This live online gathering will bring together government, business, community and resident leaders from across North America to celebrate our community building successes and co-generate solutions. The event will facilitate learning and inspiration from an unprecedented team of thought leaders to think about how we can reconnect community and make it essential again. In the afternoons, you will break into masterclasses to learn with your peers and dive deeper into community building.
The event will take place over two days, convening at 11:00 a.m. ET on Wednesday, October 6th, and closing at 5:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, October 7th. Join us to hear from inspiring speakers and panelists and to participate in a range of interactive workshops designed to help you rebuild social connections in communities after the COVID pandemic.
As a bonus on October 5th from 3:00-5:00 pm, we will be hosting a special screening of the Great Disconnect documentary with Tamer Soliman, the Director, and Paul Born, who was featured in the film, to set the stage for Reconnect! Making Community Essential.
To deepen your learning experience, join others in conversation through one of our four Masterclass streams. In each stream, you will dive deep into the topic through six modules that will be divided up over two days. Don’t worry! As a bonus for registering you will receive the recordings and handouts from all four Masterclasses.
A Community-Based COVID Recovery with Lisa Attygalle and Paul Born
Learn 10 really good ideas that will support your community to build an action plan that will reignite people and engage them to work together. In addition, we will consider some important community engagement techniques moving out of COVID.
Innovative Municipalities Strengthening Community and Building Resilience with Jim Diers
Municipalities are deeply concerned about how to invest strategically in order to build back better after the pandemic. They are concerned about ending poverty, transitioning due to climate change, building better futures for their youth and combating loneliness and social isolation.
Asset-Based Community Development with Cormac Russell
Consider the gifts that community members want to share. Embrace a focus where we help citizens lead community action and envision what really matters to them. Learn to first embrace what is strong in a community before consider fixing what is wrong. Learn why it is essential we learn to work with our communities rather than doing for them.
Building a Neighbourhood Strategy to Reconnect Community with Heather Keam
Neighbours matter! Neighbourhoods can be dynamic, or they can be places that advance loneliness and disconnection. Many cities have taken on the challenge to build neighbourhood improvement strategies that harness the unique energy and creativity of the citizens. These plans have had great success and we are pretty sure every community will soon have such a plan.
Here are some websites to get you started:
Visit the Deepening Community website
Check out Deepening Community: Finding Joy Together in Chaotic Times (bonus features)
We want to share with you some resources that we think can help frame this conversation.
In his article, When Community Becomes Unessential, Paul Born shares,
“If we were to declare community essential, we would find ways to connect safely. We would learn to do so. We would have the emails of all our neighbours. There would be a block captain. We would all be trained on how to engage safely. We would have access to a database of “assets” neighbours have and the gifts they are willing to share. One neighbour would swing by your porch with a guitar and sing you a song from 20 feet away, another would come to mow your lawn because you are too elderly to do it yourself. We would learn to barter freshly baked bread for a favourite bean casserole. We would learn to drop off produce from our garden safely. We would buy a set of community “big rolling balls” that would be COVID-19 safe. Climb in and play soccer and other games inside these bubbles”.
In the guide, 10: A Community Based Covid Recovery, the authors write;
"COVID-19 has impacted our communities in unimaginable ways. Our cities and communities are where people live. It is here we see the effects of public policy and it is here where we will address the issues that matter most to Canadians. The choices made today will impact Canada’s recovery from COVID-19. If we want a future where our cities are thriving, we need to work together to achieve a collective community-based response. We are all in this together and it will take all of us in a community to find our way through."
The article called Planning for the Future During Uncertainty talks about understanding the future is difficult in normal times. However, considering major trends and their implications for communities is more crucial than ever now that we are facing divergent possibilities related to the impacts of COVID-19 and our possible responses to it.
“Community organizations and governments are going to be faced with difficult decisions. The crisis has amplified the need for our work while straining the resources required to be successful. At the same time, individuals around Canada have stepped up to provide support to their community. They have developed new ways to support each other and we are seeing a real desire to rebuild community and connection out of this crisis.”
Asset-Based Community Development Recovery Framework- Many recovery models have been created to help the economy thrive or to reduce risk management and disaster. How do we include citizens in the development of recovery frameworks? Jonathan Massimi writes that
“Asset-based renewal framework that draws upon what has been disrupted in our communities, what has emerged and what has been revealed by recognizing gifts, fostering connections, and telling stories. This framework is different because it is a bottom-up approach. It allows individuals, associations, organizations/non-profits, businesses and municipalities to think about what role people and communities play in moving forward”.
October 7, 2021 - Day Two
Stay tuned as our agenda continues to evolve!