In my first post I spoke about how each of us can exhibit change by something as simple as picking up garbage while you hike can make an impact. This time I would like to introduce two more change makers that is enabling change in Tanzania.
Calling all Cardboard Creatives!
We’re pleased to announce that the Global Cardboard Challenge is coming to Toronto! Founded by the Imagination Foundation, which was formed after the success of the Caine’s Arcade viral video, the Challenge was created to celebrate the creativity & imagination of kids around the world. We will be co-hosting along with Treehouse Group, Wychwood Barns and Vivien Leung (PechaKucha Toronto).
We invite you to build your own cardboard game to celebrate fun, creativity, cardboard play and entrepreneurship! On Saturday, October 6, join us and thousands of people around the world as we get together for one big day of play. The Global Cardboard Challenge in Toronto is being held at Wychwood Barns at 601 Christie Street, from 9am – 1pm. By bringing together all our games, we can make one big arcade.
I returned from a three-week adventure in Tanzania splitting time teaching at Good Hope Orphanage and Primary School, reaching the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro and speeding through the vast plains of the Serengeti. From my flight to Dar es Salaam to being seen off at the airport coming home to Toronto, I had the privilege to meet so many change makers in such short time; Allen, a Certified Prosthetist and Orthotist from United States working with World Medical Mission to train locals in prosthetics and orthotics in Kenya and Jill, Nicole, Apryl and Tanya from Canada, working for Sustainable Cities in Dar es Salaam on urban development projects with the municipal government were some of the fine folks working on incredible initiatives in Africa. In the next several blog posts I would like to share the stories of a few change makers I met along the way.
We are turning 3! We are leaving our toddler years behind us and taking some big next steps. We will be hosting a little picnic in the park to celebrate our birthday. We are inviting all our past, present and future volunteers, partners and supporters.
Join us, August 8 from 7-9pm, at Dufferin Grove Park at the Main Firepit.
This might seem a little late in the game to only be posting about now…but I realize that while I live, breathe and work this methodology and practice, not everyone does but then there are some that do too! This week, I was in a meeting where I explained what we do, the process, the method to our madness, the outcome we are trying to achieve by working with design processes and tools to start a conversation with community and to identify the underlying and unseen landscape. And then she asked, “so who are competitors?” I rattled off a few organizations that do work like ours. The next day, I was sitting at a table with some of these competitors and they are seriously awesome. Our competitors are our partners in a movement, we are partners in using design as a tool to address some wicked issues.
While the intersection is common to Exhibit Change and many fellow design driven community engagement organizations, we need to elevate what we do. I want what we do to be as known as when you walk into a coffee shop or hire an accountant. Yes, there is competition, but there is also a community. A community of support, a collective of resources and a powerful commitment to the work.
We launched a Makers program a few weeks ago, and we are OVER the moon with excitement to announce our 4 new Makers.
The Makers program is our way of getting brilliant people to help us out (heehee sneaky!) Our Makers will be doing a blog a month on something that inspires their curiosity, peaked their concerns or just something they wanted to share; they will be working on at least one of our projects and the best part of all, giving us their brains for brainstorming every 6 weeks or so.
Next week we will be having our first brainstorming session, I can’t really express just how excited I am. All I know is that this is going to be an adventure, and one you can follow.
Feel free to check out our Makers Bios and to send them a tweet. Welcome Kathryn, Alex, Colin and Terrence to our team!!!!
Check back soon for their blogs 🙂
Last weekend, was the 4th Random Hacks of Kindness in Toronto, and the 5th around the world! Kathryn and I went to RHoKTO as “idea hackers” to work on a project called WorldVUZE. WorldVUZE is a platform connecting students across the world from their classrooms to gain perspectives and stories beyond their assumptions. It is sort of like a hybrid of Facebook and Google Docs with searchable data and added security to be used in the education system.
As opposed to Global Service Jam, where all the ideas came from the participants on Friday. At RHoKTO, all the project ideas had been pre-pitched and approved by the committee before we arrived on Friday night. This meant that someone carried the ownership of the idea and held a vision of where they wanted it to go. As “Idea Hackers” we got to choose which project we wanted to work on and hoped that we had enough developers to really push the idea forward.
Our WorldVUZE team at RHoKTO ended up being, 11 strong – 2 from the organization, us 2 idea hackers, and 7 developers! I have never been to a technology based hack-a-thon like this before, so I was blown away by the commitment that the developers had. They worked through dinner and beers on Saturday and on Sunday by the presentation, they were disappointed they didn’t have more time to complete more.
My favourite part of the weekend, was watching the design and collaboration process unfold. As an idea hacker, I could only translate the vision so much, it was really up to the organization to try and convey what they wanted to the developers. I have seen this process not work out well and certainly not as quickly or seamlessly as this time. I wish there was a video of it, so that I could clearly map out how it worked and how quickly. There was a vision, an inquiry session, clarification, digestion, a check in of understanding, a consensus and then a distribution of skills before it was off to the races. From then on, we were mostly hands off for the coding part and could work on developing a business strategy and pitch coaching.
The projects left with so much ammunition for how to move forward, it is up to them to take that positive momentum and keep it going. Overall, it was a brain drain, but in the best way.
Ever wish you had 50 desks? What could you use them for? Sitting at? Standing on? Tearing apart? Envision an arts installation of 50 desks in a park? You are only limited by your imagination!
50 desks, varying sizes, varying colours, ALL available.
You can have them for a donation, charitable receipt or letters of appreciation. Pick up is mandatory.
These desks are not in our future plans, but maybe they are just the key piece you have been missing.
Send a message if you have any questions. firstname.lastname@example.org
Ok, enough is enough. I took a nice long break from my everyday routine to travel Asia for nearly 4 months. It was magical, inspiring and ultimately life changing. I got to explore and wander new cultures, foods and streets; which is pretty awesome! My outlook and perspective was challenged in doing things out of my norm, in testing my adventurer and facing fears. Through it all, I really missed my work.
So, last Monday, the team got back in the saddle.
I am very excited to get back to it and to start getting to work on the amazing projects we have lined up. And even more exciting, is all the new partners who want to collaborate and share ideas with us. In the next little while, we are launching an intern program, rolling out a few projects and delivering a few training workshops. (So, I promise the newsletter will be coming your way again)
Having just come back from a 4 month travelling adventure, I was starting to feel like there was more happening out there in the world than right here. And then Toronto sent me an invitation to my Welcome Home party. In one weekend, Toronto completely reminded me how much greatness is right outside my front door.
Jane’s Walk, TCAF, Hot Docs, Contact, MayWorks…and these are just the things I know about. I felt like Toronto was throwing me a Welcome Home party, just to remind me how awesome this city is.
Well Toronto, it worked! Thank you.