ChangeCampTO: Why nonprofit folk, community organizers and activists need to attend

Some of you may have heard of something called “ChangeCamp” which occurred last year and sought to address “the demand for a renewed relationship among citizens and between citizens and our civic institutions. We seek to create connections between people and their civic passions by using new tools of communication.” The leaders and participants of ChangeCamp are actively working with the City of Toronto in their Open Data project and more. As such, they have the ear of local government and have a base of power in working with them to effect change in our city.

This is an opportunity to join them to create something bigger, better and much more representative of all communities in Toronto.

This year, they see the municipal elections in 2010 as an opportunity to gather people together to have real dialogues about the future of our communities. They believe that open source approaches can enable those conversations across the City of Toronto and beyond through community-based leadership. To that end, they’re hosting an event to design a toolkit for a self-organizing civic movement, tentatively called “ChangeCamp-in-a-Box”.

To their credit, this group of predominantly “digerati” realize that they need to expand their base, increase the number and types of voices at the table, to ensure that this is truly a representative Toronto community effort. From the invitation I received:

“I would also ask that you forward this invitation, along with the password, to people in your organization or individual community organizers that you think should be there. We are looking for people who are already active in their communities with an interest in using new tools to effect large-scale community change. We have 30 spots dedicated to such organizers, and I’d like to get in even more if I can.”

We need to ensure that community organizers, developers and committed community mobilizers who represent a wide variety of voices, neighbourhoods, perspectives and people are at this table.

They want you there because your bring neighbourhood wealth, knowledge, connections with people, trust, accountability, critical mass, influence, stories, reality checks, gateways to communities and more. They want you at the table because they realize that technological solutions and pie in the eye ideas about how communities can and are mobilizing need to be grounded in the experience of people who have been doing this for decades. This is an opportunity to teach and share, but also to learn, engage, forge new alliances, especially with people who can help harness technology to help you scale and leverage your efforts, connect with others doing similar work here and afar

You can see some of their ideas and plans for this event and beyond from a recent event planning session (2 videos are linked to below):

ChangeCamp-in-a-Box event design 1
ChangeCamp-in-a-Box event design 2

The event is happening soon – Tuesday, February 16, 2010 from 5:30 PM – 9:00 PM (ET). Registration is here. Register now as the event will sell out quickly.

Join us, forward the invite to your contacts and networks, and let’s make sure that this effort is grounded in the long-term efforts you have all engaged in to create a better Toronto community.

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Communications in social services/social change, immigration, diversity & inclusion in Toronto. Wannabe librarian, interested in nonprofit tech innovation.

Communications in social services/social change, immigration, diversity & inclusion in Toronto. Wannabe librarian, interested in nonprofit tech innovation.

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