Mobilizing for Impact

The “Neighbourhoods ♥ The Heart of Community – Mobilizing for Impact” event was held in Montreal from June 6 to 8, 2017. These three days of training organized by the Tamarack Institute brought together Montreal’s social development stakeholders to present their inspiring and innovative local initiatives, such as the Collective Impact Project. Designed as a learning program, this event was also an opportunity for people to develop tools to increase the effectiveness of their collective work and the impact of their actions.

Many stakeholders from Montreal neighbourhoods also came to the event. Below, you can read what people took away from the training.

maude-vallee

Maude Vallée, Table de développement social de LaSalle

What was your main takeaway?
We heard presentations of many inspiring initiatives. They’ve given me ideas and motivation and made me think about how we need to take the time to get back to the basics. While it’s true that we need shared leadership and a common vision, how can we achieve these things? We often look for a complicated solution when the basics—such as sitting down and talking together—is all we need.

What will you put into practice?
Out of the many tools we learned about, I will definitely use the wheel of involvement, which gives a general profile of each person who may be involved on a neighbourhood roundtable. When you are aware of everyone’s level of personal involvement and interest, you can better assign tasks and better manage time.

 

mathieu-pajot

Matthieu Pajot, Peter-McGill Community Council

What was your main takeaway?
That we need to broaden our vision by looking at what other people do. People sometimes have a rigid way of seeing how things should be done in our community. However, if you have an open mind about what people are doing in other places, regions or countries, you can compare different practices and get new ideas for your community.

What will you put into practice?
Peter-McGill is incredibly diverse, and it’s difficult to reach out to everyone, particularly due to language barriers.  I like what John McKnight said, “There are no such things as strangers, just friends we haven’t met yet.” I will keep this in mind to force myself to always find the positive in the people I meet. In our work, we tend to focus on the negative when reaching out to people, but I’d like to see what we can do by focusing on the positive.

 

kira-page

Kira Page, Centre for Community Organizations (COCo)

What was your main takeaway?
For me, it was hearing so many people’s stories, which helped me understand how to apply theory and adapt it to different contexts.

What will you put into practice?
I’ll try to adopt strategies to help people see and accept new ways of doing things in their communities. I’ve learned that authenticity and self-knowledge are key to making progress. I’ll build on these points to implement my vision.

 

janie-janvier

Janie Janvier, Concertation Saint-Léonard

What was your main takeaway?
I actually have a few: openness, discovery, and rich diversity. A new door has been opened for me, and I really see things in a different way now. You can try things and make mistakes, but you should never be scared of just going for it. You need to ask the right questions to keep moving forward and making progress, and from the standpoint not of performance but of learning. You simply need to keep talking to people, get to know yourself, and see where it takes you.

What will you put into practice?
I’m leaving with so many tools that will help me grow my relationship with the members of my community. By becoming better connected to them, I think they can take an even greater place in society—in their own way—in collaboration with other community stakeholders.

 

raphaelle-rinfret-pilon

Raphaëlle Rinfret-Pilon, CDC Centre-Sud

What was your main takeaway?
The whole idea of authenticity. Recognizing authenticity in yourself and in others.

What will you put into practice?
Building on the strengths of individuals and the community instead of focusing on weaknesses. Contrary to what some may think, doing this won’t make us lose sight of the issues. Instead, it will help us find strengths that will guide us toward change.

 

sophie-petre

Sophie Pétré, CDC Centre-Sud

What was your main takeaway?
The importance of each person’s contribution and the strength of collective action when everyone is on board with the contribution they want to make. When this contribution harnesses our strengths, passions, donations and desire, then we can indeed go far.

What will you put into practice?
I liked John McKnight’s four ingredients for building a strong community. I wonder how much we can apply them to ourselves and to each of our partners. I’m also curious to see how we can concretely apply the idea of “participatory assessment,” i.e., how we can set very specific goals to achieve collective action.

 

catherine-simard

Catherine Simard, Centraide of Greater Montreal

What was your main takeaway?
The idea of change. Changing the dialogue between communities and funders. I also learned that when you want to do new things, the process can’t be frustrating. If you want to achieve lasting change, people can’t feel forced to do new things. The concept of dialogue is very important.

What will you put into practice?
The whole concept of “hospitality” discussed by John McKnight. Accepting people and situations as they are and encouraging them to get involved.

 

michel-roy

Michel Roy, Table de quartier Hochelaga-Maisonneuve

What was your main takeaway?
These three days were a good overview of the basic principles of community work. For me, it’s been a good refresher for certain concepts.

What will you put into practice?
I’ll continue working to get all our partners involved as effectively as possible. Grand theories can be hard to put into practice.