What We Do

Learn. Connect. Act.


Civics Boot Camp explains the role of key civil society organizations, outlines the essentials of the civic engagement process, and encourages teams to test their skills as agents of change.

Parties with Purpose bring people together around an issue, idea or tool and give everyone an opportunity to walk away knowing a little more about what they can do to advance their ideas … with a bit of a party, of course!

Group Animations help institutions better leverage the value of engaging citizens and others into sustainable and more effective business decisions. Organizations will leave with tools and methods to help you design and practice meaningful engagement.


Citizen Chats provide a structure for hosting citizen chats in neighbourhoods. We offer tutoring in new processes of engagement for neighbours, community associations, and others to help them replace adversarial styles with collaborative learning and acting at a neighbourhood level.

Not Your Dinner Table Discussions allow for people of all backgrounds, stakes and appreciations for a common issue to come together and co-create solutions. Joining a conversation with a diversity of citizen voices and lived experiences can help us see things from a different perspective, spur innovative thinking and share ownership of making things happen at a city-wide level.


Project GO provides learning and mentorship for small civic groups already working to turn their idea into reality. Community initiatives may apply for a 6- month program where they will have regular access to a team of experts who will provide ongoing support, skills, and advice tailored to your needs.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Email this to someonePin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
Why We Do It

More and more, cities are where we make our homes. And for us, we want Ottawa to be as great a city as possible for all its citizens. To create that kind of great city, involved citizens are essential – people who are passionate about their community and are willing to step up and make a difference, whether it’s for our streets, our neighbourhoods, or the city itself.

Ottawa – like any growing city – is becoming more complex. Well-intentioned citizens sometimes need help determining how to transform their great ideas to action, and need ongoing support to see it through.

By providing this helping hand, Citizens Academy creates a space for citizens’ energy, creativity and insight. Grassroots innovation flourishes. Change becomes a collaborative affair that is driven by the needs of those it’s meant to serve.

We can work together to solve our most pressing problems, and “together” is what’s required. The complex challenges facing Ottawa can’t be addressed by any one organization or any one sector. We have to be all in – business, government, civic organizations – and Citizens Academy serves to ready all actors to be able to invigorate those conversations.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Email this to someonePin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
Who Benefits from working with Citizens Academy?

Individuals learn new skills, gain confidence and discover empathy. We feel like we belong. We feel respected and in turn treat others with greater respect. All these things enhance our quality of life. We are more informed voters, we take greater ownership for their community, and we share responsibility for action. We feel confident to lead.

Institutions challenge status quo thinking and can challenge underpinning assumptions. Organizations reduce isolation and groupthink as understanding and empathy increases. Conflict is reduced, ideas are more innovative, and decisions are better supported and more sustainable, creating better outcomes.

Society is enriched through increased trust and social capital. Society is more willing to share successes and failures, increasing efficacy and consuming fewer resources. Civic attachment positively correlates with the pace of economic growth.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Email this to someonePin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit