Culture of Collaboration

Posted:28 September 2016

Author: Cheryl Lovstrom, Community Learning Network

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  • Thinking of ways to improve your CALP’s reach in the community?
  • Want to make the best use of your resources – human and capital?
  • Consider hosting a community event with support through the Culture of Collaboration Initiative!

Why host an event?

As supporters of vibrant learning communities, “[CALPs] are well-connected to other learning and service providers in the community, which increases the community’s capacity to support learner pathways. [They also] work closely with the regional Comprehensive Community Institutions to explore opportunities for regional needs assessments and planning, as well as the coordinated delivery of learning opportunities, learner supports and services.” 2016 CALP Guidelines

One of the best ways to stay well-connected in your community is to actively engage its members in conversation. Community Dialogue events are an excellent way to bring people together. They can also be an important first step in the strategic planning process.

What, exactly, is the Culture of Collaboration Initiative?

The Culture of Collaboration Initiative initially began as a project to support community dialogues focused on the adult literacy and foundational learning needs and supports in our communities

A traditional community dialogue is essentially a gathering of minds, and can take many different forms. In fact, no two dialogues are alike and results vary according to the type of event, and the needs of each individual CALP. Some formats include:

  • Small group think-tanks that bring together a specific group of people. These think-tanks may include a meeting with community service agencies to identify who is providing what and how to collaborate, or a meeting with learners to decide how best to meet their learning needs.
  • Larger, community events that bring everyone together in one place. These larger events might include learners, agencies, local business, and other interested parties who all come together to discuss adult learning needs in the bigger, community picture.

In recent years, some CALPs have strayed from this “traditional” meeting style dialogue in favour of something more innovative. Projects range from a short, “speed dating” meeting with the local Chamber to find out what gaps and services your local businesses have identified, to a series of mini-dialogues with several different stakeholders or stakeholder groups over time.


Regardless of the event type you choose, CLN is here to help:

We are looking for innovative ideas you may not have tried before, so think big!

  • What do you need to know to improve your CALPs reach in your community?
  • Who is the best audience to answer your questions?
  • How will you appeal directly to that audience?
  • How will you make this engaging and meaningful?
  • What will you do that’s DIFFERENT from anything you’ve done before?

Community Learning Network is here to support your Culture of Collaboration event in whatever form it takes. Successful applicants will receive up to $1000 in funding to help cover event costs, as well as customized supports like planning tools and coaching. What are you waiting for? Get out there and get engaged!

This year, CLN broadened the scope of projects that are eligible for funding and support through this project. Thanks to the broadened scope of the Culture of Collaboration Initiative, there are a variety of new ways to engage your community. For example, CLN may provide support to CALPs wishing to work more closely with their local CCI in order to support increased pathways for adult learners. This could include support for joint Learner Support Services initiatives, coaching and mentoring around the development of MOUs, etc.

For details on what kinds of projects might be supported, contact Lisa Dickner at ed@calp.ca or call the CLN provincial office at 1-877-485-4926.

To see what other creative CALPs have done, keyword search “Culture of Collaboration” on the Portal. For more information and assistance, contact your Regional Support Staff.

Cheryl Hollidge
Regional Support Staff
Central Alberta

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