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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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Lessons from a Pandemic about Community

Posted by Glenda Cooper on May 21, 2020

Over the past several weeks, as the world has been grappling with new realities, the Tamarack Institute has been listening and collecting amazing community stories. I have had the very fortunate opportunity to hear about how this pandemic has brought communities together and to observe the many resources being freely and widely shared. The sum of the amazing stories that I have come across are about the multitude of ways people are boosting each other’s morale and demonstrating solidarity. This pandemic has been a valuable teacher, bringing to light what it means to be community. I have read and been inspired by so many stories that demonstrate community as kind, generous, vibrant and resourceful. 

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2019's Top 10 Reads in Cities Deepening Communities

Posted by Glenda Cooper on December 17, 2019

What a year 2019 has been! With all the news around the growing epidemic of loneliness, communities have been leaning into each other, seeking to foster social connection among residents and neighbours. This momentum has catalyzed a Deepening Community movement. Fifteen cities across Canada are leading this movement as founding members of our newly launched Cities Deepening Community membership. We have gleaned numerous insights from our members and our learning community over the course of the year.  There was so much great work that was done this year that we wanted to give you our top 10;

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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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Are You Prepared for an Emergency?

Posted by Glenda Cooper on September 18, 2019

We are often told to be prepared for an emergency by having 72 hours worth of supplies on hand. Equally important is getting to know and build relationships with your neighbours.

In fact, these relationships are essential during an emergency and in the days following an extreme weather event when emergency personnel are overwhelmed. During an emergency your first responder will likely not be a first responder; it is more likely that a neighbour will be the first person on the scene.

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Survey Says: Canadians are Lonely and Socially Isolated

Posted by Glenda Cooper on July 29, 2019

Feeling socially isolated or lonely? You are not alone. The Angus Reid Institute, in partnership with Cardus, recently conducted a Canada-wide study on social isolation and loneliness and the results are concerning. Not only are we spending more time alone that we would like, we are feeling lonely even when we are surrounded by others.

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Evaluation: Stop, Listen, and Change

Posted by Glenda Cooper on May 28, 2019

Evaluation takes courage and the willingness to change. When everything seems to be going well, it is especially important to take the time to reflect, to ask the tough questions and to be willing to hear inconvenient answers. What if the work you are doing is popular but not achieving its intended outcomes? What if you learn that the good work you are doing is actually increasing vulnerability and stigma for the people it’s intended to help?

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