July-August 2016 newsletter


Photo courtesy Shirley Robb

In June we continued to be on the airwaves and in communities around the province, asking questions about what we value as Nova Scotians and how we can better live up to our potential. 

We've been impressed by the turnout and level of candor people have brought to some of our more difficult issues. If you want to learn more, explore some of the the final reportphotos and audio links.

Speaking up for the future

People across the province were fundamentally upbeat about Nova Scotia’s many strengths and potential. At the same time, they identified real concerns about aspects of our culture and narrative that many feel are slowing or stalling meaningful progress.

In Cape Breton, people spoke about the emergence of a new identity for the region and cited difficulty seeing our assets as one of their biggest barriers to moving forward. 


In Digby, division between small communities, a lack of diversity and inclusion, and difficulty working together were among the concerns that were shared.


In Pictou County, where a tough amalgamation debate had left many feeling divided, a willingness for greater collaboration began to emerge over the course of the evening. 


In Halifax, a group of youth and young adults aired their frustrations about the limiting beliefs they think are holding Nova Scotians back.


Openly naming our challenges, especially in the company of people who think differently from us, is a brave step forward. Listening to understand the other's point of view is an even greater step. At Engage, we are encouraged by the number of people who are stepping up, speaking up, and showing up to demonstrate how deeply they they care about our province and are ready to take action.

We wish to thank Laura Whitman for her amazing leadership in making this project a reality. Laura’s management, creativity and reporting capture on this work made it extra special. 

Connecting for Change


Photo courtesy Dana Perry

On June 23-25, Engage brought together 16 people from 11 different citizen-led projects at Windhorse Farm to consider building a network of similarly-minded groups from across Nova Scotia. We gave input into each other’s projects and looked at the bigger picture, in Nova Scotia and globally. Many of us left re-energized and re-focused on the work ahead. We saw ways we can work together to accelerate positive change and deepen our relationships and understanding across our projects. 

We believe there are more opportunities for similar experiences at a regional level that will create more tangible ways to share best practices across the province. In the coming months, we will continue to build on the ideas and proposals that were generated at the this inspiring gathering.

We’ve got options


In early July we partnered with Springtide Collective for an event that explored alternative voting models and a lively discussion of their pros and cons. Through the use of audience response polling technology, we learned that 68% of people in the room thought that a Mixed Member Proportional Representation system should be used in NS. Want to learn more? Check out the results.

Integral Theory Training is Returning to Nova Scotia

Diane Hamilton and Rebecca Colwell will lead a three-day workshop with like-minded coaches, consultants, group process professionals, and change-makers at the Oceanstone Seaside Resort, September 12-14. Click here for more information. For inquiries about discounts and scholarships, please write to admin@tendirections.com

About Integral Facilitator

Integral Facilitator is focused on growing capacities for collaborative work – in communities, groups and organizations. Integral Facilitator assists with efforts in organizational or social change, working with facilitative leaders, coaches, facilitators, and mediators, and change-makers to transform how people and groups can accomplish more together.

Engage Announcements

At Engage Nova Scotia each member of our small team plays an integral role in our work. We are currently undergoing some changes within our team that we would like to share with you.

Dan O'Rourke, one of our longest-standing team members,e started with Engage in 2014, playing key roles in projects like Share Thanksgiving, the Stepping Up Conference, the Mi’kmaq New Partnership project, and three intensive community mobilization projects in Cumberland County. Dan has returned to work with the Province at Communications Nova Scotia and we thank him for his important contributions and wish him well! 

Jennifer DeCoste joined our team for a short assignment, but left a big impact! Jennifer took the lead on our first Strategic Advisory Group project and assisted with the Amherst events. We wish her all the best as she returns to work with the Province of Nova Scotia.

Hailey Vidler joined us in April, interning as an Engagement Strategist. Hailey has made a big contribution to our work in Amherst, with the CBC Speaking Up series as well as taking the lead on the event we co-hosted with the Springtide Collective earlier this month.

We are pleased to announce that Angela Johnson, a communications specialist, educator and project manager, with considerable experience inside and outside government will be joining us in early August.  Welcome Angela!

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