborhoods

Posted by Keith Dow on November 29, 2019

Over the past several months, I have enjoyed participating in a book study of Awakening the Power of Families and Neighborhoods by John McKnight and Peter Block through the Tamarack Institute. This study, led by Jonathan Massimi and facilitated by Heather Keam, offers a brilliant introduction to the principles of community development through the lens of assets and strengths rather than merely meeting needs or confronting challenges.

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Community Engagement: Is it Just Lip Service?

Posted by Glenda Cooper on November 19, 2019

Is Community Engagement just lip service or is it empowerment? Is it simply a box to check or a meaningful enquiry? Do we focus on soliciting input to justify our programs and initiatives or do we genuinely seek guidance from the community about how best to serve them? With limited resources, tight timelines and pressure to get things done, it can be overwhelming to think about opening processes up; especially since that could lead to surprises and results that contradict convention. Yet, every time we engage the community we have the opportunity to learn and shape the work in ways that will be meaningful, practical and implementable.

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Creating Transformational (not Transactional) Experiences When Engaging Residents

Posted by Lisa Attygalle on August 22, 2019

What comes to mind when you think of a transformational experience? 

Here’s what it likely does not look like: Filling out a survey; being handed an information card; or responding to a public notice.  

Community engagement practices can often feel transactional: the community is a source of information and the goal is to retrieve that information to design the ideal solution. We say thank you and then move on. 

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How Does the Design of Communities Make Us More Connected?

Posted by Charito Gailling on July 11, 2019

Ever notice how the design of public space can shape the behaviour and interactions of people within it?  Think about how likely you would be to ride your bike to the park instead of driving, choose healthier foods, or stop to chat with neighbours if you didn’t feel safe or if the services you need are not accessible or affordable.  Our health is significantly influenced by the design of our communities, and partnering with local governments in our public health efforts is a powerful strategy to encourage healthy living and prevent chronic disease.

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7 Steps to Repair Relationships For Stronger Community Engagment

Posted by Lisa Attygalle on July 4, 2019

What should you do when history, tensions or conflicts get in the way of ongoing community engagement that is in any way authentic and meaningful? 

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