ALLISON JOANNE SMITH
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LOCALLY LED-CHANGE THOUGH CREATIVE COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT. 

 

CHALLENGE: Identifying community needs and creating space for community input
APPROACH: 
METHODS:
IMPACT:

Haida Gwaii Voices is a project  that aims to capture the many voices of Haida Gwaii, and to create space for the community to shape the future of Haida Gwaii. In 2015, I co-created a chalkboard challenge, whereby 7 chalkboards were circulated in the community for individuals to share what they think Haida Gwaii needs, and what they will openly commit to doing to make it happen. On a remote archipelago, with less than 4,500 people, we had a reach of over 2,000 individuals online and engaged over 100 offline. The key to making this project successful, was the public commitment to action. From this 30 day challenge, several projects around eco-therapy, hiking trails and local food were initiated. 

To the left are a series of submissions that were posted to the Haida Gwaii Voices Facebook page. 

This project was written about in Axiom News: Small Win Seeds Hope for Community-Led Change in Haida Gwaii. 

Haida Gwaii Voices continues to coordinate and design creative community engagement initiatives to spark locally-led change. 

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CREATING SPACES FOR MEANINGFUL DIALOGUE

I co-founded Co+Host a Facilitator's Collective on Haida Gwaii. Co+Host is a group of facilitators and graphic recorders that provide strategic planning, organizational development and community design, facilitation and consultation. We work with our clients to co-create space for meaningful dialogue, idea generation and of course, real outcomes. 

Co+Host started out of a shared passion for facilitation, creative engagement and the interest in achieving social value. We recognized the abundance of human talent on Haida Gwaii and we wanted to harness some of that wealth to support individuals, organizations and communities to achieve their goals. 

We also recognized that previously this service was not provided on Haida Gwaii, and facilitators were often hired from off island which was a large additional expense for the host organization. 

The name comes from a play on words. Co+Host infers that we co-host events, workshops and meetings. We co-host with another facilitator as well as the clients in the room. in addition, the name has the word Coho within it. Here, salmon, including coho salmon, are a staple in the diet, and way of life. 

We practice co-facilitation, census decision making, inclusivity, quality and contributing to the local capacity. 

 

 

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Capturing stories of community champions

In 2013 as part of my role at Thrive, Calgary's Community Economic Development Network, I was responsible for researching, interviewing, photographing and writing stories about CED in Calgary. To discover stories, I attended community events and spoke with community members directly. After identifying a story, I held an in-person interview to dig deeper to learn more about the individuals behind the great idea. The stories were posted on the Thrive website, and disseminated through an email list of over 5,000 subscribers. The stories were used for shared learning and inspiration among the CED community. In addition, these stories, and the research behind them, are intended to build the foundation for a series of CED Calgary case studies. 

Vecova: Breaking the Barriers to Employment in Calgary

Leaf Ninjas: Collectively fighting the urban battle for local food!

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Calgary is Buzzing with Urban Beekeeping, Thanks to Eliese Watson

Mountain Equipment Co-op: A thriving co-op, community engagment leader & sustainability champion!

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GOOD Company: Changing the way Calgarians think about Business & Meaningful Employment!

 

 

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