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Moving the Needle on Complex Communtiy Issues


Wed 27 May 2015, 9:00am–5:00pm

Where: Waipuna Hotel & Conference Centre, 58 Waipuna Rd, Mt Wellington, Auckland

Restrictions: All Ages

Listed by: Grow Ltd

This workshop will introduce participants to the concept of complexity and complex adaptive systems. We also look at some emerging principles, pathways and practices of adaptive leadership and management aimed to improve the probabilities – but never guarantee – that people and organisations can move the needle on complex issues.

Getting at Root Causes

Social innovators know that in order to generate deep and durable improvements in communities that they need to tackle the root causes – rather than the symptoms — underlying those problems. The process of mapping root causes can sensitize innovators to the complexity of the issue, identify areas of high impact, and help track the evolution of a complex issue over time. While everyone is clear on the importance of getting root causes, not everyone is clear on how to identify them systematically. This workshop explores four general approaches to mapping root causes — ranging from the easiest but less revealing to the most insightful yet challenging – using interactive techniques that supports participants experiment with technique for each method.

Mark is an Associate of Tamarack – An Institute for Community Engagement and Vibrant Communities Canada. Mark is also the President of the company From Here to There.

Mark’s current focus is on developing practical ways to assist groups understand, plan and evaluate policies, programs and initiatives that address complex issues. This includes challenges such as neighborhood renewal, poverty and homelessness, community safety, educational achievement and health. He is particularly focused on expanding the ideas and practice of developmental evaluation, a new approach to evaluation which emphasizes learning and design thinking in emerging and sometimes fast-moving environments.

Presenter, Mark Cabaj brings experience from a variety of sectors. In the 1990s, he served as the Foreign Assistance Coordinator for Grants in Poland’s Ministry of Privatization, was the Mission Coordinator for the United Nations Development Program’s first regional economic development initiative in Eastern Europe, and worked with International Privatization Group-Price Waterhouse. In Canada, he was the Coordinator of the Waterloo Region’s Opportunities 2000 project – an initiative that won provincial, national and international awards for its multisectoral approach to poverty reduction – and served briefly as the Executive Director of the Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDNet). From 2002-2010, he was the Executive Director of Vibrant Communities Canada and a Director at Tamarack.

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