2016 Action Recommendations

The Change Camp Hamilton 2016 Action Recommendations Report was published in April 2016. The report contains 234 actions and is available by clicking here. Alternatively, you can click on the links below to learn about action recommendations related to specific themes. You can also scroll down to view all 234 Action Recommendations. If you’re interested in taking any of these actions on, please let us know so we can help make connections and keep on top of who is doing what.

  1. Community Engagement
  2. Culture and Diversity
  3. Built Environment and Infrastructure
  4. Economic Prosperity and Growth
  5. Healthy and Safe Communities
  6. Clean and Green
  7. Moving Our Future Hamilton Forward
  8. Indigenous Knowledge
  9. A Better Community Day
  10. 100in1 Day Hamilton
  11. Future Steps for Change Camp Hamilton

Scroll down for a complete list of all 234 Action Recommendations.

Action Recommendations

1.0 Community Engagement: Building Bridges Between Community & Campus


A major focus of discussion at many of the roundtables focused on how we can better foster connections, relationships, and opportunities for collaboration between students, residents, and community organizations. There were clear calls to improve awareness about how to build bridges between campuses and Hamilton-area communities, with the ultimate goal of strengthening students’ connections to the community in multiple ways.

1.1 On Campus


  1. Create a community engagement “front desk” at big institutions where people can go for guidance if they have a good idea or want advice on who to connect with. Overall, improve the doors that people use to access different institutions.
  2. Organize a Hamilton display on campuses to introduce students to the City and to different community organizations and neighbourhood groups.
  3. Raise awareness on campus about connection points and people who build relationships between community and campus. Create an “ambassador” toolkit that can be shared with campus partners and promote existing resources that help community to navigate campus.
  4. Campus-based campaign to spread knowledge about how students can get involved in community engagement.
  5. Create a database of community engagement databases and opportunities.


1.2 In the Community


  1. Create time and space for events off campus that specifically target getting students into the community, while acknowledging different schedules and time constraints.
  2. Host events and conversations in different spaces (e.g. coffee shops) so that people become more familiar with different areas of the community, both in terms of spaces, but also geographically (e.g. Stoney Creek, Hamilton Mountain, Dundas). For example, Mohawk City School goes to 541 Eatery and Exchange for 3 hours per week to chat with people.
  3. Reach out to different local businesses and Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) to explore whether they could offer different student deals each month as a way to encourage students to explore different parts of Hamilton.
  4. Align a community event with Supercrawl and community spaces on James Street North (e.g. McMaster Downtown Centre, 294 James St. N.).
  5. Create an app that is targeted towards encouraging students to explore the community. This could include daily challenges or “check ins” and could be promoted by radio stations and newspapers on different campuses and in the community. Align any app development with existing app projects (e.g. MacQuest).
  6. Student groups should be involved in planning new downtown student residences.
  7. Explore opportunities to create and/or expand downtown campuses to provide more space for student-community engagement.
  8. Create orientation programming that dispels myths and gets people into the community.
  9. Create opportunities for students to support cultural spaces in Hamilton (e.g. Micha House).

1.3 Strengthen and Align Community-Campus Relationships


  1. Build direct relationships between neighbourhood hubs, educational institutions, and specific programs or courses to inform their work, evaluate directions, and work together where appropriate.
  2. Give people different entry points to engage acknowledging that not everyone learns from meetings (e.g. Neighbourhood Leadership Institute Lantern Festival).
  3. Communicate effectively about events and opportunities through a common newsletter or other media.
  4. Continue creating regular interdisciplinary networking opportunities for community campus connections to take shape both on campuses and in communities.
  5. Align programs on each campus so we are not exhausting resources or constantly contacting organizations that already have partnerships.
  6. Continue a collective effort to coordinate efforts across institutions by increasing awareness and engagement between institutions of who is doing what, while also facilitating regular opportunities to work together.
  7. Focus conversations on Hamilton places and Hamilton issues so that students can learn about the Hamilton community.
  8. Foster connections between students and community leaders and change makers to improve connections to Hamilton.

