Exploring Connections for Creating Community Change

On March 10th, our cohort met at the Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary to discuss the role of Tourism and Local Government in our community, and to explore how our "web of connections" allow us to support and create community change. 

 

 

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Community Leadership Development Program

Have You Heard of the Community Leadership Development Program?

Leadership Victoria offers a 9-month experiential leadership development program, to learn about important issues facing the Greater Victoria region. Meet and learn from the community’s most dynamic leaders, and strengthen their leadership potential through face-to-face learning and a team-based community action project. Applications are accepted from March to August each year, and the program starts in early September. For more information or to sign up for a free information session you can visit our website or contact the Executive Director: Susan Low.

 

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Understanding the Social Fabric of our Community and Expanding Our Horizons

The 2016/2017 cohort completed their sixth and seventh Community Learning Days among the trees and wildlife at the Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary.

ls.jpgFriday, January 20th started with a bang as groups discussed their ride along experiences and were taken on a guided walk of the gallery at the Nature House. The cohort then jumped into a riveting theory presentation on Stakeholder Analysis. Afterwards, they undertook an interactive group activity that demonstrated how to prioritize stakeholders on a flip-chart and discuss which stakeholders in Greater Victoria may have an impact on their final community action project. 

A wonderful presentation was given by Maureen Sawa from the Greater Victoria Public Library. The day ended with incredible presentations and peer feedback from our groups about their future Community Action Projects. It has been incredible to witness the personal growth of all our participants and we are excited to see the outcome of their Community Action Projects.

On Saturday, January 21st, participants began the day by discussing their Community Action projects followed by not one, but TWO theory lectures, on mindfulness and how to make a successful elevator pitch in 60 seconds or less. Participants were then encouraged to test out their elevator speeches on at least three mentors who were present for the Community Learning Day. We can now say that our cohort is fully equipped to approach important stakeholders in the community and leave them with a lasting impression that may translate their visions into measurable impacts.

Participants found that the learning days "...contained a wonderful combination of interesting topics and inspirational guests." One of our students, Maria, found that the experience allowed her to develop a deeper understanding about the community, stakeholders, connections, and at the same time, reflection about how to build resilience and a healthy mind. She enjoyed hearing about the other team projects and was excited to see how they have evolved over the last 5 months. 

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A special thanks to our amazing Facilitators, Coaches & Mentors: Roberta Burris, Nooreen Preusser, Norma Louden, Edie Dittman, Jennifer O’Halloran, Diana Smith, Fiona Prince, Annette Siewertsen, Rosemary Cannon, Deb Hopkins, Libby Rush, Val St. John, Susanne Bell, Suzanne Dane, Veronica Osborn, Erin Wagg.

 

 

 


Community Learning Day: Guest Speaker Bradley Dick

On December 10th, the 2016/2017 cohort attended a Community Learning Day at the Songhees Wellness Centre. We had a two-day session planned (December 9-10) but Mother Nature intervened with snow on December 9, so we had to postpone that day's events into January. Having cleared the ice and found the winter gloves, our cohort convened on December 10 with lots of energy and stories about the weather adventures.

The day started out with several tips to source funding for the Community Action Projects that are in development by the 2016/2017 cohort. One participant Maria, stated that "Susan Low provided a major focus on developing good relationships and understanding with community partners." She found that the Community Learning Day was a very inspirational and informative day! The rest of the day consisted of immersive experience that involved learning about the history, cultural practices and challenges of the Coast Salish people. 

88.jpg                                              Songhees Wellness Centre (Interior)

Our lovely Guest Speaker, Bradley Dick, discussed his cultural background, the significance of the Songhees presence on their traditional territory as well as his own personal family stories. Bradley provided a strong historical foundation for our participants by explaining the first contact by settlers in the area and how this drastically impacted the lifestyle of Coast Salish peoples in this region. 

Maria was excited to learn the knowledge shared by Bradley Dick that has been transferred to him by his elders. She found that "...he formed a powerful energy circle which brought reflection for openness and gratefulness."

 Bradley_Dick.JPGGuest Speaker: Bradley Dick (Songhees Nation Member) 

We look forward to our next Community Learning Days on January 20th & 21st at the Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary. Be sure to check back on our blog for future updates! For more information on our Community Leadership Development Program, or to find out if this program is right for you click here. 


Camosun Leadership Development Partnership

Leadership Victoria is excited to announce our new partnership with the Camosun Leadership Development Program

Graduates from the Community Leadership Development Program at Leadership Victoria can now use their Certificate in Leadership Development towards the Leadership Development Certificate at Camosun College!

 20anniversary.jpgStudents who complete the Community Leadership Development Program with Leadership Victoria Society are eligible to receive Prior Learning Credit for 66 hours out of 141 hours needed for the certificate program.

