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From the Ontario Trillium Foundation 2009 Professional Development Conference ...
From the Ontario Trillium Foundation 2009 Professional Development Conference
According to a recent Kellogg Foundation report, if an organization builds a culture that systematically supports innovation, the ideas will come. The key is to be deliberate, open to ideas from anywhere, comfortable with unpredictability, and generous in sharing learnings – all great approaches to building a social infrastructure for youth organizing and engagement in Ontario. Young people are already making significant contributions to their communities, and now is the time to sustain and increase that activity.
In March 2009, OTF partnered with the Laidlaw Foundation and Tides Canada to create the conditions that would allow youth-led and youth-serving organizations to connect with each other, share resources and develop new knowledge and practices. 50 young people from diverse sectors and groups agreed on the need for a coordinated provincial model, but where they go from there is deliberately unplanned. No required changes have been identified up front, and no expected outcomes have been proposed. The only certainty is that a strong foundation is being built for future generations. Work through a fascinating case study on this unique process to find out more about:
- the five stages of intentional innovation;
- thinking big and trusting to “wisdom of crowds”;
- the definition of a social infrastructure; and
- the kind of supports needed by youth to strengthen their work
Abe Drennan, Program Director, The Switch Yard Centre
Arti Freeman, OTF Program Manager, Province-Wide,
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