Get your Rough Guide to destination: Experimentation. For six-weeks, we worked with four drop-in centers and coached five teams of practitioners to close a gap between their values and their practices. We modeled doing research, generating ideas, and trying out small interactions – be it a new agenda for a staff meeting, new tools for a conversation, new spaces for street-involved adults, etc.
Small interactions can add up to big changes to an organization’s culture.
What happens when you bring 8 frontline workers, 6 policymakers, and 2 managers together in a room for 2 days to explore values and prototype practices? You get homemade ice-cream in a bag, excavating for diamonds in the rough, role play, and deep dialogue about why we do what we do. Over the summer, we’ll coach 5 teams to iterate ways to close different values-practice gaps.
We have a few spots left. If you are a frontline staff, a manager or coordinator working in the social service sector and are interested in developing values based practice then get in touch.
We’re ready to put the Push and Pull document into practice! For the next two months we will be working with frontline staff from drop-in centres across Toronto to develop work place practices where the values driving the practice are made really explicit.
Toronto Learning Circle has completed a full rotation for 2016!
Hi, I’m Maggie – the Toronto Learning Circle Coach.
From November to May, 23 frontline, mid-level and senior level leaders from across Toronto’s social sector spent 12 hours a month trying out a Grounded Change approach. That’s an approach that starts on-the-ground with people experiencing a pain point in order to re-design practices & policies that prompt change. Participation was totally voluntary – meaning these 23 individuals volunteered to put themselves out of their comfort zones. Each of them shared their experience – the ups and downs – on May 12th. Ten project teams bravely offered their learning to about 100 guests from the social service, government and community outreach sectors at the Berkeley Field House in Toronto.
How do we enable street-involved adults to see alternative futures? To be in a culture that reinforces a future narrative? And to have their aspirations met with real structural opportunities? Over the past month, we’ve changed tacks. In January, we identified 5 sets of solutions. Then, we realized these solutions ran into the same systemic barriers, namely, the need for ongoing funding. So we pivoted away from making expensive flagship services.
Instead, we are looking at how to enable street-involved folks, frontline workers, managers and policymakers to act with greater intentionality. This has led us to values and everyday practices – on how it is we clarify and bring to life beliefs. We’ve been struck by how little consensus there is about what constitutes a good outcome for street-involved folks. Is it harm reduction? Is it healing? Is it learning? Is it contribution? Is it…
On Friday, UforU went to the Art Gallery of Ontario to bring members together around art. As well, to explore extending the walls of the drop-in to the rest of the city. How can places like art galleries, museums, and libraries be used by street involved adults? How might these institutions collaborate with drop-ins to make their spaces more accessible and welcoming? Read about our reflections and memorable learnings.