CONNECTING FOR CHANGE

 

Engage hosts guest speakers, forums, and working sessions that bring together people from across sectors who are working on new solutions to complex social and economic challenges. Recent and upcoming examples:

  • Rescuing Policy: The Case for Public Engagement workshop and consultations with Don Lennihan, Vice-president of the Public Policy Forum and Chair of the Open Government Engagement Team for the Government of Ontario. February 25, 2014.
  • Social Labs workshop with Zaid Hassan, Reos Partners, Oxford, UK. February 13, 2014.
  • Ideas Marketplace exchange among 30 change-makers from across the province. January 10, 2015.
  • Shape Our Future Forum. June 2015. At the Halifax Central Library and locations around the province. More information coming soon.

CATALYZING COMMUNITY SELF-RELIANCE

 

Engage is “walking alongside” communities that are taking responsibility for shaping their social and economic future. A few examples:

  • In 2014, we worked with a local group of municipal and community leaders to design and deliver Engage Inverness County—a two-day conference that focused on how the people of that region can build a practice of coming together to tackle their economic and social challenges.
  • In February 2015, we led a seminar for the staff and council of Municipality of the District of Barrington that helped them identify ways to engage citizens in forging new paths toward economic diversification in that region of the province.
  • In cooperation with a group of business leaders in Cumberland County, we will co-host a symposium this month on how the private sector in that region can take concrete steps to strengthen their economy.

Contact us if you would like to be part of an emerging network of regional groups engaging citizens and partners in order to catalyze change in their communities.


RENEWING OUR POLITICAL CULTURE

 

In the spirit of the Ivany Report’s call for a change in “politics as usual,” Engage is partnering with the Springtide Collective to advance the non-partisan initiative Make Democracy Better, which is prompting thoughtful conversations across the province. Through town hall meetings, Springtide is fostering fresh, citizen-led thinking about how we can improve political discourse and our democratic institutions. Learn more about Springtide. 


REMOVING BARRIERS

 

"Overcoming the psychological barriers of division, distrust and discouragement may be just as important as raising capital, producing new products or finding new markets.” —Ivany Report

On June 16, Engage will co-host a forum that spotlights the importance of advancing a province-wide culture of collaboration, open-mindedness, innovation and entrepreneurship if we are to achieve the economic and demographic goals set out in the Ivany Report. The forum will showcase the best of what is already happening and mobilize new activity. 


ENGAGING OUR FIRST PEOPLE

 

In cooperation with Canadians For a New Partnership, an organization made up of distinguished Canadians—including people who have held the office of Governor General, Prime Minister, AFN Grand Chief, and Supreme Court of Canada Justice— Engage will lead a symposium aimed at taking a first step towards resetting the fundamental relationship between the Mi’kmaq people and other Nova Scotians.


WELCOMING NEW NEIGHBOURS

 

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In October 2014, Engage coordinated our province’s first Share Thanksgiving, which brought together host families with new Nova Scotians over Thanksgiving dinner.Compared to other parts of Canada, Nova Scotia ranked second in the number of people who took part (just behind Toronto and ahead of Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Victoria, Montreal and others). Altogether 135 families (for a total of 910 Nova Scotians) sat down together over a Thanksgiving meal.

"We are grateful for having our Chinese students in our home and be part of our family. Thanksgiving is something they don't have in their country. They are so happy celebrate Thanksgiving with us, this is the first time they have turkey and they love it." —Susan Smith 

MEASURING IMPROVEMENT

 

In collaboration with various partners and the Canadian Index of Wellbeing, Engage will commission Nova Scotia’s first comprehensive Community Wellbeing Survey. This will provide a baseline against which we can measure progress for years to come. It will also help identify areas deserving of additional exploration and/or potential levers for change. The data will be open to all governments, organizations and individuals to multiply its potential impact. 


“The Commission recognizes the importance of [Engage Nova Scotia’s]… broader and more creative approach to citizen participation if we are to change attitudes and adapt to new ideas as we address our economic and demographic challenges.” — Now or Never. An Urgent Call to Action for Nova Scotians