Category: Leadership

Jul 22 2013

Earlier this month, The Rockefeller Foundation – in collaboration with The Monitor Institute and Monitor Deloitte – released Gather: The Art and Science of Effective Convening. In its opening pages, this report describes itself as a “guidebook for people who want to change the world [for] social change leaders who understand the power of convening the right group of people, and who believe that collective intelligence trumps individual smarts when it comes to solving shared problems.” It offers a rich resource for anyone taking on the role of a lead convening designer by providing an array of very practical how-to guides and tools for thinking through each of the seven building blocks of effective convening.

The seven building blocks are defined as:

  • Choosing to Convene – The resources in this section aim to help you decide whether convening is the right tool for your situation at this point in time.
  • Defining Your Purpose – What is the point of your gathering and how co-creative or traditional do you want it to be? This section helps you to define your gathering’s “north star.”
  • Forming Your Team – This section maps out how the work of convening is typically divided and helps you establish a team structure to get it all done.
  • Assembling Participants –Determine who will be interested in the gathering you are hosting, who you should invite and how you can convince them to come.
  • Structuring the Work – This section helps you to ensure that once you’ve got the right people in the room, they will accomplish some specific work together. It answers the question: what are the activities that will support the group who are gathered to achieve their intended purpose?
  • Planning the Follow-Through – Assess the success of the gathering and move into actions on important next steps.
  • Tying It All Together – Translate your general principles about your gathering into a specific experience with a clear plan on how to create it.

In addition to offering practical tips and tools, Gather does an excellent job clarifying important distinctions between workshops, conferences, meetings and convening. Convening is distinct from other common ways of bringing people together “in one important way: for the duration, the attendees are participants in a collective effort that serves a specific shared purpose.”

Every convening has three defining characteristics:

  • Diverse Stakeholders – Convening involves a diverse mix of stakeholders – often from different organizations – who represent a range of perspectives on a topic.
  • A Clear Purpose – Convening is intended to drive towards alignment, decision-making and/or reaching intended outcomes.
  • Co-Generation of Insight and Action – Convening relies on all participants to generate insight and action so that – together – the thinking of the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

The impetus for Gather emerged from the Rockefeller Foundation’s recognition that, while convening had been a critical tool in its own work and evolution, the Foundation had not “formalized our skills and training in this core competency.” In 2011, this led to the launch of an internal Foundation project focused on documenting and strengthening convening skills within the Foundation, its immediate colleagues and its grantees. Gather built upon this work and was developed as a resource that could be shared widely with the Foundation’s colleagues, partners and grantees.

Gather provides three reasons for why its authors believe the skill of convening will become increasingly important in the future:

  1. People have simultaneously become more globally connected and also more fragmented into silos.
  2. Many of the challenges we now face are larger and more interconnected than ever before.
  3. Social solutions that will be needed in the future are larger than any single organization.

What convening offers is an opportunity to tap into collective intelligence and accelerate change. Noting that the power of convening has “grown dramatically over the past two decades,” the authors also observe that “this convening power is still not tapped to its fullest potential.”  And so, in addition to offering a practical toolkit, Gather issues a challenge to anyone wanting to work with others to change the world: “build your convening muscles and make the headway we all need against today’s increasingly complex challenges.”

Learn More:

Author

Sylvia Cheuy is Director, Seeking Community at Tamarack – An Institute for Community Engagement.

Dec 13 2012

Paul Born

Thanksgiving, Diwali, Christmas, Hanukkah, Ashura, Bodhi … these are just some of the seasonal celebrations that bring people together to remember, celebrate and enjoy each other. For people like me, who has a community and people to be happy with, it is a season of blessings. However, for others, such times can be a source of loneliness and pain.

I have often wondered what it would be like to be homeless and invited to a charity Christmas dinner. Songs are sung, lots of traditional food is served and many well-meaning people are making themselves happy by serving you. Would the experience evoke happy memories of Christmas past? Or would it evoke pain by heightening your awareness of your present situation?

