Graphic illustration with a man holding an oversized cog attached to a bigger cog, a women holding a loudspeaker and a woman on a laptop.

Applications open for Community Systems Change Certificate

Do you want to learn how to be a stronger community leader? Do you want to learn community development in a creative and academic setting? Collingwood Neighbourhood House’s (CNH) Community Development department is launching the second cohort of the Scale Your Impact: Community Systems Change Certificate. 

This is a free certificate program open to changemakers in the Renfrew-Collingwood community. This program brings together community partners, leaders, artists, and volunteers who are working to improve their community. Participants have the opportunity to learn with a cohort about systems change and how to get at the root issues of problems they are working on to create lasting change.

Classes will begin on Sept. 25, 2020 and will take place in person or online.

An application process is required and space is limited. We recommend applying early to secure a spot with applications due on Sept. 5, 2020. To download an information page with dates and registration information, click here.

About the program

Over the eight sessions, we will cover a broad curriculum that will allow you to solve community-based problems. We will discuss systems thinking, human-centred design, equity and collaboration. You will have the opportunity to work 1-1 with a coach who can support you to deepen your impact and there will also be small grants available to support a project to make change around a problem you are working on in your community.

Scale your Impact will teach you:

• How to understand the big systems you are working in and where the leverage points for change are

• How to get at the root causes of big issues such as systemic racism, homelessness, climate change and more

• How to use human-centred design tools and other innovative methods to increase creativity and idea generation

• Why self-awareness is a necessary part of effective social innovation

• How to create innovative teams and collaborations

• How to write better grants and effectively evaluate the impact of your work

Important dates

Sept. 5, 2020: Applications due
Sept. 25, 2020: Program begins (8 half-day sessions monthly, Fridays from 8:30 am-12:30 pm)

Session dates

Session 1 (Sept 25): Intro to social innovation and systems thinking
Session 2 (Oct 30): Collaboration and communication
Session 3 (Nov 27): Self in the system – adaptive leadership for impact
Session 4 (Jan 29): Anti-racism, equity, and Truth and Reconciliation
Session 5 (Mar 5): Leverage points – how to intervene in a system
Session 6 (Apr 9): Resilience, anti-fragility and collective change
Session 7 (May 7): Evaluation – developmental evaluation, collective impact
Session 8 (Jun 4): Wrap up, integration and celebration


Scale your Impact is a free program with the generous support of the Vancouver Foundation. There is a maximum of 20 participants in this
program, and seats in the program are secured through a simple application process.

To apply for the program, please fill out an application form. 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.

About the instructors

Lisa Gibson 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 of 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 has worked with Collingwood Neighbourhood House for over 10 years, and teaches in SFU’s Social Innovation Certificate program.

Crecien Bencio is a community developer at Collingwood Neighbourhood House. For the past 8 years, he coordinates a variety of creative initiatives and he collaborates with neighbours to bring beauty to the community by painting murals, sharing recipes and writing stories. He is a long time resident of Renfrew-Collingwood and is passionate about the arts, Japanese animation and travelling to faraway places. Currently, he is working towards an Asian Studies degree at Langara College.