Community solution to engagement challenge

One of the most prominent themes in the 240+ questions that have been asked on The Talking Stick is the need for better community engagement.  While we have been having sessions throughout the entire last term of council, with the odd exception, they are sparsely attended despite lots of advertisements and public notices.

DEFINITION OF INSANITY:  doing the same thing but expecting a different result.

We need to do something different if we're going to move the meter on how we engage our citizens - of all ages - during this dynamic period of change that we are going through.

IDEA:  let's launch a recruitment and selection process for a Community Engagement Advisory Committee.  We can tap into some of the brightest and most innovative individuals who have expressed their concerns about how engagement has been happening and get them to bring solutions and out-of-the-box thinking to this challenge.  I can think of five or ten incredible people out there who would bring amazing ideas and energy to the table. I guarantee there are also "unusual suspects" - people not on our radar - who would come forward to add value to this engagement think tank.

As a SUBSET of this advisory committee, I'd love to see the creation of a youth activation group.  I want our children to help design the future that they will inherit.  To do that, we have to pay particular attention to how and where we get them engaged.

If the engagement ideas come from the community, as opposed to well-intentioned bureaucrats, they will resonate in a completely different way.

What do you think?

Would you be interested in volunteering your creative brain for this kind of endeavor?


Starting with the end in mind, I'd love to see us get a municipal excellence award for how we engage citizens and translate citizen concerns, feedback and ideas into world-class decisions and projects.  At a recent community capacity building conference I attended they called this visioning exercise "back casting".  Start with the desired end-state, then work backwards to the present to chart a path as to how to get there.  In regards to community engagement, I think citizens are the essential ingredient to ensure the future that we all seek.

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Read the news release I sent to the media on October 18th regarding this last minute addition to my election platform.

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