Saturday, September 27, 2008

Tamarack & Six Thinking Hats

No, I didn't fall off the face of the earth! After just two blog entries about the fabulous Tamarack Communities Collaborating Institute, it seemed like every moment was taken up and there was little time for writing. Sleep became more important.

It was a great week in Kitchener and I'm so grateful that I was able to attend. There were so many connections made with people who are working for change in their communities.

Learning about the work that Hamilton's Roundtable on Poverty Reduction is doing was a particularly inspiring, but there were so many community movers and shakers from a wide variety of organizations, including United Way and community foundations, a credit union, immigrant organizations, Vibrant Communities (including Vibrant Edmonton and Vibrant Calgary), and many more.

Of the 80 participants, I think I was the only elected official, but the new executive director of Vibrant Edmonton is a former City of Edmonton Councillor, so we had lots to talk about.

A number of Albertans met at the end of the Institute to figure out how we can keep the momentum going in our province for creating change through community collaboration. More on that as we have a chance to process all we learned and to get back in touch with each other.

Following the week in Kitchener, I travelled to Ottawa for a 2-day workshop on Edward de Bono's Six Thinking Hats tool. De Bono coined the concept of "lateral thinking" and has written dozens of books on thinking and decision-making. The workshop was an excellent opportunity to build on things I learned at Tamarack;

and the idea of parallel thinking using the six hats, along with the creativity activities, will be of much use in many areas of my professional, public, and personal life.

Next week, Mayor and Council are in Edmonton attending the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) convention. If I get a chance, I'll post updates.

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