Ben Wolfe

Do you have a deep desire to make a difference on an individual, community or global level?

Recently, I had the pleasure of participating in the Peterborough Dialogues which provided me the opportunity to reflect on who I am and who I want to be in our rapidly changing world. I took part in a series of five Dialogues sessions, which were rich with the desire for change for a resilient and thriving community.

The Dialogues provide a space where individuals craving change for themselves, their environment and their community can explore different topics of their choosing. Topics included issues on a local and global level that have been identified as challenging for various reasons.

This group provides the opportunity for individuals to identify their gifts, skills and abilities and develop them in a way to achieve their full potential and generate possibilities for the future. Enlightened through strengths-based capacity building, Dialogues participants have the opportunity to become active change agents within our community and world. In addition, the Dialogues provide opportunity to identify how individuals’ gifts, skills and abilities can be used to create the change that is desired.

When individuals are enlightened about their own capacity, they are enabled to find new perspectives about life and achieve higher potential.

Let’s explore the key characteristics of a change agent.

Change agents are individuals who are driven by passion; this passion is often so bright that it has a ripple effect and inspires others. Seeking greater satisfaction with what surrounds them, change agents often live into the future as the future provides a vision of hope which fuels the passion and drive to be the change agents they are. These future visionaries can face misunderstanding and a lack of appreciation, but these challenges fuel their motivation.

To become a change agent is to enhance one’s capabilities to come to a higher state of self-actualization. When individuals are enlightened about their own capacity, they are enabled to find new perspectives about life and achieve higher potential.

If any change is to come from community development, it must start on a personal level with some reflection on ‘who am I’ and ‘what I can contribute or offer to our community.’

As a side note, I will mention that the Peterborough Dialogues experience provides what you as an individual make of it. Surely one could attend all of the Dialogues sessions and come out feeling like nothing was changed within them or they did not see the benefit for the community. This is where we, as individuals, need to do our part and not just be present but fully participate. Allowing ourselves to be involved in the process provides a sense of connection, passion, growth, belonging and accountability.

Header photo: Fellow Dialoguers, Ashley Bonner and Mark Woolley, work together in the Peterborough Dialogues Tree Fort on an asset-mapping project.

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