Scale Your Impact: Community Systems Change 9-Month Certificate

Aug 20, 2021 | News & Announcements

Systemic racism, a global pandemic, poverty, homelessness, gentrification, social isolation, limited funding models, overstretched service models. These are just some of the big issues facing the neighbourhood of Renfrew-Collingwood and beyond. They are big complex issues that require creative and innovative responses that get at the root of the issues. They require a new form of leadership and collaboration that can transform the mindsets, culture, and systems that keep these problems in place. As a neighbourhood with a thriving nonprofit sector, creative arts community, and mobilized residents, Renfrew-Collingwood is uniquely positioned to demonstrate a new way to create lasting change.

Scale Your Impact: Community Systems Change Certificate is a community-based certificate that draws on the strengths of the neighbourhood by bringing together community partners, leaders, artists, and others who are working to make this a thriving neighbourhood.

Through this 9-month certificate, participants have the opportunity to learn with a cohort about how to get at the root issues of the problems they are working on to create lasting change, while increasing their leadership and facilitation capacities. Through the curriculum, participants develop a toolbox of innovative methods and collaborate with other inspiring leaders to impact change.

Through Scale your Impact, you will:
Understand the big systems you are working in and where the leverage points for change are
•Get at the root causes of big issues such as systemic racism, homelessness, climate change, and more
•Use human-centred design tools and other innovative methods to increase creativity and idea generation
•Understand why self-awareness is a necessary part of effective social innovation
•Engage creative and adaptive leadership to leverage change in the issues you care about
•Increase your capacity to communicate and collaborate, in particular across difference
•Build bridges and create safe spaces across diverse people, communities, cultures, sectors, and silos.

When? September 2021 to June 2022 (8 half-day sessions monthly on Fridays from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm)

  • 8 half-day workshops
  • Monthly Community of Practice online gathering
  • Peer learning opportunities
  • 1-1 coaching session
  • Applied learning projects, supported by a Systems Change Small Grant


  • Connectors and leaders in Renfrew Collingwood
  • Community partners and non-profit staff
  • Artists
  • Business people
  • Students and educators
  • Anyone interested in amplifying systems change

Where? CNH Annex (3690 Vanness Ave) and online

About the program

Over the 8 sessions, we will cover a broad curriculum that will allow you to better tackle the big complex problems you are working on. Your learning will be supported by a monthly online meeting of a Community of Practice where you can deepen your learning and bring forward questions you are working with. You will also have the opportunity to workshop the big problems you are working on, and will have the opportunity to work in peer learning groups and with a 1-1 with a coach who can support you to deepen your impact. There will also be small grants available to support a project or intervention to make change around a problem you are working on.

All workshop sessions take place on Fridays from 8:30am-12:30pm on the following dates:
Session 1 (Oct 1): Intro to social innovation and systems thinking
Session 2 (Nov 5): Collaboration and communication
Session 3 (Dec 3): Creatively intervening in a system
Session 4 (Jan 28): Self in the system – adaptive leadership for impact
Session 5 (Mar 4): Diversity, equity, and power in systems
Session 6 (Apr 8): Resilience, anti-fragility, and care of the self
Session 7 (May 13): Increasing, scaling, and evaluating impact
Session 8 (Jun 17): Reflection, integration, and celebration

**Please note that the program is planned for in-person but may need to move online depending on the context.**

**The time commitment for this program is approximately 8 hours per month. You must attend all sessions in order to be eligible for the certificate.**


Scale your Impact is a free program with the generous support of the Vancouver Foundation. There is a maximum of 24 participants in this program, and seats in the program are secured through a simple application process. To apply for the program, please go HERE to submit your application.

Given the limited spots in the program, we encourage you to apply early to save your seat. Please note that we are only able to accept a maximum of 4 people per organization due to size limits.

For more information, email Lisa Gibson at or Maria dela Cruz at

About the instructors

Lisa Gibson (she/her) is a facilitator, coach and systems change consultant. She specializes in helping people and groups bring their whole hearts forward in creating a more just, caring, and sustainable world. With over 20 years experience in local and international work at multiple scales, she specializes in working with individuals, organizations, and communities to embed systemic change, transform belief systems, and construct alliances across diversity. Lisa is a founding instructor of the Scale Your Impact Certificate and of Simon Fraser
University’s Social Innovation Certificate program. She lives with her family on the unceded ancestral Coast Salish lands of the əsəlil̓wətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), Xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), & Sḵwx̱wú7meshsi (Squamish) Nations.

Maria dela Cruz (siya/she/they) is a Systems Change Community Developer with CNH; a trauma informed decolonizing anti-oppression certified executive coach and facilitator; a peacemaking circle practitioner; and a founding member of the Fierce Filipinx Femmes Ancestral Circle (FFFAC), on the unceded sacred ancestral territories of the Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam) First Nations. Maria is the Vice President of the board of directors of WAVAW as well as her co-operative housing board. She also provides sliding scale or pro bono coaching and leadership empowerment to women, femmes, and youth in transition.


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