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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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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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A Gift is Not a Gift Until It’s Given

Posted by Heather Keam on December 15, 2018

This is an appropriate title for two reasons. First, it is the holiday season, the time of year that we are giving gifts to each other. Secondly, in 2018 we hosted an Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) event, and what better way of practicing ABCD than for our members to give their gifts of stories, tools and resources.

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Getting to Impact the Observational Way

Posted by Heather Keam on November 12, 2018

A few years ago, I read a book called "Trying Hard is Not Good Enough" by Mark Friedman. The book talks about how initiatives can be complicated and complex, and therefore this makes it hard to reduce evaluating these initiatives to a set of numbers and equations. Mark suggests that we need to talk about the story behind the data. Look at the stories, anecdotes and accomplishments that explain what the data is saying.   

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A River that Built Community

Posted by Heather Keam on July 24, 2018

In June, I attended an event in St. Albert called the Neighbourhood Extravaganza which brought together those who work in neighbourhoods, to build neighbourhoods. It was an excellent way to share stories and learn from each other. During my stay, I experienced the greatest sense of community when I was welcomed into the home of Howard Lawrence from Abundant Community Edmonton. It was from Howard’s hospitality that I learned how the North Saskatchewan River built a community.

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The ABCD Workshop – What we Learned and What's to Come

Posted by Heather Keam on May 23, 2018

From April 17-19 Cities Deepening Community held an Asset-Based Community Development workshop in Kitchener, Ontario with John McKnight, Cormac Russell, Donna Thomson and almost 200 community changemakers. You can imagine there was a lot of learning to absorb! We have done our best to sum up our primary aha's! into a few takeaways.

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How Do We Know We are Making a Difference in Our Neighbourhood Work?

Posted by Heather Keam on April 5, 2018

I was speaking with Howard Lawrence from Abundant Community Edmonton about their work around neighbourhood development and we got talking about making a difference in our community and how do we know if anyone is better off because of the changes/activities that have been implemented.  How do we measure change in our neighbourhood work?  Howard told me about a tool called the Sense of Community Index that is used in the social science area to determine sense of community. 

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