The feeling of emptiness or being alone is another common feeling for many during the holidays. It is a paradox when the holiday season is often so full and busy. Alone is not just for isolated people. It can permeate one’s being even during the most festive occasions.

Can community find us this holiday season? Can we find community? I am struck by a simple understanding: our sense of community is easily shaped by our expectations. When I go to a sporting event or seasonal concert, my expectations about finding a sense of community are low. I do not go to these events expecting to find much more than a common love of the sport or the music. Yet, when I gather with my family, my expectation of a sense of community is much higher. I want to feel cared for and I want to show caring. If these opportunities or feelings of caring are not present, I feel disappointed, or, worse, I feel alone and my longing for belonging and community becomes far greater.

Faced with these possibilities, I have two choices for how to approach the holiday season. First, I can manage my expectations. If I keep them low, then I will not be disappointed. Many of us enter family events this way. A second option is for me to be deliberate about building or deepening my feeling of community.

Here are some examples of what that might look like this season:

  • Build some fun new traditions – Invite people to go for a pre-meal walk; place “crackers” on everyone’s plates and crack them open one at a time; play a group game like charades; or open gifts one at a time in a circle. Research confirms that people who spend time together and enjoy the company of each other build bonds of trust that lead to a greater ease of reciprocity.
  • Build opportunities for everyone to contribute – Potlucks are famous for encouraging and celebrating this. They not only make a party easier and more fun to host, but they provide an opportunity for everyone to simultaneously care and be cared for.
  • Evoke collective caring or altruism – Suggest that everyone bring a hand-made, local or fair trade gift. Assemble care packages or school kits. Have people share their favorite seasonal stories of resilience or take a moment to reflect on others whose situations may not be as fortunate as our own.

Have fun together. Take care of each other. Work for a better world. These are three simple ways to be more intentional about deepening our experience of community.

Take stock of your expectations when you gather together this holiday season. It is amazing what a little creativity can do to bring people together.

Related links:

Author

Paul Born is President of Tamarack – An Institute for Community Engagement.

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Oct 17 2012

It’s hard to believe that only a few weeks ago, Tamarack’s 7th Communities Collaborating Institute (CCI) drew to a close. While the experience is still percolating for many, we are pleased to share highlights from some of the CCI 2012 alumni blogs that offer initial reflections and a glimpse of this unique learning experience.

Wicked Problems: Collaborative Solutions – Jill Wyatt

The conversations here have given me much food for thought. One of the speakers, Tim Brodhead, talked about three forces impacting the social sector that certainly describe our work at United Way: the drive for efficiency, the imperative of effectiveness and the complexity that makes all our work so hard!

This new paradigm demands more sharing: shared knowledge, shared risk, shared trust, shared time, shared space. Collaborative work like this takes enormous time and effort, development of tremendous trust among partners and only demonstrates outcomes over time. Brodhead went on to name some of the challenges of collaboration, including the underestimation of time and effort required to create successful collaborations, the potential for creativity to be supplanted by group-think, and the stewardship of long-term trust.

Fellow-Travellers – Liz Weaver

Once a year, at the Communities Collaborating Institute, we get to stretch. We have a week to think, to reflect, meet others who may, at times, feel alone in the work that is collaborative. There is a tribe of like-minded folks who will share their wisdom, their frustrations, and give you a peek, if only for a moment, into their aspirations and hopes for their communities. That for me is the gift of the Communities Collaborating Institute. It’s not so much the insights of the speakers, or the challenge of absorbing so many ideas in such a short time, but it is the people, who journey with you through the week.

I think it is the total package which keeps me coming back – that and the fact that each year has a unique character – largely due to those who come to the gathering and share their gifts. Thank you to all of my colleagues attending the 2012 version. The paths we walk twist and turn but it is good to know we will meet each other on the journey.