1.4 Continuity


  1. Identify programs or long-term projects that students could be involved in at the same time each week while also identifying ways to fill gaps in the calendar when students get busy (e.g. exams).
  2. Consider early interventions for students so that they can be involved in a project or with an organization over multiple years.
  3. Learn about continuity from existing initiatives through a workshop or presentation for groups who are interested in building long-term relationships (e.g. Student Open Circles).


1.5 Curriculum-Based


  1. Create a course on community-based economic development that is local case-study based and ask the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce or Social Planning and Research Council of Hamilton to provide neighbourhood hubs with data on neighbourhood demographics and local economy.
  2. Tie community engagement initiatives into the new Community Engagement Minor at McMaster that is launching in September 2016.
  3. Develop supports to help incorporate community engagement into more courses, including lessons and resources that reinforce how long change can take, reminding students that many timelines exist outside of academic routine.
  4. Provide training for instructors who want to incorporate community engagement into their courses.
  5. Create a competition that challenges student to address a problem we face with aging population and consider possible rewards of an internship or placement for the winning team.
  6. Create a list of courses that have students work with community partners (e.g. LIFESCI 2AP3 at McMaster).
  7. Connect more course-based opportunities to local organizations and businesses (e.g. marketing).
  8. Create more job shadow courses (e.g. ARTSSCI 3CU3 at McMaster).
  9. Placement navigation puts the onus on the student. There is need for someone to help navigate opportunities though there are currently not enough staff to support this. Courses that include community-engaged components need to provide points of contact to make connections with the community.
  10. Incorporate reflection into community-engaged education opportunities
  11. Create a standardized teaching module for community engagement open to the community and everyone on campus.
  12. Community Engagement course at McMaster is an important step and should be a requirement as part of a 4 year degree—fostering a continuum of community connection.


1.6 Integrate Research and Academic Expertise into Community Planning


  1. Use evidence-based research to inform lobbying or campaigns on current issues in Hamilton.
  2. Involve more experts who have knowledge of best practices in urban planning decision-making, thus encouraging more third party objective opinions on infrastructure projects.
  3. More formally include expert knowledge at decision-making tables (e.g. West Harbour).


1.7 Mentorship


  1. Identify projects and initiatives where college and university students can mentor high school students.
  2. Create a mentorship program for people soon to retire & those who are students or in their early career.

1.8 Volunteering


  1. Create a student-led volunteer program that students could be part of to support marginalized children and youth in Hamilton.
  2. Encourage opportunities for longer-term volunteering while students are in Hamilton (e.g. Big Brother, Big Sister).
  3. Create a website that connects student skills to opportunities (employment and/or volunteer) and align the website with existing initiatives (e.g. McMaster student skills matching database).


1.9 Foster Connections & Community Pride


  1. Encourage and facilitate ongoing relationship building between and with neighbourhood hubs to improve partnership opportunities.
  2. Create a Hamilton brand about positive spaces (waterfalls, unique views).
  3. Create a website for everything taking place across the educational institutions and within community, including details on how to navigate onto campuses and off of campuses.
  4. Increase awareness on how students can get involved in supporting initiatives such as Syrian Refugee Settlement.
  5. Sponsor an Our Future Hamilton cleanup.
  6. Host a multi day event to celebrate diversity (Hamilton wide) that invites families and people of different demographics and includes food, music, and games—bringing people together to celebrate what we are inspired by in our City.
  7. Celebrate and encourage art as a form of public engagement.



2.0 Culture and Diversity


This discussion focused on how we can be a welcoming, diverse, and inclusive community. Major areas of focus included ideas around how we can foster an inclusive City and how we can support newcomers to our community, both upon arrival and for the long-term.


2.1 Foster an Inclusive City


  1. Improve opportunities for international language support, potentially through partnership with the Hamilton Public Library and with Hamilton area school boards.
  2. Host Community Cultural Festival(s) that include food, music, dancing, crafts, speakers, art, clothing.
  3. Create a “Welcoming City” brand, building on initiatives such as “Hamilton Welcomes Newcomers”.
  4. Create space for connections between people who have similar experiences but may be from different cultures/backgrounds.
  5. Support inclusiveness within schools through in-class language help.
  6. Support transitions of students to school (e.g. Mohawk’s International Student Week).
  7. Expand the curriculum of elementary schools and community-engaged post-secondary courses to examine community and culture in Hamilton.


