Community Change Festival 
Be The Changemaker

Vancouver, Canada | Sept 30 - Oct 3

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Community Innovation is simply: change, for good, with and within a community.

How we shepherd and achieve positive change is a decidedly more complex task, and at the Tamarack Institute we hope to equip changemakers at all levels to engage in and support Community Innovation.



Community innovation Workshops

Monday, September 30 | Community Innovation: Why it matters

What is Community Innovation, and what are some common ingredients that can help communities innovate? By looking at best practices and examples from the fields, of creativity, innovation, and social innovation, we will build a starting point for understanding what conditions and supports might be important to support Community Innovation, and the role that you, as individual changemakers, can play in that process.

Session Goals:

  • Understand and articulate what community innovation is and why it matters to changemaking
  • Identify areas of focus for support and capacity-building to help communities innovate?
  • Understand the broad range of trends in social innovation and how they might apply to the work of Community Innovation


Tuesday, October 1 | Innovative Stories and Case Studies

Who is making good use of innovation techniques in the community change world? What can we learn from their successes and failures? This session will focus on a few key case studies that will help us understand how to choose design methods and ideas that work for our specific contexts, and how to honour the agency and identities of our communities in the process.

Session Goals:  

  • Identify how others are using innovation and design methods to move their community change agenda forward
  • Build a process for discerning which methods would be appropriate for our own communities
  • Learn from the success and failures of others in the field


Wednesday, October 2 | Three Big Ideas: Empathy, Ideation, Experimentation

Learn how design-based methods are shaping the work of community change, and how you can use these methods to build, test, and scale new approaches. This workshop will focus on hands-on, practical tools and approaches that you can use right away

Session Goals:

  • Understand the basic principles behind design-based methods for community innovation
  • Understand where, when, and why these methods are appropriate
  • Learn how to use these methods in practice
  • Have the opportunity to tailor these tools to your own needs through practice


Meet galen, your festival faculty member

Galen MacLusky Headshot Square

Galen MacLusky

Consulting Director, Community Innovation
Tamarack Learning Centre

Galen is a Consulting Director of the Tamarack Institute’s Community Innovation Practice Area. He is passionate about working with community organizations to help build and scale new ideas that deepen their impact. At the core of his work are approaches that help organizations engage with those who are impacted by their services and test new programs and services with minimal investment. Over the past five years, Galen has used these approaches to help Fortune 500 companies and non-profit organizations across North America reinvent the services and programs they provide.

Prior to joining Tamarack, Galen was an independent consultant and head of the social sector practice at Bridgeable, a leading Canadian service design consultancy. These roles gave Galen the unique opportunity to explore the differences and commonalities between non-profit organizations working at different scales, and practical experience in helping them tackle their most pressing challenges. His work on collaborative approaches to innovation was published in the design management institute’s journal. Galen completed his Masters of Science in Engineering Design Innovation at Northwestern University and his Bachelors of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Waterloo.

Galen volunteers actively in grassroots mental health support services in Toronto as a facilitator with the Peer Connection, a mental health peer support group, and as an advisor with Rise Asset Development, an organization that provides entrepreneurship training and loans to members of the community.