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Ready, Set, Go! City-Building Through the Pan/Parapan Am Games

Guest post by ELNer, Ainka Jess


On March 19, CivicAction’s Emerging Leaders Network (ELN) hosted an exciting talk with Saäd Rafi, CEO of the TORONTO 2015 Pan/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015) on the preparation for the TORONTO 2015 Pan/Parapan Am Games. The evening also included an engaging panel discussion on what private, public and community organizations are doing to ensure the Games create a positive and rich legacy in the Toronto region. Special thanks goes to LoyaltyOne for generously hosting us.

Sevaun Palvetzian, CEO of CivicAction and moderator for the evening expressed her excitement for the Games and the benefits it will bring to the region. For the ELNners who were in attendance, Sevaun said she “admired their passion and empowerment as civic leaders who were the hope for future generation.”

Saäd Rafi gave a snapshot of the wide-scale undertaking and planning of the Games that will be larger than the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Saäd also presented some figures that put the game into perspective – 30 venues across 16 municipalities, 26,000 jobs and 20,000 volunteers.

Continue reading Ready, Set, Go! City-Building Through the Pan/Parapan Am Games

Youth and the Public Good: Apathetic My Ass

Guest post by ELNer, Melissa Pogue

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On February 25, the Martin Prosperity Institute (MPI) held a panel discussion entitled: Youth and the Public Good: Apathetic My Ass. As part of its ongoing speaker series #SHIFTDISTURBERS, the panelists discussed the shift in participation trends, most obviously among – what MPI calls: “the Jon Stewart” generation.

Alison Loat, the Executive Director of Samara, set the stage and was armed with hard data. In the last 2011 federal election, the voter participation rate was 61%, but for those ages 18-35 it was only 39%. However, the 18-35 demographic was shown to be more likely to talk about social and political issues on- and offline. Their level of activism and engagement in charitable donations and volunteer work was higher, too. It was only in formal political engagement, such [...]

Continuing to Build towards Action: ELN Project Development


On Tuesday night, ELNers and DiverseCity Fellows met up at Ryerson’s Digital Media Zone (DMZ) for a very productive project development session. The evening began with an exciting DMZ tour led by Idil Omar and Alysha D’Souza, which highlighted three DMZ-incubated companies:

Soapbox – An online platform that allows community members turn ideas into action by directing an issue directly to key decision makers SkyPrep – An online training software that creates courses and tests for businesses (mostly small to medium enterprises) and helps track their employees’ progress SoJo – A social journal that helps people turn social change ideas into action

Shortly after the tour, project teams reconnected and worked through the next steps of their project idea development. Each team shared their challenges and progress to date, received insightful feedback from the larger group, and [...]