Atlantic Canada,  Social Innovation

This Changes Everything

There’s a collective buzz building across Atlantic Canada. Voices from the margins are successfully calling out for a new form of collaboration between all four Atlantic provinces. There is a sense of readiness, rooted in our shared history of successful self-organization and cooperatives, and a proven resilience in this region that bodes well for a great transition. A range of activities that have sprouted in the last year alone indicates a broader social movement gaining strength across the region.

These include:

  • Linking Arms, a peer-to-peer support network of changemakers from NS and NB that are seeking to create “an economy that works for all”
  • How We Thrive, a gathering held over four days in June to harvest collective intelligence for systems change
  • EconoUs, the national CCEDNet conference, held in Moncton in September that focused on collaboration for systems change

Most recently, a group of 25 changemakers from across the region gathered in Nova Scotia at Windhorse Farm to connect on our shared land and to give shape to WeavEast: a collective of people across Atlantic Canada committed to creating positive social change.

Applying the principles of “Going Horizontal”, participants in this gathering lived the principles of non-hierarchical organization: building co-created agendas, using collaborative decision making processes, and grounding the work in trusted relationships that are now growing across the region.

As this collective gains momentum there will be even more ways to collaborate for social change in an unprecedented way in Atlantic Canada. Follow the progress of #weaveast as the work of this collective creates greater access to tools, knowledge, and capacity-building for innovation and leadership from the grassroots. Learning partners and contributors are welcome to join the movement and for more information please visit inspiringcommunities.ca/networkbuilding.

 

Jennifer is the Atlantic Canada “Weaver” for Social Innovation Canada, through which she works to give a stronger national profile to the work in Atlantic Canada and connect local practitioners to a national network of changemakers. Jennifer supports Inspiring Communities efforts to curate an ecosystem for social innovation in Atlantic Canada. She connects people and projects that are focused on tackling tough issues and changing systems across the region to help support social changemakers. She is committed, personally and professionally, to amplifying important work that is happening regionally- and, especially to supporting connections that are are formed to bridge across divides. 

Jennifer is the founder of a network of interconnected adult folkschools called Life.School.House that represents a rebirth of the cooperative People’s Schools movement. She lives in Dartmouth NS with her husband, two boys, and a cat who rules them all.

Jennifer can be reached at jdecoste@inspiringcommunities.ca.

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