2.2 Supporting Newcomers


  1. Through culture clubs and existing initiatives, build partnerships with sports clubs in Hamilton so that newcomers can be invited to sporting events as a way to get to know the city.
  2. Create a tour that invites newcomers to local landmarks to get to know the city.
  3. Build links with Threshold School of Building to support trades training and connections.
  4. Build inclusive and safe communities through stronger connections between communities.
  5. Identify how students can support the resettlement assistance program.
  6. Invite immigrant high school students into this conversation.
  7. Celebrate the success of newcomers accomplishments.
  8. Welcome newcomers publicly.
  9. Support connections between newcomers, refugees, and immigrant communities, possibly in partnership with the Hamilton Public Library as a safe space for conversation.
  10. Use events like McMaster’s DeltaHacks Hackathon to create apps that can help refugees build connections in Hamilton.


2.3 Connect Newcomers to Immediate Needs


  1. Provide translation support that could build on existing programs (such as notetaking programs at educational institutions).
  2. Develop peer-to-peer opportunities for students to help students.
  3. Provide pathways to employment support systems and other services in the community.
  4. Reach out to the newcomer community to get a sense of their needs and work with them to reduce barriers to these needs.
  5. Initiate a planning committee for welcoming newcomers that can be incorporated into welcome week activities in September 2016.
  6. Raise aspirations for children and youth by increasing access to green space and free play, helping to break barriers and provide opportunities.



3.0 Built Environment and Infrastructure


Hamilton is in the midst of a major transition on multiple levels that includes major infrastructure and City-building projects such as the development of Hamilton’s West Harbour and a new light rail transit system. Conversations focused on issues related to these projects, as well as broader issues around building sustainable, healthy communities.

3.1 Design Livable Community Environments


  1. Add more trees to the landscape and create an urban forest plan.
  2. Promote and support more street beautification projects throughout Hamilton.
  3. Develop a complete streets strategy to ensure that complete streets are a priority whenever construction work is done (know that this can’t always be done, but there needs to be a mechanism of transparency on how decisions are made).
  4. Protect Hamilton’s heritage buildings and housing stock by ensuring that conservation is part of decision-making processes for planning and economic development.
  5. Find ways to incorporate student projects and research into planning and implementation of the light rail transit (LRT) project.
  6. Create a shop local movement to promote local businesses during LRT construction.
  7. Consider how closed streets during LRT construction can be used for fun neighbourhood development and community gatherings.
  8. Develop a strategy for mixed use housing and neighbourhoods.
  9. Develop a strategy to respond to gentrification.


3.2 Build Safe & Healthy Neighbourhoods


  1. Increase access to grocery stores in all communities.
  2. Commit to City to the vision zero program, which has a target of zero deaths or fatalities within the City’s transportation network.
  3. Increase the number of bike share bikes and hubs in Hamilton.
  4. Create more bike lanes to provide healthy and safe active transportation options for students and communities.
  5. Encourage development that supports people who already live in an area. This is especially important as multiple areas in the City of Hamilton experience gentrification.
  6. Encouraging healthy lifestyles like walking and biking.
  7. Reduce speed limits in neighbourhoods to improve safety.
  8. Install more push button activated cross walks throughout Hamilton.
  9. Advocate with the City to take responsibility for cleaning alleyways and promoting them as part of our urban transportation infrastructure.
  10. Have students explore experimental design in low impact development. Pilot ideas for urban planning and sustainable building that change from the status quo.
  11. Consider alternatives to current storm water curb and sewer designs that impact people with disabilities and pedestrians.
  12. Create an education campaign for public on benefits of great design and infrastructure.
  13. Improve wayfinding and interpretive signage throughout the City, with a focus on economic, cultural, and recreational destinations.


3.3 Provide Input to Hamilton’s Transportation Master Plan Update


  1. Compare the 10 year capital projects budget plan against the plans for improving active transportation infrastructure; highlight gaps in the capital budget for funding active transportation infrastructure going forward.


