Posts byMichelle Strutzenberger

Toot-Toot!! We’re making waves!

Generative Journalism Co-op Energizing New Talent

Hope and possibility is stirring in Calgary as a Generative Journalism co-op called NewScoop YYC draws an array of new talent sensing a life-giving space in which to step into their gifts and animate a new story for their city and society.

“What’s energizing me is this different approach to writing stories,” says Tamara Lee, who connected with NewScoop several months ago. She brings an eclectic mix of gifts — technical writing, placemaking artistry and a degree in biochemistry. Tamara says she’s especially drawn to the idea of creating news in a way that is generative — where the story-gathering process itself sparks new possibilities for her community.

Calgary Churches Re-imagining Who They Are In Community

Initiative takes stock of churches’ assets, explores redirecting them to better serve community

Carla Leon never knows what kind of response she’ll get when she picks up the phone to cold-call church leaders in Calgary about a new initiative designed to help churches re-imagine who they are in their local communities. But she’s certainly most energized when people instantly “see the light.”

National Conversation about Canada’s Future Surfaces a Yearning

Canadians hungry for possibility-oriented dialogues that invite them to co-create a bright future

From a national happiness index to watershed jurisdictions to females comprising at least half the political offices, a new national project is sparking all kinds of ideas for a bright Canadian future. That’s a key goal for the Canada 300 project — to surface “improbable aspirations for an unexpected country.” But the bigger story is how hungry Canadians seem to be for the possibility-oriented dialogues that are central to the project.

Can Alberta Become a Social Innovation Leader?

Project investigates possibilities for supporting provincial social innovation ecosystem’s growth

Last spring, the Alberta government announced the launch of a $1-billion Social Innovation Endowment Fund. When the fund was cancelled in early December, the question surfaced, is there energy to pursue strengthening Alberta’s capacity for social innovation through a community-driven, province-wide initiative? Research over the last couple of months suggests the answer is yes.

Elders Summit Creates Space for Community to Happen

Feb. 6 gathering intended to help lead youth and community to increased sense of self awareness, cultural identity, and healing

People have experienced the healing touch of conversations that allow you to be heard and to listen to one another’s stories and wisdom. Put those in the context of your particular culture, and these conversations can have an added depth of meaning.

Passion and Commitment Shine Through in Ceremonies to Mark Next Part of Calgary’s Poverty Reduction Journey

Aboriginal ceremony highlights meaningfulness of this work to aboriginal community, importance of drawing on aboriginal wisdom to create solutions

If commitment and passion are integral elements to successfully actualizing a vision, then the crusade to exponentially shrink poverty in Calgary looks most promising.

‘We have more in common than differences’

Jewish and Muslim communities of Calgary demonstrate desire for mutual understanding, peace through formation of joint council

Disturbed by the aggressive nature of the pro-Israel, pro-Palestinian rallies on Calgary’s streets last summer, representatives of the local Muslim and Jewish faiths have created a forum for enabling a peaceful approach to addressing their concerns.

Can Shopping be a Community-building Experience?

Calgary one of five cities in Canada to join Yellow Pages campaign to promote shopping at small to medium sized local businesses

As the 2014 holiday season unfolds, many Canadian shoppers are darting out to box stores – or in, to their computers, as the case may be — determined to nail the best deals in the least amount of time while gulping back stomach-churning anxiety.

What’s Possible When Two Women Step Up to Connect Their Neighbourhood?

Calgary residents Amber and Rowena have a new passion for life and a friendlier, safer community

Amber Cannon feels most energized when she looks at the time that she’s been active in her community and realizes the mental health issues she’s struggled with have lessened considerably. She and Rowena Saballo, a fellow resident of her neighbourhood, Lincoln Park, in Calgary’s southwest, are actively helping to create the kind of community most people want to live in.

Turning churches into community hubs

Nov. 22 workshop an opportunity for Calgary faith communities to explore transforming their worship spaces

Lincoln Park resident Amber Cannon credits the increasing well-being of her neighbourhood largely to the work of a local church, Bethany Chapel. The church runs a recycled clothing store for local residents, hosts community dinners and facilitates monthly meetings for local women to connect and learn specific skills. This is one picture of how a faith community’s gathering place might become a community hub.

Aging in Community Workshop Surfaces Needs and Possibilities for Calgary

Highlights need for supports for people who don’t have equity to be able to participate in alternative housing venture

An Oct. 18 workshop that explored creating support services and housing options for older adults using the co-op model revealed a significant need as well as exciting possibilities for Calgary. Options discussed included co-op housing, cohousing, Abbeyfield Housing and The Village model.

‘It Feels Like We’ve Sparked a Movement’

People are thirsting to be involved in Calgary’s new poverty reduction initiative, and creatively finding their own ways to do so

Calgary’s poverty reduction initiative is called Enough for All — and it’s shifting the conversation about what it means to reduce poverty. People are thirsting to be involved. “Let’s talk about us as a community,” is the rallying cry. “We’re all in this together, and we have to figure out how we build the community that works for all of us.”