Civics Boot Camp Spring 2018

Indigo Holley: Alumni Testimonial


17 September 2018

Posted In

I’m a very engaged citizen. I’m always interested in more opportunities to learn, so that I can be an even better citizen, and be more equipped as a leader to inspire others to also participate in our wonderful city with its diverse communities.

I’d heard about Civics Boot Camp many years ago. I remember being excited about it, but then it fell off my radar. I then attended the one-day workshop, People For Places, put on by Jane’s Walk and Synapcity. One of the other participants in the workshop said she’d applied for Civics Boot Camp, and hoped to get in. I pulled out my phone, and applied there and then for the session that was starting in a few weeks!

The case study I chose was ‘Guns & Gangs’, because it was the case study of the three that most directly affected humans and communities. I found it very informative.  I know a lot more about the subject than I did before, and I have a greater understanding of the systemic nature of ‘G and Gs’, and a heightened awareness of the causes, its effects and possible solutions.

There were so many take aways from my active participation in Civics Boot Camp. Some of my bigger learnings from the whole experience are: a greater understanding of our city’s infrastructure, who the “players” at the table(s) are, and maybe most importantly, how even the leaders sometimes get stuck in their own viewpoints, missing solutions and possibly amazing opportunities.

I’ve been really engaging with community for about 20 years, and been on the periphery for maybe 30. I knew what some of the barriers and obstacles were to real grassroots community building, but Civics Boot Camp gave me the opportunity to start identifying what those barriers and obstacles are.

Synapcity’s Civic Boot Camp provided a golden opportunity to evaluate my own leadership toolkit and engage with other CityMakers. My favourite quote of all time is Margaret Mead’s “never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world…” and one of my personal credos is to co-create a culture of engagement and involvement.  My active participation in the Spring Session of Civics Boot Camp assisted me to hone my leadership skills, and motivated me to do more CityMaking.

My advice to future participants: keep an open mind, be prepared to learn tons, and enjoy the wild ride and the process!