3.4 Increase Active Transportation Access for Non-Driving Population


  1. Do an analysis of transportation costs for residents living in affordable housing, comparing transportation costs and housing costs to income.
  2. Consider incorporating SoBi Bike membership into McMaster student tuition fees.
  3. Create a phone app that provides people with route options when using active transportation and provides the ability to highlight construction, potholes, snow clearing, and other issues.
  4. Install more protected bike lanes.
  5. Identify and fill the gaps in pedestrian and cycling network infrastructure.
  6. Improve access to and information about local walking and cycling trails and pathways.
  7. Advocate to the provincial and federal government for active transportation infrastructure funding.
  8. Advocate for improvements to active transportation infrastructure, and additional SoBi Bike stations and bike racks in Hamilton.
  9. Encourage students to come out to the Bike for Mike ride on May 1, 2016.
  10. Promote Bike to Work Day (May 30th) and Bike Month (May 30th to June 30th) more broadly throughout the community.
  11. Educate the public about the benefits of an active transportation network.
  12. Explore ways that educational institutions can assist the Hamilton Burlington Trails Council with the Regional Greenway Network Plan as well as with analyzing active transportation data.
  13. Help recruit volunteers for the Hamilton Burlington Trails Council Regional Trail Survey.
  14. Make trail maps more available to McMaster students.
  15. Organize more student bike tours of Hamilton in partnership with SoBi Bikes.
  16. Encourage educational institutions to add more bike racks.



4.0 Economic Prosperity and Growth


Discussions focused largely on how students can gain a foothold in the local workforce, while also touching on the interconnected opportunities related to training and supports for entrepreneurship.


4.1 Local Job Navigation


  1. Introduce students to employers in the community through multiple networking opportunities and co-op/career events so they are aware of possibilities, types of jobs, and opportunities available. One example would be to create hubs that connect employers and students at the same event (e.g. “looking for someone who can do x” or “looking for someone hiring for x”).
  2. Build relationships with companies investing in Hamilton (e.g. IBM) and explore opportunities for co-op or summer jobs.
  3. Create co-working spaces for manufacturing and industrial applications.
  4. Build more links with graduate programs and students, including presentations and events to support networking with local employers.
  5. Provide access to more professional development opportunities at college and universities.
  6. Host a session on navigating the Hamilton job market at the upcoming HIVEx conference in October 2016.
  7. Build bridges with Faculty Societies when planning networking events so as to reach more students.
  8. Commercialize lifelong learning opportunities.
  9. Develop a strategy with local businesses and organizations to apply for Canada Summer Jobs program funding.
  10. Providing one-year employment opportunities for graduate students (province of Ontario does this).


4.2 Entrepreneurship


  1. Involve more students in start-ups and entrepreneurship.
  2. Incorporate entrepreneurship into all programs, not just commerce, so that young people see that it’s a viable option.
  3. Create more competitions based on community priorities and issues, giving students the opportunity to connect with business and community leaders.
  4. Increase education on entrepreneurship within post-secondary curriculums (e.g. Mohawk’s Entrepreneurship Certificate).
  5. Have a competition to find more efficient ways to deliver healthcare using technology.



5.0 Healthy and Safe Communities


The major focus of discussion related to building interconnectedness between communities and neighbourhoods to strengthen community ties. Many ideas raised also fit into other categories related to built environment and sustainability.


5.1 Reduce Isolation and Stigma


  1. Provide pathways for people experiencing marginalization who may need connections to find additional supports instead of focusing on specific health outcomes (i.e, stop smoking).
  2. Create more free access to spaces so that people can learn and grow.
  3. Use existing networks to increase awareness of programs available to community members.
  4. Host more fairs to let people know about community programs and services. Consider a public showcase targeted to all Hamiltonians and students.
  5. Increase access to recreation programs by placing them close to where people live.
  6. To help increase access to healthcare, provide transportation subsidies through an affordable transit program that supports to help people to travel to services.
  7. Use community benefit agreements to measure the progress of our efforts and ensure we are making changes that benefit the community.


6.0 Clean and Green


Discussions focused largely on how individuals can make changes in their daily lives while also encouraging neighbourhoods and organizations to take action to make change. Food security and sustainability were also major topics.


