Riverdale Rapids

Toronto-Danforth "These are the people in your neighborhood"

ChangeCamp for East End to take next steps.

A movement to re-imagine citizenship and government in the age of participation is coming to Toronto's east end.

UPDATE, June 3, 2010: We have confirmed agreement to produce ChangeCampTOe in partnership with the Centre for Creative Communications. Free registration, made possible by Microsoft Canada, is open now. Feel free to respond to our "Toronto: What do you want to change?" survey our the top local issues and share it online.

Original post:

Our local ChangeCamp Interest Group held its first meeting last Thursday night and came away with a consensus that holding a local ChangeCamp in late May or early June would be feasible and valuable for the community.

Feel free to connect with any of our RiverdaleRapids members who are engaged in this effort to get a first hand account of how this initiative is developing. It is pretty exciting to have such a collective force of high energy, talented people involved.

Over the next week or so we would like to double the size of our interest group, so please share this post on your Facebook page, join our group and/or forward it via email to your connections.

National ChangeCamp host Mark Kuznicki and past ChangeCamp facilitator Daniel Rose were both on hand to help answer questions about how previous ChangeCamps have taken shape in Toronto and across the country. What process to expect? What kind of success can we expect? How can we compliment similar efforts in the city and across the country.

I was involved in the first organising meetings for ChangeCamp in December 2008 and have participated in two versions of the event in Toronto. In my view, the ChangeCamp format serves the agenda of the full spectrum of community interests. ChangeCamp helps individuals and organisations get connected to each other and discover new paths towards empowerment through those connections and the technologies that strengthen them.

On Thursday night we only began to scratch the surface of the Grid (i.e. session themes) that might emerge at a local ChangeCamp and topics included: developing green neighborhoods, "Newcomer" settlement strategy, driving adoption & optimization of internet supported community, climate change, older adult lifestyles, youth culture, role of libraries, local business development and more ...

Building more powerful networks may seem like a nebulous purpose but coming to understand networks as critical assets is something that I have spent a great deal of time thinking about. Whereas traditional politics are designed to divide, strong networks can be mobilized for a variety of purposes once the connections and reciprocal culture is established. That is what's in it for you! So please join our group and help us raise awareness of the issues that are priorities in our neighborhoods.

We are not drawing boundaries on a map for this. It is an open event. We trust that people will make good decisions when choosing what feels local to them. Tribes have different, more fluid borders than those defined by street names. Having said that, the area will define itself through the event. Where we locate the physical event and our efforts to attract the people already serving locally will have an impact.

Most importantly we hope to bring out citizens who may be "plugged in" but not directly involved in traditional NGOs, government and the like. If you bring talent to the office are the tech guru in your company why not bring that expertise to your community? If you work on policy at any level, why not share your thinking? We all have local passions ... seeing more trees planted, making our 'hoods more dog or biker friendly, nightlife & entertainment, local sports ... the possibilities are endless.

What do you want to change? This is a time, place and network to help you get started.

First order of business ... we are looking for a venue to host 100 to 200 people, most of whom will need a wireless internet connection and hopefully has a few break out rooms. Can you suggest a place like that in the east end of Toronto?

For more details on what evolved from our meeting last Thursday, please visit this summary.


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Tags: #ChangeCamp, #ccTOe, 2.0, ChangeCamp, ChangeCampTOe, Government, activism, change, media, networks, More…open, social, source

Comment by Connie Crosby on April 6, 2010 at 23:36
Great write-up, Michael! One tweak: I don't think we just want tech folk out. This should be for everyone--we want citizen engagement regardless of whether it is online engagement.
Comment by Michael Cayley on April 7, 2010 at 0:05
I agree Connie. Sorry if I gave that impression!

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While we understand that the City sees a need to charge fees to all recreation users on a cost recovery basis, one could argue that these services are covered by our property taxes. Therefore the question becomes: Where did the numbers come from for the cost recovery analysis? Is the budget estimate of $1.5M from permit fees a realistic number? The actual amount will most likely be significantly less. Therefore it would not be onerous for the Parks, Forestry and Recreation Department to absorb this until a proper process is put in place.We are requesting that Council:Direct Parks, Forestry and Recreation staff to withhold collection of fees for one year to give these organizations the opportunity to build the new permit fees into their registration fees.

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