Inside/Out – Scott MacAfee

We came as many independently sharing a single thought
We moved through each other,
Shared our full selves,
Had brain explosions,
We challenged,
Grew,
Learned,
Listened,
Thought deeply,
Danced,
Dialogued,
Sang,
Laughed,
Cried,
Believed in barking dogs,
Owned our suck as well as our awesome,
And never turned back;
As we created this Perfect Space of limitless possibility
We gave all of ourselves and now are seemingly more full now than when we started
We leave as one, collectively sharing the same heart… Thank You!

We Need More Leaders – Mark Holmgren

In less than two days, I have had my mind challenged by the thinking and experience of Tim Brodhead (former CEO of the McConnell Foundation), Paul Schmitz (advisor to President Obama), and Meg Wheatley (author and teacher). I have also been fortunate as a “pod leader” to spend time and share reflections with nine colleagues from around the country.

Here are a few reflections about the types of range of changes our communities and organizations require to move forward toward a future where poverty, dis-ease, and polarization are problems of the past.

We need more leaders. We need more leaders everywhere in our community, from all walks of life, of all ages. The challenges we face will not be met by old notions of leadership as a position held by a few. Leadership is action and, as Paul Schmitz reminded us, everyone leads. One of the calls to action voiced by Paul was that a priority of all leaders is to help others be leaders, whether in our organizations, our communities, or our families.

Tim Brodhead urged funders and community organizations to work together as authentic partners. What I especially appreciated about Tim’s analysis was his observation that such partnerships need to accept the iterative nature of the work and the relationship around the work. This means that funders and organizations must be prepared to learn together and make changes along the way that further our chances of achieving successful results.

What a great two days… great food. The music of Michael Jones lifts my spirits, leads me to a peaceful place, and sparks my thinking. The energy in the rooms we work in is palpable and the sincerity of all who are attending is inspiring. I am glad I am here. I am glad all of us are here.

Related:

Author

Sylvia Cheuy is Director, Seeking Community at Tamarack – An Institute for Community Engagement.

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Sep 12 2012

The discipline of design has traditionally focused on the form and function of products (think iPod). However, design firms like IDEO are using the principles of design to create an innovative approach for addressing more complex problems. This approach is called design thinking. As traditional programs and policies within our social systems are proving less effective, a growing number of non-profit organizations are embracing design thinking to generate new solutions.

Image credit: Fraulein Schille

Image credit: Fraulein Schille

As Cameron Norman observed in his recent blog Evaluation and Design for Changing Conditions, “The days of creating programs, products and services and setting them loose on the world are coming to a close.” As an alternative he suggests that Design Thinking – a human-centered approach to innovation that brings together what is desirable from a human point of view with what is technologically feasible and economically viable – offers a “relevant and appropriate” alternative approach for those seeking to influence our world.

In Design Thinking for Social Innovation, an article published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, authors Tim Brown and Jocelyn Wyatt of IDEO describe Design Thinking as an approach that “taps into capacities we all have but that are overlooked by more conventional problem-solving practices. Not only does it focus on creating products and services that are human-centered, but the process itself is also deeply human. Design thinking relies on our ability to be intuitive, to recognize patterns, to construct ideas that have emotional meaning as well as being functional.”

The design thinking process is described as “a system of three overlapping spaces rather than a sequence of orderly steps: inspiration, ideation, and implementation.” Each of these spaces is described below:

  • Inspiration: Identifying the Problem or Opportunity – Design thinkers believe that people often have difficulty explaining their needs. To gain insight into the range of unmet needs, design thinkers forgo surveys or focus groups in favour of listening to and observing behaviours of end-users to better understand the problem and its context.
  • Ideation: Generating, Developing and Testing Ideas – In this space, the insight gained during the inspiration space is distilled into a plan for change. The emphasis in this space is on coming up with as many ideas as possible and testing them against each other. The focus of this space recognizes, to quote Linus Pauling, “To have a good idea you must first have lots of ideas.”
  • Implementation: Putting Solutions into the World – In the third space, ideas are turned into products, policies and services. Prototyping and pilot testing in real environments are then used to refine these solutions.