6.1 Local Food Awareness and Food Security


  1. Support initiatives like 541 Eatery and Exchange and develop incentives for local businesses to sell/purchase local products.
  2. Increase the connection between food producers and communities so as to reduce the barriers to local food communities.
  3. Create education programming focused on access to local food and put programming into place where people are interacting with food.
  4. Promote local food through campus communications, community newspapers, social media, and other means, focused on a campaign of awareness to buy locally and buy in season.
  5. Create resources and workshops on how to cook with local produce.
  6. Establish McQuesten Urban Farm and support social entrepreneurs.
  7. Market healthy foods to kids and families, promoting food as a social activity.
  8. Find convenient places to sell healthy foods so that they are more accessible.
  9. Provide healthy food at food banks.
  10. Teach broadly about food security and access to healthy and affordable food, including how to eat in season.
  11. Build a food network that encourages collaboration between groups and provides centralized information on local food, food security, and sustainable food systems, while also encouraging alignment of donations and targeted investment towards gaps in the system.
  12. Use data and technology to connect people to our food system.
  13. Tie food education to skills around math, entrepreneurship, local economies, and community building.
  14. Build awareness of non-native foods that grow in a warming climate and tie to immigrant communities who know how to grow and cook these foods.
  15. Encourage residents to grow their own food by providing training and skill-building opportunities.
  16. Grow local food on campus and continue to find ways to connect students to healthy food.
  17. Build connections between campus-based food programs and community food programs.
  18. Include food measures on the new Community Dashboard being developed by the City of Hamilton.
  19. Place community gardens and community food banks in the same location.



6.2 Encourage Sustainable Lifestyle Changes


  1. Recognize bad habits and change them. Raise awareness when a practice isn’t eco-friendly.
  2. Create policies and processes that encourage proactive change throughout the community, and show the costs of not changing in dollars and cents. Increase awareness about policies and projects so that people know how to get involved.
  3. Create a sustainability incubator for the development of science and technology around environmental remediation, pollution control, and community impacts.
  4. Establish a community commitment to change that includes positive feedback on progress.
  5. Communicate SUCCESS through storytelling to encourage action.
  6. Create a strategy for cradle to grave waste/product management.
  7. Launch a campaign on the intrinsic value of the environment.
  8. McMaster University needs to get proper recycling and composting systems into the new David Braley Health Sciences Centre and lead by example.
  9. City of Hamilton needs to ensure that recycling and composting systems exist in all facilities.
  10. Make change an expected social practice (e.g. bring your water bottle).



7.0 Moving Our Future Hamilton Forward


This discussion focused on how to move the overall Our Future Hamilton initiative forward. Recommendations relate to identifying measureable outcomes and being proactive at developing resources to support partnerships that can work towards common goals.


  1. Prosperity means that marginalized people are cared for, we reach out to each other, and there is a sense of unity in our community. This “social” element of Economic Prosperity & Growth is missing from Our Future Hamilton.
  2. Institutions should be specific about how they will contribute to and work towards Our Future Hamilton goals.
  3. Signs of success need to be prioritized between 1-5, 5-10 year goals, and 10+ year goals so that there are clear outcomes to measure.
  4. Create open calls for student-community Our Future Hamilton projects that include small catalyst funds to move projects forward.
  5. The City of Hamilton could explore how to provide opportunities for experiential learning or co-op placements, making this an explicit goal for Our Future Hamilton as one way to address goals of student retention through local employment.
  6. Involve senior populations who are part of a growing demographic of people who have money, time, knowledge, and desire to be involved in community initiatives. There should be an explicit strategy on how to do this.
  7. Plan now for lifestyle and demand of 65+ group of residents.


7.1 Make the Vision Accessible


  1. Demystify the process and goals, making it easier for people to get involved.
  2. Develop a communications plan that gives daily reminders through multiple avenues of communication (including a City of Hamilton Facebook page), so that the community is aware of events and opportunities to get involved.
  3. Take advantage of community newspapers could help get the word out.
  4. Tie action and resources to organizations that are active in the area of focus (e.g. housing) so as to build on momentum and projects that already have capacity and partners.
  5. Align with themes that neighbourhoods have prioritized.
  6. Encourage a culture of engagement with youth at a young age, perhaps through a program oriented towards engaging elementary school students.
  7. Create a website that gives details and context on topics so that students and community members can learn about projects and priorities.
  8. Hire Our Future Hamilton ambassadors to work across City departments and partner institutions, organizations, and community groups to align efforts over time.
  9. Create a Hamilton-specific search engine.
  10. Rebrand Hamilton based on Our Future Hamilton priorities and goals.



