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Building A Movement to Deepen Community

Submitted by Community Animator on November 30, 2015 - 7:43am
Insights and Learnings from the 1000 Conversations Campaign

In the fall of 2012, Tamarack started on a journey to explore the experience of community across Canada.  We wanted to learn about how Canadians were experiencing community in their lives today, where they were coming together and what they were doing.  We wanted to unpack these experiences, and dig deep into what they meant to people.  We also wanted to dream together.  To learn about Canadians’ visions for community and understand their thoughts on how to get there.  Through this work, we hoped to raise the profile of community in the minds of people across the country and gain insights regarding the policies, programs and practices that support neighbourhood resilience and the building of social capital.  Our assumption underpinning this work is that strengthening and deepening people’s experience in community, will enable us to better respond to challenges and build a better future together.

Tamarack created the 1000 Conversations Campaign as a structured way to undertake this work.  The idea was simple: get people together to have conversations with each other about community and then document and share the insights generated from these conversations.  Specifically, the Campaign served two purposes:

1.       It taught us a lot about people’s experiences and insights on community; and,

2.       It gave people a chance to connect with one another and experience community.

Through this work, Tamarack developed an initial model for hosting community conversations that:

.          Raised people’s awareness of their community;

.          Improved their knowledge of and feeling of connection to each other; and,

.          Increased their interest and knowledge about becoming involved in their community.

The 1000 Conversations campaign was a first phase of Tamarack’s work in exploring the meaning and possibility of community.  The learnings from the 1,000 Conversations Campaign have now evolved to a new phase:  Local Deepening Community Initiatives.  From 2014 – 2017 Tamarack is committed to partnering with 3-5 local communities each year who are interested in leading local Deepening Community Initiatives within their own communities. These initiatives are simultaneously highly aspirational and profoundly practical projects. Our partnerships with a variety of local communities across Canada is one of the ways in which Tamarack is committed to supporting a national movement of community builders interested in deepening our collective understanding of the power and possibility of community and identifying the programs, policies, and practices that are demonstrating effectiveness in building and sustain strong, engaged communities.

Community Conversations