by Carly Foubert, CFICE Volunteer

Event attendees develop important connections during small group networking sessions at Carleton's Community Engagement event.

Event attendees develop important connections during small group networking sessions at Carleton’s Community Engagement event.

On Wednesday February 24, Carleton held its 4th Annual Community Engagement Event at the MacOdrum Library.  The event ran from nine to noon and was packed with presentations and speakers from a variety of disciplines and groups such as Hub Ottawa, Hidden Harvest, and the Faculty of Engineering.  Students, professors, and members from community organizations were invited to partake in discussions and networking sessions in order to connect with faculty and organizations regarding current research and project initiatives.

Peter Andrée, CFICE’s Principal Investigator, and Jason Garlough, Executive Director of the Ottawa Eco-Talent Network, presented on CFICE and building stronger community-campus partnerships.

With CFICE, Jason Garlough is on the community side of community-campus engagement (CCE) as a co-lead for the CCE Brokering Working group, which works to foster relationships between academics and the community at the national and local levels. In particular, Jason is involved with the development of an Ottawa brokerage platform that will build connections between Ottawa’s various post-secondary institutions and community organizations.

Jason Garlough presents on Ottawa's brokerage mechanism at Carleton's Community Engagement Event.

Jason Garlough presents on Ottawa’s brokerage mechanism at Carleton’s Community Engagement Event.

Jason described the importance of CCE as making the best use of existing and available resources. Often this implies finding the right people for the job and getting results that can be put to use and implemented in the community.

The Ottawa Eco-Talent Network is one of CFICE’s brokerage partners.  Peter Andrée describes the model they use as being unique from other models. “What’s so innovative about them is the whole mentoring piece. They often bring in retired skilled professionals to work with student groups to create stronger projects. That’s a model that I haven’t seen other people doing and if we can make that a core part of what the Ottawa brokering platform can help to facilitate, to not only connect students and faculty with community organizations but also with mentors, I think that’s really cool.”

Jason also discussed a number of other brokerage models and what they offer for the community and academics.

Peter Andree, CFICE PI, gives closing comments at Carleton's Community Engagement Event.

Peter Andree, CFICE PI, gives closing comments at Carleton’s Community Engagement Event.

By forming a number of brokerage partnerships in Ottawa CFICE hopes to establish a collective impact framework in order to implement research and connect post-secondary institutions to the community. FSG defines collective impact as organizations from different sectors working together to solve specific issues towards a common goal.

Although CFICE’s Ottawa brokerage platform is still in its early stages, the Annual Community Engagement Event plays a role in reaching that aim. After attending CFICE’s presentation, attendees can then gauge whether becoming a broker or a community partner is something that is of interest to them.

“If we bring the right stake holders around the table together and say how can we do this together, how we can envision it together, and build it together over time, and each of us can contribute what we can in terms of resources and capacity…in the end it’s not just a CIFCE project, but a collective one,” said Peter.

The event is also important in recognizing the community-engaged research that is going on at Carleton University, celebrating it, and sharing in the lessons, Peter says.

Carleton Community Engagement Event organizers give closing comments.

Carleton Community Engagement Event organizers give closing comments.