8.0 Indigenous Knowledge


A major outcome of the discussion was to invite Indigenous colleagues and students to lead future discussions that can help to educate about Indigenous issues through building stronger relationships that can lead to the action required to change attitudes, beliefs, and knowledge.

8.1 Increase Connections


  1. Invite Indigenous leaders and students to lead discussion and involve Indigenous people in the conversation. It is important to connect with Indigenous communities to listen, hear, and engage in dialogue. Once we listen, we then need to act.
  2. HIVE can be a space for indigenous students to build connections. There are weekly events and Indigenous youth leaders could also join a HIVE board meeting to build connections.
  3. We must acknowledge the tensions and facilitate dialogue to work through the tensions, being honest and open throughout.
  4. Offer a course or art at Evergreen’s space at 294 James St. N.


8.2 Education on Indigenous Issues


  1. Educate on the realities of issues facing Indigenous communities, such as missing and murdered Indigenous women, the Truth and Reconciliation Report, the ongoing impact of residential schools, and the Idle No More movement.
  2. Invite Indigenous partners to festivals to educate communities about these issues.
  3. Learn and use proper terms.
  4. Build connections with Aboriginal Awareness Week.
  5. Build on the Perspectives on Peace lecture series at McMaster and consider a similar series focused on Indigenous Knowledge and Reconciliation.


8.3 Embed Indigenous Knowledge into Curriculum


  1. Build linkages between post-secondary and high school education while incorporating Indigenous knowledge throughout both curriculums.
  2. Develop a CityLAB project that responds to Indigenous concerns.
  3. Create advisory positions within student organizations and other campus groups to strengthen connections with Indigenous communities.
  4. Educate faculty staff to understand issues and to speak about them in ways that do not damage.


9.0 A Better Community Day


This discussion focused specifically on an event coordinated by the Mohawk Students’ Association. Recommendations reflect ideas for improving upon the current event structure through broadening outreach and the scope of the event itself.

9.1 Increase Awareness


  1. Develop a social media strategy for future years.
  2. Include an option for high school volunteers to get involved and build up their volunteer hours.
  3. Build links with students involved in community engagement at the different educational institutions early in the year and align efforts.
  4. Consider how to incorporate credit for students to participate, including connecting with potential capstone course or courses in different institutions.
  5. Incorporate peer to peer mentoring between post-secondary and secondary volunteers.


9.2 Scale Up for Future Years


  1. Look into a multi-day event that is integrated into the school year.
  2. Organize shuttles to pick up students/volunteers at different locations throughout the city.
  3. Talk to neighbourhood planning teams to see what needs are and align opportunities with these needs (e.g. beautiful alleys project).
  4. Host the event in multiple locations.
  5. Focus on achievable goals.
  6. Consider a festival-style approach that includes food and performances.
  7. Partner with other events, organizations, and youth-led initiatives—such as 100in1 Day Hamilton or Open Space.



10.0 100in1Day Hamilton


100in1Day Hamilton is part of a global initiative that inspires people to see their city differently, with the goal to inspire change by compelling residents to transform their ideas for change into 100 (or more) innovative, thought provoking urban interventions all on one day. This discussion focused on what people love about Hamilton, what is missing, and what they would do to inspire change through action as part of 100in1Day Hamilton on June 4, 2016. As readers may note, a number of these ideas reflect similar ideas in other areas of the report, though they may be pursued as distinct actions for the June 4 event.


  1. Create a wayfinding project that provides historic information about various areas of Hamilton.
  2. Offer tours of Hamilton neighbourhoods from an international perspective.
  3. Create a project that offers neighbourhood signage in different languages that respond to the languages spoken by newcomer communities.
  4. Build a community chalkboard to share information and ideas.
  5. Create a positive social media campaign about why people love Hamilton using a #WhyILoveHamOnt hashtag.
  6. Host a movie night in a neighbourhood park.
  7. Host a buskerfest in a neighbourhood.
  8. Offer a tour of historic districts in Hamilton.


