Tag Archives: prototyping

See photos! Grounded Design Bootcamp

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.


23 learning circlers graduate

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.

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Download Push & Pull; Apply to get $!

Click on the picture to download the publication!


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…

Continue reading Download Push & Pull; Apply to get $!

Adventures of Art: UforU at the AGO

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.

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More than meets the eye

Watch Brit’s latest short film about what it looks like to iterate an early idea. In our first few weeks at The Meeting Place, we started something called UforU. UforU hosts pop-up workshops facilitated by community faculty – from violinists to astronomers. But, it’s actually a whole lot more. Find out what we’re really testing.

The myth of the average

What do civil servants know, what don’t they know, and how do they know? We’re testing how a new intervention called Grounded might complement empirical data with ethnographic data. Keep reading to download results from our very first beta-test in Ottawa, and to understand why ethnographic data is so valuable precisely because it isn’t representative.

Testing how policy analysts might use ethnographic data in their jobs.

Continue reading The myth of the average