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A hello note from Laine

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04 October 2017

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Dear Friends,

I first came across Synapcity in the fall of 2014, back when it was still Citizens Academy. I was lucky enough to be sent by my employer to a We Are Cities roundtable event. Walking in the room felt like I had landed on a different planet. Everyone involved was actively participating, generating ideas together, listening carefully, and seemed to be having a lot of fun. What was this? I wondered. Where was the traditional talk from the front of the room, by some ‘subject expert’ usually white and male, followed by a Q & A? From that first day, I couldn’t get enough. I right away signed on as a volunteer, moved into contract work, and now we’re 2 years later where I have the honour of stepping up as Acting Executive Director.

I am so proud of how Synapcity has grown. I know this is partly because of how hard we have worked, but this is bigger than any one organization’s effort. There’s an undeniable culture shift happening in Ottawa, can you feel it? People across the city are flipping challenges into opportunities. The city’s size, its geography, its history, and its cultures have created a responsive and fertile ground on which people can really make their mark. We are not so big that we can’t see each other, if we know where to look. We are not so small that we can’t reach out to others to support us along our way. This is where Synapcity works, as a bridge for our city’s people, as they share wisdom, talents, and skills across our landscape.

This next phase of our work brings in new partners, new neighbourhoods, and new ideas. We will begin publishing and posting more regularly. We will better share our language, our results, and our stories. Synapcity was never imagined as just one program, but as an approach to living together. Everyone can be invited to participate in shaping the neighbourhoods and communities they live in. I am grateful and humbled by the opportunity to continue the organization’s work and I can’t wait to see what we come up with next, together.

Laine