Dec 1, 2014 - Engage Nova Scotia - Newsletter
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Holiday Season Greetings

Welcome to the first Engage Network Newsletter (you heard it first on ENN)! This outreach will evolve over time, but the focus for now is sharing a regular snapshot of some of the exciting activities we’re involved with around the province, and giving you a heads-up on what’s on the horizon. We welcome your ideas and comments. 

The Engage Nova Scotia Team: Danny Graham, Nancy Watson, Dan O’Rourke, Amanda Cluett, Isabel Chender and Susan Szpakowski.


Project Updates

Share Thanksgiving

Nova Scotia hosts! In its first year of participation in this national project, ENS matched more Nova Scotia families with newcomers than anywhere else in the country, with the exception of Toronto. More than 900 people participated as dinner hosts or guests, and we had solid uptake in social and traditional media. It was a great way to introduce Nova Scotians to some of what Engage Nova Scotia is all about: everyday people coming together in new ways to take steps towards a more inclusive and vibrant future for all Nova Scotians. Thank you to everyone who participated. We’re looking forward to next year.

Interesting Link

imagiNATION 150  is a citizen-led group supported by several of Canada's largest foundations organizing to help mark our country's 150th birthday with a series of activities focused on building shared purpose across society through public engagement. Danny was interviewed by Adam Kahane, authour of Solving Tough Problems, for his series on "Possible Canadas." Click here for the recent Globe & Mail article.
Image of Make Democracy Better Meeting

Make Democracy Better

Our friends at Springtide Collective are hosting a series of conversations around the province with Nova Scotians about how our current democratic process could work better. ENS helped shape the sessions, with particular interest in how to foster and measure the growth of civic engagement between elections.  Click here to see if there is a discussion coming up in your area.

Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities (UNSM) Engagement Training

Danny and Dan led a group of 45 mayors, councillors, and senior municipal staffers through a day-long workshop in September in Truro. The sessions focused on how innovative engagement techniques can be designed and facilitated to energize the public around shared opportunities, while minimizing the risks of apathy or acrimony that can often undermine traditional “town hall" meetings. One of the questions the group explored was: What do you believe is the first, best step to building a more vibrant and inclusive Nova Scotia? You may be surprised at the answers.

Meeting of Engage Nova Scotia

Engagers Gather

On November 7, 2014 a broad group of Engage Nova Scotia Network stewards answered the invitation for a gathering in Halifax.

Danny provided an update on Engage Nova Scotia's recent activities and future work plans. It’s been a busy period: ENS now has a small staff group and a long list of activities we intend to initiate and to be partners in. 

Following a lively discussion, we broke into smaller groups to share and discuss hopes and fears for the ENS vision. These conversations spanned a continuum of concern that grassroots efforts towards change might not be taken seriously by traditional power systems, to hopes that ENS could be an example of how small populations of engaged citizens can reimagine and revitalize their shared futures.

Memorably, Nancy Watson spilled a full glass of water on Dan O'Rourke's Macbook in mid-presentation. For those who have expressed sympathy or concern, the laptop was resuscitated after spending 24 hours in a bag of rice, and continues to function without issue.

The participants also spent time talking about the role of Engage network members and how they could get more involved in the ENS work. One specific outcome is an Ideas Marketplace scheduled for January 10. Stay tuned for more information on that soon.

We’d love to hear from you

Email us any comments or suggestions on this newsletter. And remember to stay connected on Facebook.
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