Jerry Sternin’s Positive Deviance Initiative provides a powerful case study of design thinking in action. The initiative’s goal was to decrease malnutrition in Vietnamese children. However, rather than studying the problem, Sternin sought out and studied families in the community who were not malnourished. He then worked with these families to offer cooking classes to the families of malnourished children. By the end of the program’s first year, 80 percent of the 1,000 children enrolled in the initiative were adequately nourished and the program had been replicated to fourteen villages. This is the power of design thinking: looking beyond the problem to discover the seeds of the solution which already exist and working closely with the clients and consumers to allow high-impact solutions to bubble up from below rather than being imposed from the top.

Related Links:

(Image credit: Fraulein Schille)

Author

Sylvia Cheuy is Director, Seeking Community at Tamarack – An Institute for Community Engagement.

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Mar 28 2012

“What I discovered during all these years is that as long as you have confidence in what you do, and as long as you’re confident in your abilities and your skills, you can do anything you want. Having said that, you always have to have goals.”

Osman HamidAs you talk to Osman Hamid, you quickly realize that his story is about inspiration, both being inspired by and inspiring others.

A Maytree Scholarship program alumnus, Osman is currently completing his MBA at Ryerson University, where he is active in the university governance and community. He’s that rare person who can work and exist in two worlds that many times seem at odds with each other. Whether working closely and volunteering with and on behalf of students, or working on university governance, Osman has made strong contributions to university life and how the institution is responsive to various communities.

Like many students, Osman went through a period of being unsure of what he wanted to study. Starting and stopping an engineering program, dealing with the uncertainty of not finishing what he started and of moving from university to college for another program, he was able to not only persevere, but to thrive.

He promised himself that he was “going to do something when he got into university again. And I was able to do it by being involved with student government, being able to volunteer with different campaigns the university was holding.” He sees as one of his biggest accomplishments to prove to people who believed in him, “that I was able to do it, that I was able to get to the goal, which is graduate, get a degree and be able to move on and be a contributing member of society.”

Volunteering: an important part in Osman’s life

“Volunteering has been one of the best experiences that I’ve had. Why? Because, you know you’re doing something you believe in when you’re doing it without getting paid.”

Based on his own experiences, Osman sees volunteering as an important part of how he lives his life and contributes to his community. It allows him to continue to learn and grow, while also helping others to do the same. Whether supporting fellow students through the Muslim Student Association, Ryerson Commerce Society, and Ryerson Students Union or sitting on the Ryerson Board of Governors, volunteering has lead Osman into leadership.

Leadership, for Osman, is not merely being in a position of power or influence, but being able to create mutually supportive experiences and institutions that benefit all involved: “You’re able to understand how leadership is formed, what it takes to be a leader, and where you need to go. So for me, I was able to benefit, and I was able to benefit others, through the things that I did. So, volunteering, that’s what it does for you. It gives you that contentment, that sense of being able to do something.”

Leadership diversity and the importance of mentors

Osman sits on the Ryerson University Board of Governors and is proud of its diversity, not only from an optics standpoint, but because it makes the board better, more effective:

“That diversity is really appreciated because it helps us get different points of opinion, different takes on things, whether it’s business experience or cultural experience. And, at the same time, you feel that it is well represented. It represents the community.”

Part of being on the Board of Governors includes seeking a mentor. Osman sought out someone he trusted and respected. In this case, it was Ryerson University president, Sheldon Levy.

“Sheldon Levy was an excellent choice for me. We’ve worked together on certain student initiatives during my years at Ryerson, and I believe that he’s going to be able to give me the inside scoop on how to be a very productive and engaged governor on the board.”

