Tamarack Institute

Building Sustainable Collaborations from the Start

March 29, 2023 | 12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m. ET

Speakers: Kelli Stevens, Liz Weaver, Mike Des Jardins and Ruté Ojigbo

This event is taking place in English with simultaneous interpretation in French. Click here to access the landing page for the French version.


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Many collaboration efforts don’t intentionally plan for the longer term. These collaborations are opportunistic, seeking funding to respond to an immediate problem or challenge. The programs and services are developed to meet community needs, but once the funding ends, the collaboration ends. Often, the good work is lost, and the community need does not go away.Cover of 10: A Guide for Building Sustainable and Resilient Collaborations

For the past 20 years, the Tamarack Institute has supported over 1,000 place-based community collaborative efforts seeking to achieve change and impact. In this work, we have learned a lot about sustainability, resilience, and collaboration. In January 2023, Tamarack launched 10: A Guide for Building a Sustainable and Resilient Collaboration. The Guide draws from many different forms of collaboration and reveals 10 factors which are foundational to building sustainability for collective efforts.

Join Kelli Stevens of the Suncor Energy Foundation and a member of the advisory committee for the guide, Liz Weaver, Mike Des Jardins and Ruté Ojigbo of the Tamarack Institute as they discuss how collaborations can benefit from focusing on developing a sustainability approach during the early phases of their work. The speakers will provide helpful hints to collaboration conveners, members, and funders about how to make collaboration more impactful.


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Kelli Stevens, Senior Advisor, Community Investment, Suncor Energy Foundation

Kelli Stevens

Kelli is with the Suncor Energy Foundation, where she aims to build the community capacities that are needed to address complex issues – both in and outside of Suncor. Kelli’s previous work includes managing a multi-stakeholder project focused on youth gang prevention, offering consulting services in the social profit sector, and (in a past life!) undertaking corporate communications and strategic issues management.

She originally comes from a small town in northern Alberta, which is where she first saw the power of volunteerism and citizen-led community development. Kelli’s formal education is in Communications and Social Work. 


Liz Weaver, Co-CEO, Tamarack Institute 

Liz_Weaver04Liz is the Co-CEO of Tamarack Institute where she is leading the Tamarack Learning Centre which is focused on advancing community change leadership.

The Tamarack Learning Centre promotes five strategic interconnected practices including collective impact, collaborative leadership, community engagement, community innovation and evaluating community impact. Liz is well-known for her thought leadership on collective impact and is the author of several popular and academic papers on the topic. She is a co-catalyst partner with the Collective Impact Forum.   Liz is passionate about the power and potential of communities getting to impact on complex issues. 


Mike Des Jardins, Manager of Sustainability & Development for Communities Building Youth Futures, Tamarack Institute

Mike Des JardinsMike is the Manager of Sustainability & Development for Communities Building Youth Futures at the Tamarack Institute. In this role, Mike is responsible for sustainability planning, researching, and sharing best practices related to the sustainability and resilience of youth collective impact work, coaching CBYF communities on developing and implementing sustainability strategies, and measuring the impact and telling the story of social return on investment.  Mike is a certified teacher in the Province of Ontario and has worked directly with youth through program and service delivery and indirectly supporting youth by creating the system conditions to support their learning, development, and well-being. 


Rute OjigboRuté Ojigbo, Senior Communications Lead, Communities Building Youth Futures, Tamarack Institute

Ruté is the Senior Communications Lead for Communities Building Youth Futures. In this role, Ruté supports planning, reporting and overall marketing and communications for Tamarack's CBYF portfolio.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies from Wilfrid Laurier University and a Masters in Digital Experience Innovation from the University of Waterloo.



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