Our Story

Our Vision

Equitable, thriving communities built on fundamentally reimagined systems.

Our Mission

To achieve our goal of equity, we will innovatively connect communities, create collaborative partnerships, measure our impact and maintain a strong and sustainable core.

Our Strategic Directions

Our four Strategic Priorities are to: 

  • Strengthen Community Connections, 
  • Build On our Collaboration Success, 
  • Demonstrate our Impact Clearly, and 
  • Model Equitable, Efficient & Sustainable Processes.

Read our Strategic Directions 2022 document here.

Our History

Collaboration and innovation are in our DNA. 

Inspiring Communities was founded in 2018, but the work began earlier when a group of visionaries within government asked, “How can we show up differently in community?”

The initial mandate of Inspiring Communities was to develop collaborative community building initiatives in two rural areas using the Collective Impact framework. These are now known as Northside Rising and Turning the TideBetween the Bridges in Dartmouth North, another existing collective impact initiative that had emerged from the same source a bit earlier, joined Inspiring Communities in 2019.

Our founders recognized the need to work across departments and specialty areas to tackle complex social issues and to find new ways of working within communities to build trust and find new solutions.

We hold a vision of building relationships, skills and experimentation to change systems rooted in inequity. Broken systems are a barrier to making an impact on longstanding challenges.

Inspiring Communities Staff, 2022

We are now involved in a range of projects and experiments to support this vision. Highlights are captured below:  

our inception | community-level collective impact initiatives in Digby and on the Northside of Cape Breton were instigated to try a new way of approaching systems change.  

how we first grew | Dartmouth North collective impact initiative Between the Bridges joined us, bringing more insight and capacity for impact into our collaborative structure.

how we reach out across the region | we fostered an Atlantic-wide network of changemakers through WeavEast, and now through the Atlantic Changemakers Council.

how we build evaluative capacity | we created a network of Developmental Evaluators across the region, and are collaborating with the Canadian Evaluation Society of Nova Scotia.

how we partner | we are collaborating to host the Art of City Building 2022; and we are partnering with ARAISA to share our knowledge of social innovation tools and methods with staff of immigrant serving agencies with the goal of building a sense of belonging for newcomers.

how we learn | we continue to refine our approach to learning, by jointly reflecting on our evaluation and work, and sharing our insights regionally and nationally.

how we are supported | a group of provincial deputy ministers collaborates on our unusual cross-department funding; we also receive support from foundations and grantmakers committed to social innovation.