Sheldon Levy is equally enthusiastic about Osman’s contributions: “We’re blessed to have him. He’s a very strong leader who sees his role as giving back. He wants to advance others. He’s not afraid to ask the difficult questions to do his job well. He shows strong backbone. He has strong opinions but is always willing to listen and is open enough to change his mind if he sees that the other person’s point has value. He treats others with respect, but expects to be treated with respect as well.”

Osman’s final word: “He’s management, at the end of the day, and I have to provide oversight over him. I have to get his side of the story in order to be able to make the decisions.”

Sounds like a balanced, productive relationship between two leaders who respect each other.

Advice for Maytree Scholarship students

Osman’s leadership is inspiring, in general, but also specifically to others who have been, are and will be participating in the Maytree Scholarship Program. When asked what advice he has for Maytree’s scholarship students, he highlights being confident, committed, and eager to learn.

He points to the importance of giving back. “Give back to community, because if you don’t give back to the community as part of this program, then you’re not fulfilling the values of this program. The Maytree Foundation is helping people, so you need to also go there and help people. If you don’t do that, then you’re not fulfilling the best that they saw in you.”

We’re proud to know Osman and to be inspired by him.

Related:

Making Their Mark: Canada’s Young Refugees
Author

Marco Campana is a communications expert living in Toronto and Maytree's former content manager.

Mar 12 2012

followmeontwitter_byFanie!On March 21, Twitter will celebrate its sixth birthday; boasting over 500 million registered users and, among other impressive numbers, one billion tweets a day.

Not only are at least 100 million people actively tweeting (the rest are lurkers, or completely inactive), the social impact of Twitter has become a realm of study that will no doubt keep communications academics busy for decades. Good for us? Bad? Either way, it is a reality that attracts a lot of opinion and speculation. Last week, for example, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone declared it unhealthy to log on to the social networking site for too long.

From capturing details of daily life to being a mobilizing tool for social change, there is no doubt that Twitter has become an important medium of communication. It teaches us many things about what, as a culture, we deem important and worthy of repeating.

What I’m interested in is what we can learn from it. In particular, what does it teach us about leadership?

  1. Know where you’re going and be precise about sharing it. You only have 140 characters. You need to be clear about what you want to communicate and communicate it well. Are you tweeting about your first date, your latest project at work or Rob Ford and the TTC? The very fact that you’re on Twitter (the medium) says, “I’m a hip leader, in touch with the times.” The message says, this is what I think is worthwhile. Both are equally important.
  2. Listen. As important as sharing worthy information is, it is important to listen to what others are saying. What is the context and climate you are leading in? Listening to what others are saying gives you the advantage of staying ahead of the conversation.
  3. Engage. Listening you are, you say? Prove it by participating. It’s important to listen, but also to respond and say thank you. More than good manners, it’s a necessary step to take information into the realm of discussion and analysis.
  4. Build your network. Every leader needs followers. Tweeps. What’s the point without them? They’re as interested in who you are as what you’re saying. Real-life integrity, courage and enthusiasm are all traits of anyone worth their 140 characters.
  5. Be present. An ironic point of tweeting an event requires one to be praying into a smartphone, temporarily disengaging from one’s immediate surroundings. On the other hand, one needs to be actively listening or engaging with the environment to tweet about one’s surroundings. Balancing input and output is critical.

Related Twitter links:

(image by Fanie Grégoire)

Author

Tina Edan is Communications Manager at Maytree.

Feb 23 2012

While most nonprofit organizations understand the benefit of professional legal advice, many simply cannot afford it. Enter the internationally recognized legal team at McMillan. Now in its second year, McMillan is offering a unique pro bono certificate program tailored to the individual legal needs of nonprofit organizations in the Maytree Network.

McMillan generously offers top legal advice to selected organizations working on issues such as poverty, culture, immigrant settlement and urban prosperity. Organizations which received legal advice through last year’s pilot program include Diaspora Dialogues, Jane’s Walk, Dixon Hall, Manifesto, and Working Women Community Centre.