The Leadership Victoria program must be completed within the 5-year completion time frame of the Camosun Leadership Development Certificate program. Students must supply a copy of the Completion Certificate from Leadership Victoria.

The agreement with Camosun College means that alumni of the program from 2015 onwards can augment their leadership learning through the Certificate in Leadership Development.

Applications for the Leadership Victoria Community Development Program will open in April 2017 for more information check out the following link Community Leadership Development Program

Learn more about the Camosun Development Certificate Program please click here.


Community Learning Days - Listening to the Community

 

On November 18th and 19th, the 2016/2017 cohort engaged in community learning days (CLD’s) allowing them to explore the context in which to build awareness and connections with their community networks through listening and engagement with participatory theories, models and tools. The November CLD’s were held at Saanich Acres which provided a safe and welcoming learning environment. Our participants found that it was a great space to “..open up space for dialogue, engage and participate in collective thinking”.

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The first day was chalk full of topics and included presentations from two facilitators and two guest speakers.

  • Connect to Active Listening & Fishbowl Dialogue – Cara Jones
  • Importance of dialogue & story sharing, World Café, Open Space Dialogues – Diana Smith

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The Fishbowl Dialogue participants created a semi-circle around the guest speakers to discuss how sensitives relate to their current groups such as how do they show respect as they engage with others in the community, language or topics that could become troublesome, legalities/requirements of the cohort interacting with their group, other things to build mindfulness. The purpose of the exercise was to bring additional awareness into the cohort about the difference between intent and impact on others in the community.

Guests for Fishbowl Dialogue included:

The second day brought individual presentations and collaborative exercises from five facilitators on a variety of topics including:

  • Key Learnings, Prepare Practice and Present – Ben Pires
  • Giving and receiving feedback, Unpack the tools and practice, Prepare Practice and Present – Kimberley Newton
  • Unpack the tools and practice, Prepare Practice and Present – Diana Smith
  • Powerful Presentations, Prepare Practice and Present – Brendan Mather
  • Powerful Presentations, Prepare Practice and Present – Tracy Scott'

A HUGE thank-you to all of our wonderful facilitators and guest speakers who were able to join us for the November CLD's.

Those who could come spend the day with us found that the topics presented were meaningful and appropriate for the development of the community projects they will develop throughout the program. One of our participants stated that “Being a participant of the Leadership Victoria has been such a wonderful and inspiring experience. I am really proud to be part of the Leadership Victoria Community”.

We look forward to our next Community Learning Days on December 9th & 10th; be sure to check back on our blog for future updates! For more information on our Community Leadership Development Program or to find out if this program is for you click here. 


Alumni Spotlight - Dr. Miriam Korn

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Miriam Korn is a graduate from the Community Leadership Development Program (CLDP) in 2004. She completed a very powerful community action project with her group members entitled the “Celebration of Colour”.

The purpose of the project was to revitalize the women’s area in the Streetlink shelter. The group renovated the sitting area, bathroom, and bedrooms with paint, carpet, artwork, curtains, furniture and fixtures.

The project contributed to giving women a sense of ownership to the area, fostered a greater connection with the community, and enriched the learning and growth for Leadership Victoria program participants.

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Where is Miriam today?

Today, Dr. Miriam Korn is a Dalhousie and Harvard- trained psychiatrist with a professional practice in Victoria, British Columbia. She is very passionate about community issues including Health and Wellness.

Miriam has been an active voice in the community by developing simple handouts and booklets for the public. In 2014, she launched her Living Well workbook at the Royal Jubilee Hospital Patient Care Center. Miriam has been working on the development of outreach materials promoting health and wellness, including the Living Well workbook.  These booklets have received a lot of attention throughout North America and have been distributed at various health programs throughout Greater Victoria.

To see the entire content of the booklet, along with other great information, visit Dr. Korn’s website.

http://www.laughingsherpa.ca/

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How did the Community Leadership Development Program impact your life?

Miriam continues to update her website to provide basic, accessible information about healthy lifestyle choices. The content is based on recent research in health promotion and healthy aging, as well as over a decade of experience as a psychiatrist. The website hopes to inspire and inform readers to pursue healthier and happier lives with simple changes.

Her most recent project is creating a slideshow, based on the Living Well workbook. The slideshow is available to the public on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBUlV2QogiA . It has been displayed at a local clinic and various locations at the Royal Jubilee Hospital.

As a CLDP graduate, Miriam recalls working with her community project group to be very memorable and rewarding. She also enjoyed meeting with Streetlink residents to get ideas (“garden, spring, flowers, tree, shelter, fairy, goddess, island”) to create murals for the women’s space. She was impressed by the variety of skills and resources offered by each member of the group and amazed by the synergy created by the group in completing the project. Miriam continues to apply the collaborative skills gained from her time at Leadership Victoria to create a local impact through her Health & Wellness initiatives.


