Engaging for Change

Engaging for Change

This project emerged from ongoing conversations among a number of organizations in the Guelph-Wellington region about the nature of social planning and decision-making in our current complex web of networks. These conversations led to the development of a more structured partnership, the launch of several interconnected projects, and the joint submission of a proposal for funding called “Engaging for Change: Practicing Collaboration and Planning in Guelph-Wellington”. While the proposal was not successful, partners remained committed to this work and have proceeded with some internally funded projects.

Photovoice: Living Healthy, Well and Strong

Living Healthy, Well and Strong was presented in several public shows in the Fall of 2011 and Winter of 2012. Community researchers from six neighbourhoods in Guelph investigated what living healthy and well looks like in their communities, using photography to display their findings. Their photos representing the theme "living healthy, well, and strong in your neighbourhood" were used to look both at challenges and celebrations of the community. This work was displayed from November 28th to December 1st in Old Quebec Street Mall, and from December 7th to 21st, 2011 in the City Hall Galleria. The findings were also used to inform the City of Guelph's Community Well Being Initiative. 

For more information, visit the Photovoice: Living Healthy, Well and Strong website.


WorkTogether.ca was a website created to meet the demand from those interested in community collaboration through sharing knowledge, resources, and connections with individuals, organizations, and collaborations in Guelph-Wellington. This searchable website housed collaboration resources and tools, a library of locally relevant community reports, and primers on how and why to collaborate and engage. This project was led by the Volunteer Centre (now the People and Information Network), 10 Carden and the Institute's Research Shop.

The website is no longer available, but you can view some of the resources that were gathered by accessing the Engaging for Change resources on the Atrium

30,000 Feet

30,000 feet was a group of community organization leaders and municipal staff who discussed collaboration and social planning. The group worked to explore a shared governance model, mechanisms for communication, and forms of accountability and data sharing between local non-profit organizations. They also considered what a social planning body, which looks across efforts at community impact might look like. This project later evolved into the Toward Common Ground project.

Engaging for Change Speaker Series

The Engaging for Change Speaker Series provided expert and practical conversations about how to engage and work with stakeholders. There were three events which were held in November and December of 2011. At the event, there were participants from the City of Guelph, 10 Carden, the Community Engaged Scholarship Institute, and many community advocates and facilitators. The series was hosted by Barb Powell, General Manager for Community Engagement with the City of Guelph, and Linda Hawkins, Director of the Community Engaged Scholarship Institute. The three talks were:

  • "Democracy circles: the practical applications in various planning and community development contexts" by Wayne Caldwell, Director, School of Environmental Design & Rural Development, University of Guelph;
  • "Public deliberation: Achieving meaningful public input for complex issues" by Kieran O'Doherty, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Guelph, and;
  • "The good, the bad, and the ugly side of engagement: What are the enabling conditions?" by Ricardo Ramirez, Consultant and Adjunct Professor, University of Guelph.

To view resources from the speaker presentations, see the Engaging for Change resources on the Atrium