April 7, 2021
(Kjipuktuk) Louise Adongo has assumed the leadership of Inspiring Communities – a systems change-focused not-for-profit.
“I look forward to catalyzing and supporting social innovation and change efforts across Atlantic Canada,” said Louise. “The whole Inspiring Communities team, including nested initiatives in Digby, Northside Cape Breton and Dartmouth North, have built a solid foundation. The organization is ready to amplify those changes we’ve already seen, like increased collaboration, trust and engagement.”
“With the help of Placemaking 4G, we started recruiting a new leader in January,” said Joanne Linzey, Board Chair. “We had an overwhelming response, really top calibre candidates. Louise’s commitment to collaborative change, grounding in public policy, and willingness to take risks shone through.”
“We are excited to see what comes next,” added Joanne.
Louise worked with the provincial government in Nova Scotia developing public policy, and ran a consulting firm helping people address barriers to growth. She has been a director with CUA for six years and was a member of the strategic working group that developed the Participatory City Wije’winen initiative, Every One. Every Day. She has a science background including an MSc from Mount Allison and a Masters of Applied Health Services Research from Dalhousie University.
Louise takes over from Acting Executive Director Cari Patterson, who now resumes her role as Director of Research and Evaluation. Inspiring Communities’ last Executive Director was Annika Voltan who, in October, moved to the Community Sector Council of Nova Scotia.
“I know there will be a learning curve. I will be meeting with our team across Nova Scotia and throughout the region over the next few weeks,” said Louise. “We’ve got strategic planning on the horizon, and I anticipate building on the great work done by the previous leaders and the team at Inspiring Communities.”
Inspiring Communities provides backbone support to its nested initiatives, Turning the Tide in Digby; Between the Bridges in Dartmouth; and Northside Rising in Cape Breton. In partnership with GovLab, Inspiring Communities also nests the Nova Scotia Network for Social Change. Working in a collective impact framework, with partners, these initiatives have:
- Developed a new space for youth in Digby, along with new programs;
- Helped develop digital literacy programs in Dartmouth;
- Reached out to isolated community members during COVID in Digby;
- Promoted harm reduction initiatives among substance users in North Sydney and area;
- Hosted discussions delving into grief and loss during COVID, and change across generations.
Inspiring Communities is also active in developmental evaluation and learning. Some recent achievements include:
- Evaluation of the province’s poverty reduction projects and initiatives;
- Providing an evaluator for the Every One. Every Day. Participatory Cities initiative with the Mi’kmaq Native Friendship Centre; and
- Supporting the development of an evaluator for Choices for Youth in Newfoundland.
Through Wayside Learning Community and WeavEast, Inspiring Communities has worked to connect and nurture the social innovation ecosystem in Atlantic Canada, and recently offered education in mindfulness and collaboration.
Inspiring Communities is supported through grants from the Province of Nova Scotia, the Government of Canada, The McConnell Foundation, and Tamarack Institute, among others.