Portfolio

Community-University Partnership Events

Community-University Partnership Events

With the aim of strengthening community-university partnerships, Concordia University held a Dinner & Discussion series called “Living Knowledge“. For each of the three events, about 100 people gathered together to strategize on issues such as how to make such partnerships sustainable, beneficial to everyone involved, and meaningfully involve students, staff, faculty, and community partners. These events were hosted by Concordia’s Sustainable Communities...

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National Learning Event for the Inspirit Foundation

National Learning Event for the Inspirit Foundation

SPARK recently designed and facilitated a weekend retreat for Canada’s Inspirit Foundation, attended by Inspirit’s Program Director, CEO, social media specialist, and fifteen young leaders from across the country. Each youth was invited to attend based on their accomplishments working on university campuses to effect social change inclusive of the various faith-based, spiritual, and secular communities. This event enabled the Inspirit Foundation to hear from young leaders working...

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Priority-Setting in Rural Ontario

Priority-Setting in Rural Ontario

Timiskaming is a large geographical region in Northern Ontario, with a multitude of organisations and groups working on health-related initiatives. The Timiskaming Health Unit (THU) wanted to help the region’s stakeholders to collaborate more effectively with one another on a few shared priorities. They asked SPARK to design and run a participative process to discover the region’s health priorities.   We adapted the “Delphi technique” for priority setting to combine...

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Creation of Guide for Dialogue Sessions

Creation of Guide for Dialogue Sessions

How do you get schools and communities to collaborate better? Research is pretty clear that better school-community connections tends to promote success for students, but there are a lot of barriers to successful partnerships. The Community Learning Centres (CLC) Network connects English-language schools and communities across Quebec. Last year, they asked SPARK to collaborate with Lucie La Ferrière, former Assistant Director General* of a large school board, on a project in partnership with...

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Addressing a “Culture of Conflict”

Addressing a “Culture of Conflict”

A grass-roots advocacy group was experiencing a “culture of conflict”: disagreements turned personal, and decision-making tended to get derailed. Sub-groups had formed and were contributing to covert power struggles. Needless to say, this environment was a frustrating and, at times, unsafe place to be working in. Initially, we met with a small cross-section of staff and volunteers to better understand the issues. Next, we decided to bring the whole organisation together to explore...

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