A resilient Chicago requires its residents to have clear lines of communication and engagement with its local government.
That was the feedback shared by the Chicago Sustainability Leaders Network (CSLN) policy team with a team of representatives from the City of Chicago Mayor’s Office across a series of roundtable meetings in 2017 and 2018. During those roundtables, the Chief Sustainability Officer shared an early working version of a resilience plan for the City of Chicago. Sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities initiative, the new plan sought to prepare Chicago for shocks and stresses that threaten both residents and the city at large.
The cultural landscape of Chicago is often described by its 77 community areas and 231 neighborhoods. The political landscape, however, is defined by its 50 wards, each represented by an elected alderperson who serves on the Chicago City Council, the City’s legislative body.
Even in the dead of winter, the warm and vibrant New Orleans was a breath of fresh air. Among the oldest cities in the country, New Orleans has a rich history of diverse cultural influences that infuse it with a particular energy—not unlike the rich and diverse group of facilitators that assembled there for this year’s ToP Network Annual Gathering.
Fourteen people sat calmly in a row, shoulder to shoulder, holding between them over 700 years of experience learning and leading in community development projects around the world. In the air between the fourteen and those who came to hear them speak hung the promise of fourteen stories. Among these stories was a spark of the collected wisdom that would eventually become the Institute of Cultural Affairs and its Technology of Participation (ToP) methods.
Within hours of breaking down and packing up the party lights, leftover food and drink, Polaroid pictures, flyers and banners, the praise began on social media. One member wrote on Facebook that the Fifth Anniversary Celebration of the Chicago Sustainability Leaders Network (CSLN) was “the best time I have had all year.” Another posted a photo captioned “What a terrific evening!! Loved the vibe, food, drinks and especially the people.” Additional praise came through word of mouth, with a newcomer remarking that the event “made my life” and a long-time member calling it “a dream come true.”
On November 30th, 2018, over 70 people gathered at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum to celebrate five years of community collaboration...