It is clear that the kind of work that we need to do is not superficial, and means enduring changes in our attitudes and perspectives, as well as our skills. It is hard work that requires us to take risks. Some have noted that in the past several decades many Canadians participated in transformative learning through their unions and faith-based groups. These spaces are becoming less central in many people’s lives, and have not yet been replaced by other spaces where deeper conversations and transformative experiences can happen.
We need to find a balance between this transformative, in-depth level of engagement and dialogue and the briefer, large scale engagement that will often serve as entry points for people. Both are essential in our public engagement.
However, sometimes the paths that people can take from our short-term engagements into deeper engagements are not clear. Think about how your public engagement can build or support the spaces and opportunities for deeper engagement that are necessary for transformative change. One of the key lessons is that not all of us need to do everything. Some organizations may be stronger in organizing short-term, broad-based engagements, and others in more intensive engagements. How do we work together?