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What is Social Capital and How Do You Build it?

Posted by Heather Keam on April 21, 2021

Have you ever gone to a conference, workshop or event, met new people who had similar ideas, and passions and continued that relationship beyond the event? That is an example of social capital.  What about job hunting? Have you heard the saying that it is not what you know, it is whom you know? That is social capital.

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Youth Loneliness: Is it a youth problem or a community problem?

Posted by Heather Keam on March 31, 2021

Pre-COVID, there was growing evidence that loneliness was becoming a problem across all populations across Canada. It was being recognized as a public health issue.

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Building Democracy “with” Community

Posted by Heather Keam on March 29, 2021

Over the past three decades there has been a fundamental shift in informal social ties, tolerance and trust, political and civic engagement in our communities. Evidence shows that our actual experiences of being involved in a community has been steadily declining since the 1960s. This decline is evident if we look at the Canadian voting rates. We have an average of 63% of Canadians voting in the last 4 elections and in Ontario an average of 52%. Why are 40-50% of the population not voting? Is it lack of trust? Do people feel like they cannot make a difference?


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The Power of Possibilities: Deepening Community Stories

Posted by Heather Keam on January 20, 2021

We are reflecting on 2020, looking back on how communities were able to continue their programs while also wondering how they will keep them going. One of the common themes was the power of possibilities especially centered around this question - “how might we?” Communities asked how might wes as they navigated the changing landscape of COVID, for example; How might we continue to engage community virtually? How might we get more responses to our survey? How might we bring hope to our community?

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It takes a mindshift to put citizens at the center of your work

Posted by Heather Keam on November 12, 2020

Have you ever thought about whose role is it to build community? Whose role is it to fix the problems? Is it government, maybe social service programs? Is it groups and associations? Sometimes, I think that communities are looking for a superhero to swoop in and fix all their problems. But this superhero does not exist. What we need is a group of superheroes such as Marvel's Avengers, with each hero bringing their own gift and knowledge, and when its used as a group big changes can happen.

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Disaster Recovery the Pandemic Way

Posted by Heather Keam on September 15, 2020

The pandemic has affected our jobs, families, and communities. We now see organizations and groups looking for the right way to move into the recovery phase of the pandemic. Since these are unprecedented times, there are no templates or formulas on how we can work through recovery. I have come across three publications that outline a path to recovery in which community is put at the center.

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