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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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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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Cultivating the Power of Residents to Build Community: Lessons from Kitchener

Posted by Heather Keam on March 12, 2018

Over the past three decades, there has been a shift in how we connect with one another. Today, people report fewer informal social ties, decrease in tolerance and trust, and an eroding political and civic engagement atmosphere in our communities. Robert Putnam’s book Bowling Alone: the Collapse and Revival of American Community suggests that our overall experiences of being in community have been steadily declining since the 1960s. Research by Holt-Lunstad et al. suggests that social isolation has serious negative consequences for our health and well-being – the impact is likened to smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Building communities that bring residents together and help them feel a sense of belonging and connection are more likely to live longer, be healthier, be happier, and act for the common good.

While municipalities have traditionally focused on the built components of a neighbourhood -  paving sidewalks and roads or building houses, parks and arenas - cities across Canada are now realizing that city building also includes the people who live, work and play in each neighbourhood. 

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Neighbourhood Development is about Collaboration

Posted by Heather Keam on February 12, 2018

I was reading a 2015 article called Deepening Community, Realizing the Potential of Citizen Leadership by Sylvia Cheuy, Director of Engagement at Tamarack.  The article talks about community wellbeing and collaboration - how change requires organizations, groups, governments and citizens to work together. No one sector working alone can effectively address complex community issues.  Building neighbourhoods is about strengthening relationships, trust and sharing their unique skills, knowledge and perspectives to work towards shared action.

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Eight Touchstones to Asset-Based Community Development

Posted by Heather Keam on February 12, 2018

“A gift is not a gift until it is received” - Cormac Russell

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Knowing Where You've Been to Know Where You're Headed

Posted by Heather Keam on January 12, 2018

I was reading an article in the Philanthropist, How social service agencies can help build a collaborative and caring economy, where Rob Howarth speaks to the trends of growing economic inequality and geographic segregation in Canadian communities.

If you are like me, I click on the links as I read them. In doing so, I landed on a great website about building community change and building inclusive communities from within: the Neighbourhood Change Research Partnership.

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