October 11, 2023
Wow it has been such an exciting past year! We set out to try and do community development differently and to say we learned a lot would be an understatement. We went from Ireland, to Australia, New Zealand, Scotland, America and back to Canada on a journey of discovery looking at different models and approaches. Through the generous giving of time and knowledge from many people we were able to develop the ACTivate (Activating Community Tourism) program in partnership with St. Francis Xavier University Coady Institute and funded by the Government of Canada. We invited 35 peers along for a ride of discovery with one simple caveat – be curious and not judgemental! There was no magic bullet offered only the belief that each of us and our communities had an abundance that we just needed to make visible. Grounded in the principles of Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) we walked a path – never linear, sometimes forward, sometimes sideways, but always in motion towards a belief that we can and should be the stewards of our own dreams. What started as a four month journey, added another week long learning mission to Nebraska to see ABCD in action and then evolved into an additional 3 month mobilization program. What we have learned from those 35 brave souls has been immense and their kindness in sharing to make the program even better for others has been inspiring as we get ready to launch the next iteration of ACTivate. As we get set to welcome a whole new cohort we know that we have sparked conversations, made people think differently about this concept of community development and hopefully helped make the invisible visible in communities! Above all else we have people believing in the mantra – “A great place to live is a great place to visit!” To learn more about our next intake please visit the ACTivate page.