Many of us in the philanthropic field crossed paths at Community Foundations of Canada's outstanding conference last week. For those who were not at Belong 2017, CFC streamed and recorded the keynotes via their FB page, offering a valuable resource. The speeches and panels provide insight and guidance, especially for those of us who question where Canada is going and how philanthropy fits into that picture.
One of my most inspiring mandates has been as the primary author of CFC's National Vital Signs series on Belonging, and it has been energizing to see this theme activated over the years, particularly at this national gathering. Rather than let it be just another report on the shelf, the community foundation network has sustained attention and deepened reflection on the key question: How can we create communities where we all belong?
Hands down, one of the best sessions at Belong2017 was the opening panel with Desmond Cole, Ratna Omidvar and Natan Obed (the panel starts at about 9:50). A senator, an activist-journalist and the national Inuit leader walk into a room - and the result is a deeply-needed shaking of the foundations of our national concept.
Listen to this, and all of the keynotes. Listen to them as podcasts on your commute to work. Turn them on instead of radio on Sunday morning. Let this moment of opportunity for transformation towards a more just society sink in.