After a tremendously successful first year, McMillan has renewed its commitment to existing organizations and will extend support to five new ones – Working Skills Centre, Social Services Network, Canadian Arab Institute, Scarborough Women’s Centre, and Scadding Court Community Centre.

In addition to the pro bono certificate program, McMillan has also generously offered training opportunities on topics ranging from Directors’ Duties to Employment and Labour Law through the DiverseCity onBoard initiative and Maytree’s Five Good Ideas lunch and learn series. You can find some of the training sessions online, including Obtaining and Maintaining Charitable Status, Strategies for Privacy Compliance, and Copyright and Intellectual Property Law.

A few McMillan lawyers have also contributed to the recently published Five Good Ideas book.

Author

Tina Edan is Communications Manager at Maytree.

Jan 23 2012

Milton WongMilton Wong died in Vancouver on the last day of 2011. The son of an immigrant tailor, he became one of Canada’s most successful money managers and the chairman of HSBC Canada. Milton was the rare Canadian businessman who saw and worked with the whole community.

He was formally involved on boards of civic organizations, but equally engaged with many individuals and small groups working on issues of social justice, equity and equality. He brought to the table business acumen and an instinct for innovation, but also a deep compassion and an empathetic nature. He didn’t insist on sharp boundaries between sectors.

While he was not directly involved in Maytree’s work, he was a valued friend and advisor to many of Maytree’s partners and colleagues, who reflected his ideas and generosity. He offers a rich example of a life well lived for his community and country.

There have been many tributes to Milton since his death, and we provide some links to them here:

(image courtesy of The Milton Wong Multimedia Interactive Website)

Author

Alan Broadbent is Chairman and Founder of Maytree, and Chairman and CEO of Avana Capital Corporation.

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Mar 16 2011

Advocacy is typically a word that the non-profit and, more so, charitable sector has come to fear and loathe. We all need to do it. We all want to do it better.

2010 Maytree Leadership Conference

But, we don’t dare talk about it.

“We take a very broad view of advocacy. The Free Dictionary defines it as ‘The act of pleading or arguing in favor of something, such as a cause, idea, or policy.’ In our approach , we include not only ‘public-policy advocacy,’ i.e. organized, legitimate attempts to influence decisions of government and other public authorities at local, national and international levels, but several other dimensions as well. These include efforts to influence decisions and behavior of the media, institutions, corporations and other commercial interests, collective and individual behavior and public opinion.” Advocacy School

But what does it mean to be part of advocacy? To truly become effective advocates? How and where can we learn to do it?

Enter Advocacy School

Veteran lobbyist Sean Moore has started a school for the novice as well as the veteran, for board members and senior management as well as front-line workers and volunteers. It’s called Advocacy School.

If you want to improve your capacity and ability to influence public opinion and the decisions of government and others, Advocacy School is worth a look.

The mission of Advocacy School is to develop and deliver training and other supports on the means by which individuals and organizations can learn to effectively engage the public at large and governments in particular on issues of public policy and social change. Effective engagement would subsequently advance their beliefs, goals, visions and interests.

As Sean has stated previously: “Discussion about the strengths and weaknesses of Canadian democracy traditionally focus on the mechanics of elections and the machinations of parliament, an independent judiciary, rule of law and a free press – all important elements, to be sure. But isn’t the nature of our democratic practice between elections, the exercise of our right to petition government and to participate in policy and decision-making, the human effort and creativity to forge consensus on important questions – aren’t these all also important features of our civic life?”

Creating both a repository of useful information, expertise and practices, Advocacy School seeks to foster a community and dialogue about effective advocacy across the country. It’s a new project, a work-in-progress, and you are invited to join and help shape what the site will become. They’re planning to roll out a range of advocacy training workshops across Canada and on-line webinars starting early 2011. Take some time to review what they’re planning, and let them know what you’re interested in.

