We Provide An Innovative Approach to Help You Multiply, Mobilize, and Maximize Your Impact
Best known for developing the Theory of General Relativity, Albert Einstein once stated that innovation is combinatorial. As he suggested, combinatorial is about being alert and awake to the world in order to collect cross-disciplinary building blocks such as observations of successes and promising practices, the research of others, sparks of inspiration, and other existing ideas — that ideally we then combine and recombine, to create something new.
It is from this messy and vast multi-sectoral pool of resources that the Campus for Communities of the Future has been able to build unique, relevant, and practical training focused on the future-focused leadership needed to help grow organizations, businesses, neighbourhoods, and communities. We've done it by standing on the shoulders of some amazing change agents across the country.
What Have We Learned from Leaders Across the Country?
We've learned that communities only grow and develop when their leaders learn how to adapt to changing conditions and become more future-focused.
Additionally, today's complex health, social, economic, and environmental challenges require community leaders — with or without a title — at all levels able to work across sectors to collaborate and drive community-led initiatives, collective impact, and large scale, transformative change. Along the way we also learned that holistic or systemic approaches for making that a reality and addressing root causes are hard to find.
Without systemic change it will become increasingly challenging to help people grow and be healthy, stimulate economic growth, build strong families and communities, provide opportunities for those who are disadvantaged, protect the environment, and add to the quality of life in our communities.
Our Underlying Values
Our leadership competencies and training are being conveyed and reinforced by a number of underlying values:
- People want to make a difference….there is a hunger for connections and the sense of belonging that comes from being part of a community.
- Successful communities are those shifting their focus from what is wrong to what is already strong.
- Innovation is more social than it is technical.
- Growth is messy, sometimes we need to get lost in order to find our way.
- Change is much simpler when you begin with the early adopters. Readiness + relationships = ROI
- As our associate Karen Driedger has suggested, 'The weirder the mix the better the fix'—the diverse lens provided by a variety of stakeholders are key to innovation.
- Change agents work middle-out to connect those at the grassroots with those at the grasstops.
- To earn our attention there needs to be tension, so accountability for learning and growth is essential.
What Needs to be Changed?
Each neighbourhood, sector, community, and region have different challenges. As a result, there is no one magic solution or one best way. Instead there are many ways. Regardless, we've also learned there is a need for eight shifts in emphasis that would strengthen capacity and accelerate potential for continuous innovation, collective impact, and comprehensive community transformation.
Community Leadership Competencies
So how do we facilitate the above changes? The people we met across the country provided feedback that shaped the 7 leadership competencies below as being essential for building capacity and, ultimately, the transformative change and innovation that is required for addressing complex issues and opportunities.
MULTIPLY, MOBILIZE, and MAXIMIZE
While it took a while to simplify what is in essence is a very complex process, we ultimately aligned the (1) needed shifts (2) successes we observed, and (3) the leadership competencies required. This alignment took shape in 3 somewhat organic phases.
The learning required for future-focused leadership has evolved over many years into 4 courses described below that address community-led development, system-thinking, and strategic foresight.