Community Archive

Mobile Museum of Tolerance Brings ‘Experiential Learning Opportunity’ to Illinois

An hour at the Mobile Museum of Tolerance (MMOT) can spark connections that last far longer, according to West40 ISC director of professional learning Suzy Dees.

A Lot Would Open Up If We Quit Over-Reaching

Eighty-five per cent of what determines our health is how associative we are: Cormac Russell

In nature, a nest is built by gathering many, many, many, many, small little bits and connecting them productively. Cormac Russell, author of Rekindling Democracy, says that at the heart of matters in our time is nesting.

Deeper Democracy the Antidote in Pandemic-Conscious Future

Things are not getting worse, they are getting clearer: Cormac Russell

Ever since members of the human race have commenced settlements and domesticated animals as a feature of organizing society, issues like COVID-19 have been present. Cormac Russell, author of Rekindling Democracy, says there has been at least a decade-long awareness that we would be contending with pandemics.

Tapping Citizens' Lived Experiences, Local Knowledge Through Participatory Planning (Podcast)

Peterborough effort aims to support residents to develop the language, tools and confidence to participate in neighbourhood planning processes

An initiative in Peterborough, Ontario is dedicated to finding ways to tap the lived experiences and local knowledge of residents. The idea is to add what they come up with to the expert knowledge of planners, engineers and other professionals through a process known as participatory planning.

The initiative, called NeighbourPLAN, is spearheaded by a local organization, GreenUP, which focuses on issues of environmental education, sustainability and stewardship. NeighbourPLAN aims to support residents to develop the language, tools and confidence to participate in neighbourhood planning processes.

Alberta Municipalities Encouraging Neighbours to Get Know Each Other

Several jurisdictions have started initiatives to help create communities where people have clear paths for connecting

When Karen Wilk learned that fellow Edmonton resident, Howard Lawrence, had connected with city government and that the municipality had agreed to support a pilot project based on the principles found in the book, Abundant Community, she was “in.” “In,” as in she wanted to find a way to actively support this refreshing, new initiative.

A Mammoth Gesture in the Direction of the Commons

Why the recommissioning of a sacred space in Peterborough, Ontario 'for the sake of the commons' is a very big deal

At the very end of McDonnel St. in Peterborough, Ontario is a gateway to a different way of life, past and future.

For years, St. Joseph’s at The Mount was home to a religious life. From there emanated many community works. Women who chose a life in the world but not of the world served community in the streets and at the head of substantial organizations. Their home for 90 some years became a place imbued with a legacy of faith, spirit, and service.

Now, as you pass through that same gateway and meander up the winding road, what unfolds for you to see is a 131,000 square foot building on ten acres of land just up the creek from centre of town.

Wisdom Councils in Europe Glean Citizen Input

Councils beginning to spread as governments support and fund them

From determining how best to receive refugees to reviewing a large urban development project, Wisdom Councils offer a unique way to engage the insights of citizens on local, regional or state issues.

First used in 2006 in the Austrian city of Wolfurt, Wisdom Councils now take place primarily in Vorarlberg state, Austria, though they have also been held in other places in Austria, Germany and Switzerland.

A ‘North Star of Hope’ for Education and the World

Dr. Lindsey Nicole Godwin reflects on the recent World Positive Education Accelerator

In considering the broad topic of reimagining democracy, the element of education is absolutely vital. “What happens in our school systems is a result of a demand by large systems for numerate and literate workers more than 150 years ago,” writes Axiom News founder and CEO Peter Pula. “That we still educate that way is atrocious. Schools too can to be reimagined and integrated into community life in much richer ways.”

City-building Experience Builds Students’ Confidence

Practical, meaningful skills and new perspectives gleaned on the side of city-building experiment

While the cofounders of a unique city-building effort in Vancouver talk about its big and far-reaching possibilities, two students who took part in it have a lot to say about what it has done for them in small, deep and lingering ways. They say they walked away with a bolstered sense of confidence in themselves, in a certain set of skills and in a particular way of relating to people around them.

What If 1,000s of Undergrads Took Up City Building While in School?

Vancouver one of 7 cities reclaiming education through learning that builds a city

The level of cognitive, energetic and creative surplus that is unleashed when undergrad students are asked to help build their cities has happily astounded Duane Elverum. It’s also swelled his sense of urgency around shaping the conditions to spur this unleashing more and more.

“I feel a vibration. My heart beats faster, my hands start to sweat, when I think about how do we move faster, how do we get this going, how do we put this on the big wheel so to speak,” Duane tells Axiom News.

Seven years ago Duane launched CityStudio Vancouver with his colleague and fellow Simon Fraser University professor, Janet Moore. In very simple terms, the studio matches universities’ capacity with civic needs. Besides activating the unleashing mentioned above, the studio is shrinking the gap between higher learning and municipal government. It also represents a new way of distributing problems.

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