Focusing on relationships is the foundation for radical change

Focusing on relationships is the foundation for radical change

It isn’t just a sound bite. The reason it was tweeted and retweeted dozens of times after Frances Westley’s keynote address at Tamarack’s Community Change Institute (CCI 2016) is that it resonated.

It’s all about relationships. The message was reinforced over and over again, by Frances Westley, by Severn Suzuki, by Steve Patrick and by the 230 people who gathered during the week of September 26 at CCI 2016 to build relationships, learn together and reaffirm fundamental truths about our collective work of effecting positive change in the world.

Don’t get me wrong, the conference wasn’t about patting each other on the back and singing kumbaya (though there certainly was some of that). Equal time, however, was spent wrestling with difficult issues. There were heated exchanges about privilege, race, class and the environment — at some stages there were even tears. We didn’t agree on everything, nor did we want to. Another statement from Frances Westley’s keynote that resonated was that conflict sparks creativity — and the discussions were certainly creative!

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