2016 Action Recommendations
11.0 Future Steps for Change Camp Hamilton
Reflecting on Change Camp Hamilton 2016, we are in the midst of a major breakthrough in how we work together to build community-campus partnerships for change. And we’re just getting started! In just over one year, we’ve hosted two Change Camp Hamilton events, and in the process have made some great strides towards shifting how we work together, both on specific projects and between major institutions. Some major outcomes that we’ll continue to build on include:
- Broadening the Partnership: This year we expanded our planning team to include student leadership from Mohawk College, as well as representation from Redeemer University College. The result was a richer dialogue that brought together a broader range and larger number of participants.
- Appetite to Work Together: This year we were fortunate to have over 200 people take part in Change Camp Hamilton, doubling our participants from one year ago! This growth clearly shows that there is an appetite in our communities, neighbourhoods, organizations, and amongst our students, to work together to create positive and lasting change in Hamilton.
- Diverse Experiences and Interests: We also learned that those coming to the table(s) bring with them a broad range of experience and perspective on community engagement—some of us bring decades of experience, while for others Change Camp Hamilton was a first time to get off campus outside of the academic “bubble”. Moving forward we must acknowledge this range and create opportunities for everyone to be involved in a meaningful way.
- Ever Changing Process: The Change Camp Hamilton process itself is an ongoing change initiative that we continue to learn from, tweak, and improve upon to make sense of the complex and ever-shifting systems we operate within—both in our neighbourhoods, in our offices, and on our campuses.
So what does this all mean? We are heading in the right direction, but this coming year we will need to clearly focus on how to take action ideas and implement them through new or existing partnerships.
Over 2016, the Change Camp Hamilton team will be developing plans based on the action recommendations that will provide more opportunities for us to work together to improve this process. Some roundtable discussions identified recommendations for how to improve the Change Camp Hamilton process. These recommendations are combined below with feedback received from participants and roundtable facilitators and will be used to continue improving the process over the next year.
- Organize discussions that are focused and specific so as to encourage in-depth discussion based on current projects or challenges in a specific area. Sessions could include an update on past work related to the project or challenge and what has taken place to date.
- There is clear desire for longer rounds of discussion to allow participants to discuss a topic and take the necessary time to get into action recommendations.
- Incorporate a training or capacity building component into future events (e.g. resume-writing, interviews, etc.) and be clear about dress code for the event itself.
- Host information sessions on campus and in neighbourhoods before large events to provide background knowledge and build awareness of issues.
Follow Up & Build on Momentum
- Ensure clear communications about how people can stay engaged over the course of the year. Align future discussions or workshops with Our Future Hamilton.
- Consider holding small versions of Change Camp for residents, students, and organizations that are focused on specific action recommendations and partnership opportunities.
- Build continuity through CityLAB Hamilton so that students can build on ideas developed at Change Camp Hamilton, taking on City projects that can contribute to Our Future Hamilton and strategic plan priorities.
- Many participants would like to see a series of continuing events over the course of each year. This would help to maintain momentum and build continuity into the process.
- Create a Change Camp Hamilton website to share background information, action recommendations, information on events and organizations, and other helpful details over the course of each year. This could also be a common place for people to get information before attending any Change Camp Hamilton-related events.
- Create a regular newsletter about events and opportunities to share action recommendations and other information over the course of the year.
- Facilitate follow-up discussions on specific topics and action recommendations.
- Develop a strategy to track collaborations or partnerships that have happened as a result of Change Camp Hamilton.
- Proactively share action recommendations with those who may be interested.
- Create a communications plan for sharing action recommendations in multiple formats with multiple audiences.
- Create Facebook and Twitter accounts for Change Camp Hamilton.
- Host more events on how to get involved with community.
- Invite participation from courses and programs that have a specific link to the topics being discussed so as to improve possibilities of new partnerships taking shape.
- Expand the event to include more people and a broader range of participants. Ensure that Indigenous partners and community residents are invited to attend.
- Facilitate capacity building activities to support Change Camp Hamilton recommendations.