The theme of Leadership Niagara’s past Learning Day was exploring the Community as a System: how the different elements of a community form together to shape a system as a whole; how individual parts come together to make one, synergistic unit.
This learning day was all about exploring the idea that community works as that, one, synergistic unit. That a community is a system, in itself, made up of many different systems. However, the question is: how do you create influence in that system?
The day began with an address from two very special guests: Brock University President, Gervan Fearon, and Director of Organizational Development and Effectiveness, Neil Culp, who welcomed the Class of 2018 to their January Learning Day at Brock University. The Pond Inlet, where the day was held, was bright and big, and set the tone early for the day. Once everyone was settled, welcomed, and ready to start, it was time to begin exploring systems and their complexities, led by Leadership Niagara’s Alison Braithwaite.
Exploring the idea of the community as a system meant that the Class of 2018 had some questions they needed to ask. As the day progressed, the participants discovered new concepts and mulled over the questions they would have an opportunity to ask later on. Our facilitators elaborated on the day’s themes and made sure the message was being absorbed. The participants would have an opportunity to ask their questions in the afternoon, where they would once again be joined by special guests.
After well-deserved lunch, provided by Brock University, it was on to a panel and roundtable discussion with some of Niagara’s elected officials. The Leadership Niagara class was joined by Mayor Sandra Easton, Mayor Walter Sendzik, Mayor Dave Augustyn, and Mayor Wayne Redekop, for insight and tips on how to influence community on a political level.
“It’s really about how to get involved, and how to take an idea and put it into action in communities” remarked Mayor Walter Sendzik of St. Catharines, “It’s about giving [the class] the tools to think differently and apply that way of thinking to different organizations in the Niagara region.”
Shane Malcolm, Leadership Niagara’s Executive Director, couldn’t agree more. “We are really invested in building the future leaders of tomorrow, in the hope that the achieved long-term goal will be community conscious leaders down the road for Niagara.”
The 2018 Community Leadership Program will reconvene on February 16th to continue project work and develop leadership skills.
Thank you to our amazing guests:
And our awesome facilitators: