How does change happen? Students in the Art of Change set out to investigate this question while connecting the theories of change and systems thinking with real-world practice. A key component of the course is the Art of Change podcast, which was produced with funding support from the province of Ontario’s eCampusOntario Virtual Learning Strategy. The podcast is centered around the voices of change-agents in Hamilton and beyond, and introduces students to case studies that highlight the tools and skills needed to support change at individual, systems, and organizational levels. The course and podcast are centered around, but not limited to, themes and topics related to the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, truth and reconciliation, infrastructure and housing, as well as equity, diversity and inclusion.
CALL FOR EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST: Winter 2023 Project call
Submit your ideas by January 13, 2023
During the second half of the course—late February to early April 2023—students will be working in small project teams to explore an issue related to civic engagement in Hamilton. Our team is currently seeking to partner with groups or organizations that are seeking to make change on an issue in Hamilton.
Information Box Group
This interdisciplinary course will equip students with the skills and tools they need to support and lead change-based initiatives for a better world. Building on foundational principles of community engagement, students will learn about theories of change, systems thinking, organizational theory and structures, and facilitation techniques and tools used to support community change.
Case studies of real-life change initiatives will ground these theories in real-life contexts that help students to understand both how change happens and how individuals can make change when tackling real-world issues. Students will also be provided with an opportunity to work with the Office of Community Engagement on a collaborative project that applies learning towards a real-life community issue.
Winter 2023 Course Outline
Winter 2022 Projects
Project Team 1: Inclusionary Zoning & Transit Oriented Development
Exploring municipal and provincial levers to advance inclusion of affordable housing policies into plans for the Hamilton Light Rail Transit corridor.
This work would align with the Hamilton Community Benefits Network.
Project Partner: Karl Andrus
Students: Amandeep Saini, Hartley Kostrzewa, Summer Akhtar, Ali Siddiqui, Raagavi Ramenthiran
Project Team 2: Intensification and Affordable Housing
Increasing the Spectrum of Housing Choices: Building on outcomes of the Stop the Sprawl movement, this work would focus on identifying levers required to broaden the spectrum of housing options as Hamilton increases density targets. This could also involve exploring opportunities to educate the public on what these options are.
This work would align with Environment Hamilton.
Project Partner: Lynda Lukasik
Students: Kailey Cutillo, Ardyn Gibbs, Thalia Thompson, Zoe Ullyett, Rachel Carson
Project Team 3: Housing Displacement and Supply
How do we prevent people who are in precarious housing circumstances from being displaced? As housing options in the region become increasingly expensive, how might we preserve affordable housing stock?
This work would align with Acorn Hamilton.
Project Partner: Olivia O’Connor
Students: Kemi Adesina, Alysha Birdi, Victoria Sawicki, Victoria Iro, Mar Tut, Vithuyan Sugumar
Project Team 4: Amenities and Wrap Around Services
What supports are required for people living in affordable housing units with regards to support services and amenities? What barriers do people face and how might these be removed? What are the unique barriers that specific communities and/or marginalized groups face in relation housing?
Project Partner: Violetta Nikolskaya (YWCA), Kirstin Webb (UWHH)
Students: Bianca Mancino, Sharon Lim, Nicole Schandl, Arden Jacoby, Katelyn Curkan
Information Box Group
What is The Art of Change? In this introductory episode, the instructional team sits down to talk about zoom meetings, Trello boards, and the development of The Art of Change course and podcast.
How does change happen within and outside of organizations? In Episode 2, Maureen Wilson and Ryan McGreal reflect on the time needed for change to occur in the context of Hamilton’s Light Rail Transit (LRT) project. Then, Karl Andrus speaks about the power of community in voicing change through community benefits.
How can the Just Recovery model be used to influence change? In Episode 3, Kim Martin, Lynda Lukasik, and Kojo Damptey speak about their work with Just Recovery Hamilton: a coalition of 11 community organizations in Hamilton, Ontario that formed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic changed how we think about and use public space? In Episode 4, Jason Cassis discusses Hamilton’s pandemic patio program and the seasonal pedestrianization of King William Street. Then, Koubra Haggar and Merima Menzildzic speak about their work with the Hamilton Encampment Support Network and the City of Hamilton’s response to encampments in public parks during the COVID-19 pandemic.
How have individuals and organizations approached the ‘wicked’ problem of housing affordability? In Episode 5, Nrinder Nann and Medora Uppal speak about their work to tackle the supply side of housing affordability with the Hamilton is Home coalition. Then, Calogero Mattina describes how Hamilton’s Community Land Trust is working to address the challenge of perpetual affordability.
What’s the role of activism in changemaking processes? In Episode 6, Don McLean and Michael Doxtater reflect on their experiences with activism in Hamilton’s Red Hill Valley. Shifting to contemporary efforts, Lilly Noble discusses activism in the context of Hamilton’s proposed urban boundary expansion.
How can policymaking be used to address climate change? In Episode 7, Catherine McKenna reflects on her work negotiating federal climate targets and action plans as Canada’s former Minister of Environment and Climate Change. Then, Carole Saab discusses the role of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities in advancing intergovernmental conversations about climate policy.
How have individuals and coalitions advanced equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) at McMaster University? Episode 8 is Part 1 of a 2-part series about organizational change. In Part 1, Dr. Ameil Joseph shares his experience advocating for change with respect to EDI at McMaster as part of groups such as PACBIC and ACFAM.
How have individuals and coalitions advanced equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) at McMaster University? Episode 9 is Part 2 of a 2-part series about organizational change. In Part 2, Dr. Arig al Shaibah speaks about the importance of action planning and fostering hope when advancing organizational change. Then, May-Marie Duwai-Sowa discusses the role of data collection in organizational change processes.
What projects have students been championing in the Art of Change course? Episode 10 is a course-update, as students from the Art of Change course join community partners from the Just Recovery Hamilton Coalition to speak about their work planning a dialogue on the topic of housing.
How is visual art implicated in social, political, and personal change processes? In episode 11, artist and educator Hiba Abdallah speaks about the role of public art in challenging perspectives, building community, and poking at systems.
How have Indigenous leaders approached social and political changemaking? Episode 12 is Part 1 of a two-part series. In Part 1, Jordan Carrier reflects on how different aspects of her identity as a mom, a Plains Cree woman, a caretaker, a learner, a teacher, and more, factor into her work as a community organizer who is committed to passing lessons of advocacy and social justice on to future generations.
How have Indigenous leaders approached social and political changemaking? Episode 13 is Part 2 of a two-part series. In Part 2, Mumilaaq Qaqqaq reflects on the opportunities and challenges that she experienced as young, Inuk woman representing Nunavut as a Member of Parliament.
What happens next? In Episode 14, activists, academics, policy makers, and community organizers share advice to students seeking to make change in their communities. Don’t forget to check-out the Changemaking Toolkit Document, which includes a list of resources recommended by podcast guests.
What have students learned in the Art of Change course? Episode 15 is a reflective conversation that was recorded in April 2022 during the final Art of Change class. In this episode, students discuss skills they have gained through the course, aspects of the project work that surprised them, and advice that they might give to other students seeking to make change in their communities.
What projects have students worked on in the Art of Change course? Episode 16 is a discussion with students and Just Recovery Coalition partners about the outcomes of their project work in the Art of Change course.