Getting to Maybe: A Systems Leadership Residency at the Banff Centre

The Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity is bringing back the program ‘Getting to Maybe: A Systems Leadership Residency.’ Applications are open until January 28, 2020 for candidates across Canada. Learn more at Banff Centre’s website.

After four successful editions between 2015 and 2018, ‘Getting to Maybe’ returns in 2020 with a renewed approach and methodology. The 11-day residency is being designed specifically for people working on complex social and environmental problems in communities across the country.

The program will support participants in learning more about themselves and how they might positively impact systemic challenges. “There’s a lot of individual work around the beliefs, values, assumptions, passion, calling, and what that all means for our own motivation, goals, and what we’re working for in the world,’ says Cheryl Rose, a member of the program’s faculty.

What is new in 2020

Building off of the success of the first four editions, 2020’s residency was designed with a new approach that looks towards the future of the program, and the future of social innovation in Canada as a whole. “It’s a mix of different types of curriculum and pedagogy. This time we’re reflecting on the experience of different folks, including Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC),” says Melanie Goodchild, another member of the program’s faculty.

Melanie is the founder of the Turtle Island Institute, an Indigenous social innovation “think and do tank” that supports Indigenous changemakers. She was also a participant in the first edition of the program and saw first-hand what was valuable and also what could be improved. “This new version is being built as a circle of learning, where the delivery team is in the circle with everybody else, and we’re co-creating this learning journey together,” she says.

The new team also includes Syrus Marcus Ware, a community activist, visual artist, researcher, youth-advocate, and educator. His research focuses on the experiences of racialized, disabled artists in contemporary art environments. “Together with Cheryl Rose and Julian Norris—who have been a part of the faculty team for the first four years—Syrus and I bring a new perspective to the program,” explains Melanie.

With Syrus on board, the program will also have a bigger emphasis on art as a method for social mobilization. “We want to think about how to work with artists and arts organizations to amplify the efforts of the social innovators, to spark their imagination and to help show us the way forward,” says Cheryl.

Who should apply?

Getting to Maybe will best serve individuals from any sector who have experience working for positive change on complex, systemic problems. “It’s a best fit for someone who’s been out there, working on things, experimenting. It’s for those who understand the contexts and how difficult it is to make change,” Cheryl explains.

The Banff Centre welcomes applications from a diverse group of individuals, organizations, and communities who are working passionately for positive change, including BIPOC innovators, non-binary innovators, and innovators with disabilities experience.

All of the selected participants will receive a full scholarship supported by the Suncor Energy Foundation that covers tuition, accommodation, meals, and applicable taxes.

Learn more about this program during the faculty-hosted webinar taking place this Thursday, January 16 at 2 p.m. MST. To participate, join the Zoom Meeting:

Find more information about the program and how to apply on The Banff Centre’s website. Applications are open until January 28, 2020.

Photo by Joe McKay.


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