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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 Halo Project

Posted by Milton Friesen on April 10, 2017

“Far better an approximate answer to the right question, which is often vague, than an exact answer to the wrong question, which can always be made precise.”

- John Tukey

One of the significant challenges that community development faces today is understanding how, and in what ways, our work makes a difference. As individuals, we may labour diligently for a long time with what can feel like very little to show. Organizations have a similar challenge. Time, money, staff and volunteers pour out their creativity and passion toward some common end but the value of all that work is often not seen and we can struggle to justify to funders what all the effort is leading to.

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Why We Can’t Afford to Take Charities for Granted

Posted by Milton Friesen on December 19, 2016

Imagine you're the crew of a ship sailing from Italy to Canada. You arrive in Hamilton, Ont., only to discover that complications related to the sale of your vessel means it's in limbo in the harbour, you with it. Who will look after you?

This happened to the crew of the 9,000-ton Italian freighter Ardita in April. The ship is still there.

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Charity and Social Capacity

Posted by Milton Friesen on December 19, 2016

Though seldom sensational, Canada's charitable activities are essential to our civil society. Our charities provide meaning, purpose, and belonging amid the dark labyrinths of alienation that characterize our time. Researching, thinking, talking, building, and envisioning in this space is no esoteric investment, a quaint concession or a salve for the guilt of our overextension and collective greed. In this paper, we explore the deep renewal we need in our conceptions of the charitable sector—how we fund, empower, and even define our charities.

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Increasing Our Ability to Evaluate Complexity

Posted by Milton Friesen on December 23, 2015

Evaluation can be a powerful force for change within organizations. As a result of how we assess our efforts, we pay attention to different areas and invest differently.

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