Accelerate 2013 - Participatory Breakout B: Community-scale Collaboration

In this session, moderated by John Purkis, panelists spoke about the formal and informal threads of community-scale collaboration in each of their contexts. Cheeying Ho started off by sharing about the opportunity presented by the Olympics for long-range planning in Whistler, during which time about 10% of the community co-created the vision and process, and 400 of 694 recommended actions were implemented. Alex Dumesle then spoke about Partners in Project Green, a business-to-business collaboration in the Pearson Eco-Business Zone in Toronto. Their collaborative efforts have centred around a sustainability program, consortium, purchasing alliance, as well networking. They are using collaboration to spark innovation and break down barriers that prevent it. Ariel Muller talked about building more resilient cities by understanding the relationship between formal and informal communities, using Accra (where they ran innovation workshops) as an example. Her top 3 lessons in collaboration are that 1) big doesn’t have to mean complicated, 2) don’t forsake connection in favour of process, and 3) allow yourself to be changed. Mark Anto then shared about his experience with community engagement processes in Montreal. He promoted the concept of “urban acupuncture,” small scale initiatives at key points that have an impact on the system. Participants then broke into group discussions at their tables.