A panorama of reflections on the recent CKX Summit

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We would like to present you with some take-aways from a few of our staff who had the pleasure of attending the CKX Summit this past November.

We look forward to seeing how the energy from the Summit will carry forward in our work and collaborations!

How Open Data leads to Engaged Citizens

By Natalie Colaiacovo

Natalie Colaiacovo

Last week’s Community Knowledge Exchange (CKX) summit  allowed for many opportunities to think and rethink how data and information can contribute to the development of healthy, vibrant communities. “Big data” is frequently floated as the final solution to a city’s problems, allowing for increased responsiveness to issues, and customization of services. Yet, as Don Tapscott highlighted in the conference’s closing keynote address, a city’s ability to acquire data is really only the beginning. Data are just the building blocks; these blocks still need to be put together in the right way to create change. While governments toil away behind the scenes attempting to discern how their mass of data can be used to better serve their constituents, what cities need to realize is that their most important resource isn’t data – it’s their citizens.

“Open city” approach shifts power to citizens

To promote citizen engagement and develop city services that meet the needs of those actually living in the city, Tapscott proposes the idea of the “open city.” In an open city, governments reveal the information that leads to their decision-making, the police make public the information they know about a crime, the data that leads to decisions about road development, and traffic management is shared. In opening up their data, institutions can also open themselves to new ideas. In sharing information, organizations can in turn share the responsibility of creating services with those using them. Tapscott sums up this phenomenon as “enabling consumers to be producers.” In a time where we’re constantly bombarded with Tweets and updates and alerts, it’s not finding the information that’s the hard part – it’s what we do with it that counts.

CKX got me thinking out of the data box

By Suzanne Schwenger

Suzanne Schwenger

Last week, I attended a great conference focused on community knowledge exchange—called the CKX Summit. It was a very energizing experience, and helped me to think differently about how data can be used to support community change. 

5 highlights:

  1. Wellbeing Toronto Mapis an amazing map of Toronto’s neighbourhoods with indicators on topics ranging from crime to education to the environment.
  2. Use design principles for social innovation- from the plenary with Joeri van den Steenhoven, Director of the MaRS Solutions Lab. These include working ‘back to the future’, and making sure that there is no action without reflection.
  3. Let’s move beyond pilots to create prototypes—which move to scale. We practiced prototyping ideas for youth employment at the CKX Solutions Lab.
  4. Personal storytelling is a powerful force for community change—from session with Jenna  Tenn-Yuk, conference story-teller in residence.
  5. Canadian cities have a huge untapped food source—thousands of edible fruit and nut trees! —from the jam session with Hidden Harvest Ottawa


At CKX impactful storytelling, research, ideas and knowledge that 'sticks'

By Alison Stirling

What a full few days of deep conversations, exchanges with remarkable people and connections at the  CKX conference last week!  I’m still processing the experience, notes, tweets and takeaways.

My highlights:

  1.  Fail Forward [and fast], Tell/Learn from Story, Move On to change/adapt- Sharing stories of failure are valuable learnings for tellers and listeners.
  2. Knowledge exchange that ‘sticks’ depends on inclusivity – demonstrated brilliantly by Niagara Connects front-line community knowledge, equal and diverse partners in trusted relationships, shared social space, data, best practice information and skilled network weaving.
  3. Measuring what matters depends on community contexts, priorities, and shared purposes – lessons from five diverse areas that adopted the Canadian Index of Well-being (CIW) and found it can be a community builder offering robust sets of indicators for changes.
  4. A moment in time and momentum in people with shared purposes can build non-profits data strategies. The data Jam session explored timely opportunities with governments open data policies, and mapping who has what data, capacity and digital literacy skills.
  5. Share our narratives, stories and learning journeys towards collective impact. A ‘Wise Crowd’ led by cityprovincial and national foundations leaders unpacked keys to tackling complex issues of collaboration, vulnerability and doing good better. It was a lead-in to the catalytic conversation on how Stories hold us accountable at a level that impact can be understood by all who need it.