Fueling A Social Movement

Submitted by Community Animator on April 24, 2015 - 5:09am
Seekers Journal

Dear Friend,

Welcome to the April 2015 issue of the Seekers Journal. It has been an exciting month here at Deepening Community. There is a lot of momentum building for our Neighbours: Re-imaging Cities ~ Re-engaging Citizens Gathering which is taking place in Hamilton, ON from June 8-10, 2015. This gathering will host champions in neighbourhood-building from around the world, including renowned community-builders John McKnight, Jim Diers, Vickie Cammack and Paul Born. We have people joining us from all over the country and internationally who will learn from one another and explore opportunities to accelerate our collective capacity to strengthen neighbourhoods and deepen community.

Later this month, we will be hosting a webinar: Imagining and Engaging: The Hamilton Neighbourhood Story with Suzanne Brownn, Manager of Neighbourhood Development Strategies. This FREE event will also provide an opportunity to discover the highlights, results and learnings from that city’s neighbourhood action strategy as well as have an opportunity for questions and answers.

The greatest fuel for this social movement is the incredible stories that are illustrating what is possible when neighbours, cities and organizations work and learn together. Tamarack is pleased to offer leadership to document, champion and accelerate the important work of deepening community. This month we have heard from several new bloggers who are sharing their stories and resources with us, some of them we are sharing in this issue. 

We love to hear from you! By committing to work and learn from each other, we will rediscover the power – and accelerate the practice – of deepening community, together. Please join us and add your insights, wisdom and curiosity to this growing movement.

The Role of the Citizen


After one of his seven Deepening Community with Collective Impact workshops in Australia and New Zealand, Paul Born was interviewed by Paul Bishop in Redland City, Australia, about the true cost of deepening community- both socially and economically.

Paul Born remarks: It’s not about creating a revolution, it’s about fostering an evolution that re-imagines ourselves and embracing what we have. It’s about recognizing and celebrating the assets that we share and finding ways to work together to create a better world. As he shares in his book, it’s about moving from a fear-based society, to one that finds joy in the gifts that are right in front of us.

Read the article and watch the interview clip

Learn more about the Deepening Community: Finding Joy in Chaotic Times

Join us for our Neighbours: Re-Imagining Cities ~ Re-Engaging Citizens National Gathering

Valuing the Intangible: The Impact of Deepening Community


By: Sylvia Cheuy

In a recent webinar exploring six patterns of social innovation, Tamarack Thought-Leader Al Etmanski spoke of his hope for a “resurrection of the ordinary” which he described as “recognizing ordinary people and their extraordinary power.”

Al’s phrase stuck a deep cord and reminded me that simple things that are easily overlooked, can often be powerful sources of profound impact. Community is one of those things: so ordinary and obvious that it is often assumed as a given. Yet, increasingly evidence is demonstrating the profound impact that face-to-face connection and strong circles of friendship have on our health, our ability to learn, our resilience and our life expectancy.

The choice to deepen community – to connect regularly with family and friends; to chat and share stories with neighbours; to take time to contribute to and enjoy local celebrations – is, on the one hand, is so incredibly ordinary. On the other hand, strengthening connection to our neighbours and choosing to invest in the strengthening of social ties within communities is proving to be an important strategy – and necessary prerequesite – for achieving meaningful impact on a range of complex community issues.

Read more


Building a Neighbourhood Strategy in Peterborough, ON


By: Christie Nash

In February 2015, Peterborough Partners for Wellness invited the City of Hamilton to share their process of building a Neighbourhood Action Strategy. With almost 50 people in the room for the presentation, the energy and enthusiasm around the potential for building a neighbourhood plan in Peterborough was palpable.

With 16 individuals and organizations putting their names forward to participate in future discussions about this potential in Peterborough and committing to action, Partners for Wellness decided to gather this momentum and host a follow up meeting to come up with some concrete action items to move this forward.

Read more here

When is Helping the Wrong Thing To Do?



By: Heather Plett

“Sometimes helping is an act of violence.” That was one of many thought-provoking things Peter Block said in a talk I heard him give a few years ago.

Really?! Helping as an act of violence? How could that be possible?

The part of me that places a high value in my ability to help others didn’t want to believe it. Surely I hadn’t been conducting acts of violence in my efforts to help people. I’m a good person - how could I have inadvertently been guilty of violence?

But the more I’ve thought about it in the years since I heard it, the more I’ve realized that there is truth to it, and I have been guilty of it. Sometimes helping is the wrong thing to do. Sometimes, despite our best intentions, helping is destructive rather than constructive.

Read the post here

Learn more about Heather Plett

Upcoming Events


Poverty Reduction Summit May 6-8, 2015 in Ottawa, ON EVENT NOW FULL

Community Engagement - Technologies for Change May 28, 2015 in Red Deer, AB

Neighbours: Policies & Programs June 8-10, 2015 in Hamilton, ON

Collective Impact Summit September 28- October 2, 2015 in Vancouver, BC


Imagining and Engaging: The Hamilton Neighbourhood Story with Suzanne Brown, Thursday, April 30th, 2015


For More Upcoming Events and Details >>