New Citizen-led Initiatives Stirring Up This Fall

Community members connect around specific possibilities they personally want to make happen

All kinds of stuff happened at the Autumn Dialogues Summit on Saturday. A couple of people had visceral moments of self-awareness that it was time to act on what they’d been talking and dreaming of for so long — or “get off the pot,” as one put it.

That happened as they reflected on the question put into the room for each person to answer for themselves, “What’s the crossroads you face with regards to what matters to you most in this community?”

About half-a-dozen community members shared quickly about specific initiatives they want to bring to life here in Peterborough this fall and beyond. They then began the process of connecting with others who would like to work with them on those dreams.

As I listened, I had this “moment” of really glimpsing the heart and warmth and brilliance of the people I was with. I was glad the Dialogues still makes these connecting conversations a priority…

For a real quick visual: Imagine a community Arts Hive on one corner, an Intentional Community Living set-up on another, Giving Gardens sprinkled all throughout the city, a Beyond Schooling venture and a dialogue on Community Leadership.

I myself had an experience of “getting” in a new way how the Peterborough Dialogues are really, truly about making room for everyone’s wisdom, brilliance, giftedness, dreams.

I saw that in how all the initiatives that were presented are those of community members who have stepped up to say this is what they want to make happen.

I also experienced it while sitting in a small group of three, also called a triad — a routine Dialogues experience — where each person had three minutes of uninterrupted time to answer as deeply or as lightly as they wished, a specific question, such as “Why was it important for you to be here?”

As I listened, I had this “moment” of really glimpsing the heart and warmth and brilliance of the people I was with. I was glad the Dialogues still makes these connecting conversations a priority — even if they can also be a bit unnerving, as someone put it so aptly.

If I had to give the energy of the summit of last Saturday a colour it would be a strong orange, for the sign of real, refreshingly concrete changes citizens are making happen for our community.

Click here to see a photo album from the gathering.

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