Innovating from the Middle Space of Community Change

Date: Tuesday June 25, 2019 | 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. EST

Guest: Gary Nelson

Host: Liz Weaver

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Community Changemakers are called upon to manage from a middle space. That place where the future is uncertain, but the pressure to act is intense. It is the space between the unknown and the known which colleagues are looking to you to provide the answers and yet even as the work gets underway, there are forces driving change.

Gary Nelson, Director Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab, The Jordan Institute for Families at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill views this middle space of a place of innovation and inspiration. Join Gary Nelson and Liz Weaver, Co-CEO, Tamarack Institute as they discuss the leadership required when innovating from the middle space of community change.

Gary will share his insights from Integrative Leadership: Innovating from the “Middle Space” which was published in Practicing Social Change. Gary describes integrative leadership as the ability to engage the whole system, both internal and external. It is about seeing the right thing to do and doing the thing right. Gary will share five principles that you can build into your changemaker practice to be a more intentional integrative leader and manage that middle space more effectively.



Gary Nelson

Gary NelsonDirector Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab

The Jordan Institute for Families

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Gary M. Nelson, DSW is Director of Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Jordan Institute for Families at the University of North Carolina School of Social Work at Chapel Hill. He is also the Thomas Willis Lambeth Distinguished Chair in Public Policy. Areas of interest and expertise include leadership development, large system and community engagement change methods, social innovation, social entrepreneurship and sustainable development as they enhance democratic self-governing systems and contribute to the solving of complex, wicked problems in society.



Liz Weaver 1

Liz Weaver

Liz is passionate about the power and potential of communities getting to impact on complex issues. An avid learner, Liz is currently exploring the issue of systems change and is keen to develop resources, tools and approaches that build understanding and leadership capacity to advance both programmatic and systems change strategies that maximize the impact of community change efforts. Liz is Tamarack’s Co-CEO and leads Tamarack’s Learning Centre. Liz is one of Tamarack's highly regarded trainers and has developed and delivered curriculum on a variety of workshop topics including collaborative governance, leadership, collective impact, community innovation, and influencing policy change. Liz has been a community changemaker her entire career and prior to joining Tamarack, provided leadership to the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction, YWCA Hamilton, Volunteer Hamilton and Volunteer Canada. She is inspired by the change she sees when good people collaborate to tackle tough problems


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