How do we (re)engage citizens in the political process?

Patrick Lee will be pitching a discussion that asks,

In recent years, voter turnout in Canada has reached record lows. Only 61% of eligible voters cast ballots in the last federal election. Turnout for recent provincial elections in Alberta, British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Ontario was even worse, ranging from 52% to 59%. However, the lowest participation is at the municipal level where turnout in BC was a mere 30% in 2011.

Election officials, political parties and advocacy groups have tried to increase voter engagement, but low turnout continues to be a problem. In Canada, voter turnout is lower amongst younger voters and minority ethnic groups, resulting in underrepresentation of these groups in electoral results. Increasing voter turnout amongst these groups and the general population is desirable to help ensure the interests of all Canadians are reflected in policy decisions.

Promote the Vote is a non-partisan movement of everyday Canadians trying to increase voter turnout through dialogue with each other. Traditional outreach campaigns try to speak directly to people who don’t vote. Promote the Vote takes a different approach: it asks people who already vote to go one step further and encourage their friends and family to cast ballots too.

What are other ways we can (re)engage citizens in the political process? How do we create a culture of voting in Canada? How do we create collaboration and dialogue in a space that is increasingly along political and ideological lines?

You can reach him at mpatlee[at]gmail.com to discuss or connect with him at Changecamp 2014.


eBook Projects to Help the Oppressed

Larry Colero will be pitching a discussion that asks,

Harriett Beecher Stowe’s illustrated novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin was the #1 best-seller of the 19th century (after the Bible). It achieved a tipping point for the Abolitionists and it re-defined Lincoln’s Civil War.

The book caused a radical change in attitudes towards slavery by appealing to people’s conscience in a way that decades of appeal to their minds could not – through the use of compelling fiction. Using her imagination, the author made a political argument come alive for the American people through an entertaining story that includes empathy, suspense, inspiration and other literary techniques. So,…

a) Can we learn from the Uncle Tom’s Cabin model about how to move hearts as well as minds towards appreciating the need for greater equity in our communities?

b) How might we use the ubiquity of interactive e-book technology to tell engaging, uplifting stories about fictional characters who reflect real people in our communities?

Later thoughts:

1. I’m not sure the story would have to be fiction

2. Expected roles on an e-book project team, although it could all be done by one person:

– Author (may be a separate author for fiction/non-fiction) and maybe a Researcher as well
– Illustrator if required
– Publisher – to manage technology for layout, web design and publishing with Amazon, Apple, Google, B&N, etc.
– Marketing

Expected cost per e-book – from less than $100 to $10,000

You can reach him at larry[at]colero.net to discuss or connect with him at Changecamp 2014.




How can we leverage community data to create positive social change?

Bob Prenovost will be pitching a discussion that asks,

There’s a plethora of data about pressing and persistent social issues in our community such as homelessness, mental illness, addictions etc. How can we leverage the collection and analysis of this data and use it to create positive social change ? Can organizations that are tasked with collecting this data find more effective and mutually beneficial ways to collaborate with the organizations and groups who are providing front line services and/or proposing innovative solutions to social issues ?

You can reach him at bob.prenovost[at]bc211.ca to discuss or connect with him at Changecamp 2014.


Session Proposal: Seniors for childcare

“As I walk my son past the care home around the corner, the faces of the residents *light up* as soon as they spot him. Many lovely seniors would play peek-a-boo all day if we had the time.

Meanwhile, there is a serious daycare shortage in Vancouver. The closest to our home is anticipated to be full for more than two years and will not even keep a wait list. There is absolutely no availability for his age group for full-time or even part-time daycare in the CoV.”

Could we partner senior care (demand quickly rising) with junior care to more effectively meet demands, increase sense of community, quality of life, early childhood education, etc etc?

What ideas will you bring? Submit a topic of discussion.

image courtesy of melfoody via Flickr licenced through creative commons



Session Proposal: Living the New Economy Convergence

Tammy Lea Meyer (or maybe someone else) will be pitching a discussion that asks,

What passions, skills, projects and/or resources do you bring to the new economy movement?
What do you need to take your contribution to the next level?
How can our collective resources be leveraged to help each other?
What is missing? Who else do we need to bring into the conversation?
What questions are we left with? Whom do we ask?

Planet Protector Academy

Sion Lanini will be pitching a discussion that asks,

Planet Protector Academy is a digital interactive classroom experience that trains kids as ‘apprentice’ Planet Protectors to lead pro-environmental behaviour change in their families. The first program ‘Keep Cool’ focuses on Climate Change and has engaged over 4,500 kids and their families, with 65% of parents now driving less!

We’re looking to re-develop the platform so that it can be customized and applied to lots of different social and environmental issues. The superhero storyline and behaviour change methodology is already attracting interest from a range of organizations working on zero waste, water conservation, aboriginal issues, anti-racism work etc.

Housing Crisis

Anonymous may be pitching a discussion that asks,

At least 116,000 people in BC are in housing crisis.

At the tip of the iceberg are 11,000 visibly homeless people, who have no homes at all.

Just below the surface are 40,000 hidden homeless, who sleep with family, in cars, or couch surf.

Deep under water are 65,000 people at risk of homelessness, who spend more than 50% of their income on rent. Many of them in substandard housing conditions.

How do we make this an issue for those who are not connected to any risk?
What have activists and the homeless community learned from Oppenheimer Park or Occupy?
What has city council learned since 2008?

Session Proposal: Engaging millenials

Arpy Dragffy from ibelievein.com will be pitching a discussion that asks, What engages millenials to act for good most: fun, seeing change, being part of something, doing the right thing?

We’re all faced with questions about what the motivators are to get millenials to act for good and change. With countless organizations literally competing for attention and intention from this group, most are ignored or barely considered. Others are dominating the charitable world but why? Is it because they deliver the right program matching with the right person? Or is it due to the sheer size and awareness of those campaigns which often have large budgets?


What ideas will you bring? Submit a topic of discussion.

Session Proposal: Project and Change Management for Social Activists

David Lee will be pitching a discussion that asks, what can we learn from the world of project and change management and apply to driving social change?

Project management concepts can give us guidance on how to have conversations about bringing our ideas for change into reality. Change management can help us with understanding who the key stakeholders are and how to engage them, whether they are inside or outside “the tent”.

I’d like to propose a session which walks people through specific ideas for change they are currently working on, and take concepts and tools that have been used to manage projects and change in more structured settings, and apply them to more expansive and dynamic environments. This session would be 20% tutorial on approaches and tools I’ve used in both corporate and non-profit settings and 80% applying these tools to further your own “work”.

What ideas will you bring? Submit a topic of discussion.