Community Learning Days - Learning about our Community

On October 21st and 22nd, the Community Leadership Development class was able to explore a deeper understanding of our community through the lens of Project Management, Change Management, and Self-Management Workshops. The session was held at the McTavish Academy of Art and our students found that it was "...the perfect creative space to reconnect with participants and coaches of the Leadership Victoria Program and to gain knowledge about our community."

The first day started with introductions and reconnecting activities followed by workshops on the 3 core concepts with fun and engaging activities throughout the day.

  • How Project Management Can Be Used in Your Nonprofit - Ivan Rincon from the PMI Educational Foundation
  • Apply Change Management Models to Maximize Adoption of Your Project  - Jennifer Walker
  • Productive Conflict Model (Self Management) – Everything DiSC - Fiona Prince and Randy Kennett

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One of the learning activities was a fun, but challenging, marshmallow exercise. The teams were instructed to construct the tallest structure that could hold a single marshmallow, using only spaghetti noodles, tape, and their ingenuity. Each person played a part to practice the project management skills taught throughout the session. 

 

The second day involved a tour of the McTavish Academy of Art Facility, Living Library, and wrap-up of the event.

McTavish Academy of Art Talk ‘n Tour - Sean McNeill
Living Library with Community Leaders - Cara Jones
Summary and Wrap-up - Holly Courtright

Thank you to all of the Facilitators for keeping things fun and informative. 

The Living Library activity was a huge success and provided our students with useful tools to manage their community projects. If you are wondering what a living library is, it works just like a normal library. Participants can choose a community leader they want to learn from and "borrow" and pick their brain for a short time. After their productive conversations they can return their "book" and borrow another. This short exchange of information gives our students a chance to look into the minds of local leaders and give them an opportunity to dig deeper into difficult concepts of community leadership. One of our students found that "...the Living Library of community leaders inspired me to stay true to who I am, follow my passions and connect with others in the community."

We were grateful to have four community leadership professionals and their inspiring conversations with students on how they can make a difference in their community. 

One of our participants stated that "...the October CLD sessions encourage the importance of learning about the community, seeking for collaboration and building connections." We look forward to our next Community on November 18th & 19th; be sure to check back on our blog for future updates! For more information on our Community Leadership Development Program click here. It's never too soon to make your plans to apply for next year!

 


Retreat 2016: A Participant's Thoughts

The 2016 Leadership Victoria (LV) program retreat went above and beyond expectations. The 2016/2017 Community Leadership Development cohort participated in a weekend full of memorable, and fun, workshops designed to translate personal styles and strengths into increased leadership competencies and a common vision of "the community of our dreams". 

The Cowichan Outdoor Education Centre graciously allowed us to use their space and it was a huge hit! One of the participants, Maria, stated that "The Cowichan Education Centre was the perfect scenario for such an amazing learning opportunity. I love the place, the Leadership Victoria program, the Committee/Coaches and Participants!" The creatively designed space allowed the learners and facilitators to comfortably interact and coordinate ideas in a relaxed atmosphere, and let personality strengths develop in the absence of stress.

LV_Retreat_Sep_2016_B-148.jpg2016/2017 LV Cohort at the Cowichan Education Centre 

Maria has found the Leadership Victoria Program to be a "very exciting and rewarding opportunity in our own community." The retreat was centered around working and learning alongside team members and she found that "the idea of learning with my team members about my community, and developing a project that could be beneficial for our community, is inspiring and deeply satisfying."

The retreat provided the opportunity for this year's participants to build trust with one another and with the coaching/facilitating team that will guide their experience through the year. Ultimately, the retreat helped to solidify shared visions about leadership, and opened conversations for what this year's participants will do with their Community Action Projects. 

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Stay tuned for our Community Learning Days from October 2016 - May 2017. The community learning days will include local guest speakers and workshops that will provide the leadership theory and tools to help build local community action projects. For more information on last year's 2015/2016 community action projects click here

Maria (center of picnic table) enjoying her time at the retreat and collaborating with Val & Libby's Team (team names are being created and will be announced soon).  

 

 


Why do we include group projects in our program?

Group projects.

Oh yeah. You know what we're talking about. If you've been in formal education in the past 30 years (or more), you know the mixed feelings about group projects. They can be the best of times, they can be the worst of times. At best, they give you a chance to accomplish something greater than you could individually; something that you find proud of, and something that is meaningful. At worst, they force you to get along with and work alongside people you don't like and don't "get", which pushes all kinds of buttons.

And those are both really good reasons why Leadership Victoria incorporates team-based Community Action Projects into our Community Leadership Development Program. 

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