Community Archive

Associational Life a Space to Enliven

The future of our well-being depends on our making visible and supporting associational life: John McKnight

A Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) study released last week reports that belonging to multiple groups contributes more to personal self-esteem than having a large network of friends. This is particularly the case when groups provide a basis for social identity, that is, when they are considered by people to contribute to their sense of who they are.

The Risk and Subtle Reward in Building Community

‘It’s an amazing thing that people really resist change, even if it’s in their best interest’

Creating the conditions for people to experience “a-ha” moments about new possibilities for their community’s future and how they might take ownership for enabling those possibilities can be a lonely and risky business. The work is rewarding, but it’s a subtle kind of reward — one you have to search for to see, trusting that it will ripple out into long-term, meaningful change.

Calgary Churches Re-imagining Who They Are In Community

Initiative takes stock of churches’ assets, explores redirecting them to better serve community

Carla Leon never knows what kind of response she’ll get when she picks up the phone to cold-call church leaders in Calgary about a new initiative designed to help churches re-imagine who they are in their local communities. But she’s certainly most energized when people instantly “see the light.”

Canadians Score A- on Happiness, New Data Shows

An invitation for stories that add meaningful nuance to research

On average, most individuals in Canada are generally satisfied with their lives as a whole, research released this week reveals. On a scale of zero to 10, the average level of life satisfaction that participants identified was eight or about an A minus.

Establishing New Habits as a Community

Group in Salmon Arm, B.C. introducing cycle of community conversations

Salmon Arm, B.C. is showing what’s possible through moving away from the “great optimism” of the last century — the idea that if we could draw the most brilliant, rational people around us, we would arrive at some kind of utopia — to establishing what resident Erik Bjorgan is calling “new habits as a community.”

Belonging Revolution Giving Life to New Community Narrative

Neighbour walks raise consciousness of appreciation and caring

The road to revolution begins with a walk through the neighbourhood.

That’s what’s sparking for Mike Butler and Dan Benavidez as what they call “the Belonging Revolution” unfolds in their community of Longmont, Colorado.

Happy Communities Research Makes Case for Connecting with Your Neighbour

Evidence shows people who think they live in a good community are happier

After 15 years of intensive research into what makes for happy lives, John Helliwell is most energized by this theme – the power of the social compared to the material in making people happy.

Alberta Village Manifesting New Stories as it Intentionally Builds Social Capital

Residents experimenting with creating sustainable processes that foster deep inclusion

When a job placement required her to relocate to the Village of Delburne, Alberta 13 years ago, Laurie-Anne Lemmon decided she wouldn’t get involved in the community.

Resilience Researcher Noticing Shifts in Social Power

Initiatives to build resilience enabling positive social transformation

Whether it’s the Scottish government’s top-down initiative to develop community resilience or the grassroots resilience-building initiative that is Transition Town Peterborough, as people come together to strengthen their community’s capacity to bounce back from or adapt to crises or changes, they’re changing how they relate to one another in a positive way.

Friendship is Created When . . .

Skepticism. Hesitation. Hope. As participants in yesterday’s Peterborough Dialogues pre-launch lunch gathered these are some of the feelings they voiced. Once again, within 90 minutes new connections were made between strangers and new relationships were sparked. This video harvest shares the parting reflections of some of those who came out to play.