Collaboration Forum – BRIDGES 2016

The fourth annual TEQ LIP BRIDGES 2016 Collaboration Forum took place on February 24, 2016 at Tropicana Community Services in Scarborough. The Forum brought together over 100 service provider representatives from across the City of Toronto for a day full of sharing, learning and discussions about working in partnerships and collaboration. The  event offered opportunities for organizations across Toronto to share promising practices, make new connections, be inspired by new ideas and discuss innovative and new ways for working together.

The theme of this year’s BRIDGES 2016 Forum focused on collaborative action. In addition to learning, the Forum offered opportunities for participants to share and discuss their own ideas for collective action with other Forum attendees.

Below you will find Forum materials for download and viewing, including presentations from workshops, plenary session and videos from the workshops and presentations.

Plenary Session: Collective Impact – A model for collaborative community change

Collective Impact has become increasingly popular in recent years as a model for collectively addressing complex social issues. Collective Impact enables a group of organizations to address a major challenge by developing and working toward a common agenda that fundamentally changes population level outcomes in a community. In this plenary, 3 presenters shared about the concept of Collective Impact, its key characteristics, how it is used and how it differs from other community organizing and collaborative planning concepts. They also shared examples of successful Collective Impact initiatives and will speak about funding available to support Collective Impact projects. 

  1. Innoweave – Outcomes and Collective Impact – Ryan Convay, Innoweave Manager, The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation
  2. Collective Impact – Investment Strategy – Brian Conway, Program Manager, Trillium Foundation
  3. Collective Impact for Toronto Youth – Stoney McCart, Executive Director, The Student Commission of Canada, Center of Excellence for Youth Engagement

Workshop 1: Building Partnerships with Faith and Cultural Groups

Faith and cultural groups play an important role in creating the fabric of welcoming communities. This workshop explored how and why service providers and faith and cultural groups can build mutually beneficial collaborations, defining objectives and common interests, principles of engagement and how to approach, develop, evaluate and sustain these partnerships. The workshop included the perspective of an experienced faith organization, the aspect of interfaith coalitions and also touched on avenues to obtain funding support for partnership projects involving faith groups.

Workshop 2: Private Sector – Collaborative Partnerships for Vibrant Communities

Businesses are key stakeholders in creating vibrant communities. Non-profit organizations provide key services to communities and have close connections with residents. How can service providers and private sector leaders successfully leverage each other’s strengths and work together to address social issues and contribute to social innovation? In this workshop speakers provided tools, information and strategies for initiating and building successful collaborations between businesses and the non-profit sector to contribute to involved and vibrant communities.

  1. Corporate Partnership Success Stories – Doug Bennett, Business Development Officer, PF & R Partnership Development Unit, City of Toronto.
  2. Creating Responsible Business and Engaged Communities – Sharleen Mascoll, Principal, Mascoll Consulting

Workshop 3: Partnering with Research Institutions for Community Impact

Research institutions can be significant assets in communities. This workshop explored how community – academic research partnerships can be built to the benefit of both the community, the service provider organization and the research institution. How do research partnerships lead to enhanced knowledge and capacity and how can service providers identify and get their research needs on the agenda of research institutions? Speakers discussed topics such as understanding the jargon of research; what does ethical research look like, being purposeful and the responsibilities of all parties in the partnership. The workshop also addressed how to deal with the conundrum of ‘over-consultation’ of communities and to ensure research collaborations are of benefit to the community.  

Closing Address: 

The Forum was organized by the Toronto East Quadrant Local Immigration Partnership in collaboration with Toronto Public Library, Polycultural Immigrant and Community Services, all Toronto Quadrant LIPs and the Toronto Newcomer Office.

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