Thanks for taking the time to learn more about the Campus for Communities of the Future!
Our Story...What Makes Us Unique?
The Campus for Communities of the Future is a social enterprise developed by Grassroots Enterprises, a company owned by Brenda Herchmer.
We are committed to investing our profits into making a difference. We bring diverse skills sets and experience driven by values reflecting deep care and belief in the power and potential of communities.
We understand that utilizing a community development approach and a future-focused lens is essential for relevant, innovative, and sustainable communities.
The result is practical, informed, and meaningful coaching, consulting, and training delivered online as well as on-the-ground.
In addition to caring deeply about strengthening a community’s capacity and resilience for both economic and quality of life, we are passionate about utilizing technology to enhance and enrich learning in all communities regardless of whether they are urban, rural, or remote communities.
Who Is this For?
This Campus was built for the many caring and concerned individuals who want to make a difference in their communities and are looking for practical advice and direction for how to actually do it. It is for those who understand there must be a balance between quality of life in a community and economic development. Even if you don't consider yourself a leader, it is our hope that you will connect with us to learn more about your own leadership abilities, how they can be strengthened, and why you yourself might just be more of what the world needs now.
A Bit About Our Background
We bring extensive experience in interactive and effective community building, web-based training and certification, curriculum development, moderating and facilitating online, and a track record of providing often complex support, on time and on budget.
Grassroots Enterprises built their first community portal (pre-Internet) in 1994 as a BBS (Bulletin Board System). Subsequent joint initiatives have included the National Voluntary Sector Portal, eLearning for voluntary sector capacity building delivered by the Niagara College Centre for Community Leadership, Public Health Agency of Canada, and Alberta’s Active, Creative and Engaged (ACE) Communities initiative (capacity building, portal, and eLearning) funded by the Rural Alberta Development Fund.
While the mission for the Campus for Communities of the Future has evolved somewhat from our initial launch in 2012, it has always been about providing inspiration and innovation for local leaders who want to make a difference in a constantly changing world.
An important component of this is ensuring the availability of learning, resources, and support that will help leaders at all levels – with or without the title – to think and act differently in order to be prepared for a different, and as of yet, not-quite-invented future. Today we describe ourselves as a micro college built as a social enterprise to:
"Help strengthen capacity for innovation and systems change for people and organizations who want to make a difference. We do this by providing training, tools, and opportunities for sharing."
In the Beginning
As Brenda Herchmer often explains, the path that led to the Campus for Communities was not only a long and winding one, it was one where the required track was often laid as the train was rolling.
In large part this was the innovative nature of the focus on a new kind of community leadership, however it was also the result of the push and pull between wanting to make a difference, and needing to be entrepreneurial in order to make it happen.
The challenges were also about the social innovation required for a big dream that needed to incorporate elements that were relevant to both the economic and the quality of life sectors, each of which has a very different measuring stick for success.
Typically the business sector measures success in terms of economic impact, whereas for nonprofits and governments, success is about being able to successfully address social issues. In other words, we've often had to stack up money versus humanity and compassion. Of course, we need both. And yet, it seems we separate the two with a very clear dividing line.
For the Campus this created the challenge of struggling to find an infrastructure that addresses the need for both economic impact and social innovation. And, is challenging as that was, it is what led to the Campus for Communities of the Future being built as a social enterprise that provides an online and on-the-ground collaborative space where local leaders can connect to share real world community building experiences, how-to’s, and programs designed to inspire transformative and lasting change.
Where To From Here?
The Campus for Communities of the Future is about trying to put into place a large scale dream that is the result of real boots-on-the-ground learnings from many communities and local leaders across Canada and now beyond — a combination of the best of both grassroots and grasstops learnings. As such, we believe the consulting, coaching and training we provide has the potential to play a significant role in shaping and changing communities who believe they can, and should, do better.
Please Join Us
Join us on the journey by exploring and becoming part of the Campus for Communities. Here you will find and learn from others like you who are willing to serve as catlysts for change.