ENGAGING FOR CHANGE: The Next Generation of Tactics & Tools

November 21, 2017
2:00 pm  -  5:00 pm

Planners and engagement practitioners commonly work in the middle of the engagement spectrum, focusing on input and consultation to address a set of pre-defined questions. This works well for most conventional civic projects. However, when trying to make deeper, paradigmatic changes that challenge the status quo, different forms of engagement are required that are more collaborative and empowering of local communities.

This workshop will focus on the use of creative, innovative engagement techniques to support deep, transformational change in society. Participants will learn about the use of crowdsourcing, Collective Impact, large-scale mobilizing, and Civic Meshworking to build support for and implement change. There will be four key presentations and opportunity for significant discussion amongst participants.


Workshop Presentations:


Using Crowd Funding for Successful Community Projects

Rob Barr, David Van Seters

Crowdfunding has exploded over the past five years as a powerful new way to fund everything from tech gadgets to hospital surgery. More recently, a new form of crowdfunding has emerged that is entirely focused on raising funds for a wide range of local community projects, including those that are traditionally delivered by local governments and community organizations.

Using examples from around the world, this presentation will discuss the potential for Community Crowdfunding coupled with social networking to harness the ideas, support, and investment dollars of local citizens, entrepreneurs, and community organizations, to help deliver progressive projects that improve community livability and sustainability.


CIVIC MESHWORKING – Activating the Growth and Evolution of Community Systems

Beth Sanders

Our communities are complex systems that are able to learn and grow, but what does it take to activate learning and growing in our communities? A first step is recognizing that deep and transformative learning in our communities and society starts with citizens, the essential elements that make a community.

Activating deep and transformative change in community requires us to be actively aware of ourselves, and our roles in community systems. This workshop offers a handful of lenses to help ascertain our ‘place’ in community, where and how we influence learning – our own and others – as we navigate complex systems of community.


Achieving Significant Community Change Through Collective Impact

Mark Holmgren

Independent programmatic efforts, while important, are insufficient to produce needle-moving progress to address intractable problems like poverty, racism, climate change, educational reform, and so on. First identified in 2011, Collective Impact is a framework for a community to apply to influencing systems and policy changes. It calls for a multi-sectoral approach to identifying a common aspiration/agenda and shared measures to rally around. It guides community engagement and helps foster mutually aligned actions among participants, in order to leverage resources and abilities required to achieve the common aspiration.

In this session you will be introduced to the Collective Impact framework, with examples of how it can work to achieve significant, lasting change.


Failing at Engagement, Until You Don’t OR… How 22 Conservation Groups Stopped Worrying and Became Kick-ass Political Organizers! 

Celine Trojand

In 2011, conservation groups in British Columbia were in crisis. We felt that we needed to radically shift our approach to change making or risk becoming irrelevant. Part of the solution was to adopt a new organizing framework developed by the most successful progressive organizers in the world, and adapt it to our political and cultural landscape in BC.

It took an enormous leap of faith, but we learned how to meaningfully engage and develop a powerful constituency committed to change. We learned what a “Theory of Change” was and how to implement one effectively. We learned how to fail spectacularly and how to celebrate in style. After six years of trials, chaos, and bliss our groups have turned a corner. This presentation brings you along to explore our learnings and best practices, using a case study of our latest (and most effective ever!) collective effort.

Session Category :  Workshops