Conclusion and Next Steps


Reflecting on Change Camp Hamilton 2016, we are in the midst of a major breakthrough in how we work together to build community-campus partnerships for change.  And we’re just getting started! In just over one year, we’ve hosted two Change Camp Hamilton events, and in the process have made some great strides towards shifting how we work together, both on specific projects and between major institutions. Some major outcomes that we’ll continue to build on include:


  • Broadening the Partnership: This year we expanded our planning team to include student leadership from Mohawk College, as well as representation from Redeemer University College. The result was a richer dialogue that brought together a broader range and larger number of participants.
  • Appetite to Work Together: This year we were fortunate to have over 200 people take part in Change Camp Hamilton, doubling our participants from one year ago! This growth clearly shows that there is an appetite in our communities, neighbourhoods, organizations, and amongst our students, to work together to create positive and lasting change in Hamilton.
  • Diverse Experiences and Interests: We also learned that those coming to the table(s) bring with them a broad range of experience and perspective on community engagement—some of us bring decades of experience, while for others Change Camp Hamilton was a first time to get off campus outside of the academic “bubble”. Moving forward we must acknowledge this range and create opportunities for everyone to be involved in a meaningful way.
  • Ever Changing Process: The Change Camp Hamilton process itself is an ongoing change initiative that we continue to learn from, tweak, and improve upon to make sense of the complex and ever-shifting systems we operate within—both in our neighbourhoods, in our offices, and on our campuses.


So what does this all mean? We are heading in the right direction, but this coming year we will need to clearly focus on how to take action ideas and implement them through new or existing partnerships.

Future Steps for Change Camp Hamilton


Over April 2016, the Change Camp Hamilton team will be developing plans based on the action recommendations that will provide more opportunities for us to work together to improve this process.  Some roundtable discussions identified recommendations for how to improve the Change Camp Hamilton process. These recommendations are combined below with feedback received from participants and roundtable facilitators and will be used to continue improving the process over the next year.


Event-Specific Recommendations


  1. Organize discussions that are focused and specific so as to encourage in-depth discussion based on current projects or challenges in a specific area. Sessions could include an update on past work related to the project or challenge and what has taken place to date.
  2. There is clear desire for longer rounds of discussion to allow participants to discuss a topic and take the necessary time to get into action recommendations.
  3. Incorporate a training or capacity building component into future events (e.g. resume-writing, interviews, etc.) and be clear about dress code for the event itself.
  4. Host information sessions on campus and in neighbourhoods before large events to provide background knowledge and build awareness of issues.

Follow Up & Build on Momentum


  1. Ensure clear communications about how people can stay engaged over the course of the year. Align future discussions or workshops with Our Future Hamilton.
  2. Consider holding small versions of Change Camp for residents, students, and organizations that are focused on specific action recommendations and partnership opportunities.
  3. Build continuity through CityLAB Hamilton so that students can build on ideas developed at Change Camp Hamilton, taking on City projects that can contribute to Our Future Hamilton and strategic plan priorities.
  4. Many participants would like to see a series of continuing events over the course of each year. This would help to maintain momentum and build continuity into the process.
  5. Create a Change Camp Hamilton website to share background information, action recommendations, information on events and organizations, and other helpful details over the course of each year. This could also be a common place for people to get information before attending any Change Camp Hamilton-related events.
  6. Create a regular newsletter about events and opportunities can help to share action recommendations and other information over the course of the year.
  7. Facilitate follow-up discussions on specific topics and action recommendations.
  8. Develop a strategy to track collaborations or partnerships that have happened as a result of Change Camp Hamilton.
  9. Proactively share action recommendations with those who may be interested.
  10. Create a communications plan for sharing action recommendations in multiple formats with multiple audiences.
  11. Create Facebook and Twitter accounts for Change Camp Hamilton.
  12. Host more events on how to get involved with community.
  13. Invite participation from courses and programs that have a specific link to the topics being discussed so as to improve possibilities of new partnerships taking shape.
  14. Expand the event to include more people and a broader range of participants. Ensure that Indigenous partners and community residents are invited to attend.
  15. Facilitate capacity building activities to support Change Camp Hamilton recommendations.