See Sean in action, from the 2009 Maytree Leadership Conference – Influencing Decision-Makers: The Narrative of Persuasion. Sean teaches participants how to sharpen their organization’s messages and be more effective in public policy advocacy.

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We love the idea of Advocacy School. We hope you’ll join, play, learn, teach and share Advocacy School with your networks.

Related links:

Author

Marco Campana is a communications expert living in Toronto and Maytree's former content manager.

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Feb 08 2011

Tomorrow, February 9, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi will be speaking in Toronto. Are you excited? We’re excited.

Many of us won’t be able to join Mayor Nenshi as he shares his remarks at the Canadian Club (don’t worry, a video of his presentation will be out soon). We thought we’d put together some background information about Mayor Nenshi, so you can feel like you’ve had a chance to see him, in his own words.

On Saturday, the Globe and Mail wrote a story that’s a great read for you to get an overview of Naheed Nenshi’s challenge: Making Calgary a livable city. This section is key:

“Seldom has a Canadian mayor come to office with such a deep understanding of urban issues. Now, after years on the outside as a business professor, activist and newspaper columnist, he suddenly has a chance to put those ideas into action….

‘When did Jane Jacobs write the Death and Life of Great American Cities? We’re getting there, just 40 years later,’ says Mr. Nenshi. When a project called Imagine Calgary asked residents what they wanted from their city in the future, it found most wanted to live in a place where they could walk to the store, walk their kids to school, get by with only one car and be surrounded by different kinds of people. ‘If everyone wants that, why aren’t we building that?’ says the mayor. It’s a good question, and not just for Calgary. Cities across Canada are trying to reinvent themselves on denser, more modern lines. If Naheed Nenshi has his way, Calgary will show them how. “

Tomorrow, perhaps Mayor Nenshi will share some of this vision with Toronto.

Mayor Nenshi, his words and insights

TEDxCalgary – Naheed Nenshi – Calgary 3.0
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Using insights drawn from his work in business, entrepreneurship and social change, as well as modern GIS data, Naheed Nenshi explores the challenges of how a modern city like Calgary grows, and what some of the implications are for creating inclusive communities.

Key to current discussions in Toronto is this campaign video – Better Idea #9 – Traffic, Transportation, and Transit and related video about making transit affordable for newcomers.

Interesting information

Mayor Nenshi was the lead author of Building Up: Making Canada’s Cities Magnets for Talent and Engines of Development. “Building Up” contributes to the national debate on cities by (1) encouraging dialogue; (2) suggesting policy directions to help Canadian cities become magnets for talent; and (3) identifying specific initiatives to translate talk into action.

Here are a couple of articles about what we can learn from his campaign:

  • Lessons from Naheed
    “The real success of Nenshi’s social media campaign was that it broke free of the political echo chamber. To have a tangible impact, you need to reach the non-political crowd…the kind of people who will actually change their mind based on a news story or video they see online. So the Nenshi campaign reached out to the non-political, spreading their message to places like hockey forums and online discussion boards.”
  • Congratulations to Naheed & other fabulous people
    “What really matters about Naheed is that he is smart, he is about ideas and he’s progressive. That he’s managed to capture the imagination of a place like Calgary speaks volumes both about how hard he campaigned and how cosmopolitan Canada’s urban centres are becoming.”

Background and bio

Bio – Naheed Nenshi is a passionate Calgarian, an accomplished business professional, and a community leader with a solid track record of getting things done.  He’s run a large nonprofit, he’s been a trusted advisor to corporate leaders in Canada and the US, and he literally wrote the book on Canadian cities.

As we know, Mayor Nenshi ran a great campaign, and a very web/social media savvy campaign. See for yourself:

Biography Overview

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How do you say Naheed?
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Author

Marco Campana is a communications expert living in Toronto and Maytree's former content manager.

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