March 2016 newsletter

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Photo courtesy Windhorse Farm, New Germany

It’s still chilly - and maybe it’s risky to even say it out loud - but it seems there’s a hint of spring in the air. As world politics and other trends make our fair province seem even more attractive, we can soon look ahead to a summer of enjoying the glorious outdoors with visitors and friends. 

At Engage we are getting ready to launch a portfolio of activities for 2016/17. We will soon gather input from our strategic advisory group. This group will meet online, so that people can participate from all corners of the province. Watch for updates!

Everyone Matters

IMG_4647_(1).jpgAmherst sets its sights on the future

On February 17, more than 200 people who live, work and play in Amherst spent their evening at the town Fire Hall talking about the future of their town. This was a remarkable turnout for a town that size. So why did so many come? Almost all (96%) said they felt Amherst was at a crossroads, and 79% said they wanted to be part of a solution.

The event, which was a collaboration between Engage Nova Scotia and the Town of Amherst, included interactive voting and group conversations about challenges and opportunities that were identified during the course of the evening.

This was the first of two such events planned for the town of Amherst, with the second scheduled for April 27. More than 86% of folks who came to the first meeting plan to return. When they do, they will tackle the issues they care about most. In the meantime, Engage Nova Scotia and the Town of Amherst will continue to reach out to even more people who are keen to build a bright future for their town.

Watch the video here.

Strength in Diversity

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Danny recently sat down with the Black and Immigrant Women Association of Nova Scotia for what organizer Ann Divine called an “energizing and encouraging” dialogue about their role in helping to build a more inclusive and vibrant Nova Scotia. This group is making a positive difference in the business community and tackling issues related to members of their community being under-represented in the corridors of influence in Nova Scotia, particularly in governments. This was the first meeting of what is expected to be more meetings leading to action on issues of common concern and opportunity.

Transforming Differences into Progress

Workshop with Jerry Nagel and Kathy Jourdain 

April 15, 9:30 am-noon. Halifax Central Library. $35

When the stakes are high, views on issues often become polarized. In Nova Scotia, a collision of worldviews is lived out every day. How do we have the conversations we need in a way that honours these differences while transforming them into progress? In this introductory workshop Kathy Jourdain and Jerry Nagel of Worldview Intelligence will guide participants through an exploration of practical ways of getting unstuck and move forward.

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Worldview Intelligence is an approach to leadership development, conflict resolution and innovation that has been well received by business, community and government groups in Canada, the U.S., Europe and Australia.

Read more and register.  

Where are you on the path?               

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At Engage Nova Scotia we believe that everyone has a role to play in making our communities the best they can be. Some of us are just beginning to get involved in issues we care about, while others have been active for a long time. Once we start down that path, what are the markers along the way? What can we learn from those who are just ahead of us, around the next bend? Engage is beginning to gather stories and lessons that will give us all a better understanding of the landscape. Have a story to share? Click here.

Now Lunenburg County has been travelling down a citizen engagement path since the Ivany Report’s call to action. They have been trying different approaches, seeing what works, adjusting, and finding their way. NowLC began with wide-ranging community conversations and projects, and have now focused on three strategies to attract newcomers who can fill or create work opportunities in the county.

Read more about their action steps here.

“If we want to see change we are going to have to get comfortable with uncertainty and figuring it out as we move along.”
—Tim Merry

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