Early conversations to think about the school began in Fall 2011, and in February 2012 a small team with expertise in engagement, international development, and planning, was charged with managing the process to create a vision for the school. After 18 months of conversation, convening, and dialogue with local, national, and international community members about civil society and engagement, the visioning process for the School for Civil Society and Engagement is complete. Read below and click the links on the left sidebar to explore the process and final report.


Dialogue Goals:

Expand — Broaden our understanding of civil society.

Explore – Current and promising links between the university and civil society.

Engage — Engage contributors inside and outside the university to imagine the possibilities.

Here’s the process.

We’ve been talking to a lot of people, in the university, in our local community, and across the world.

We are asking ourselves and others to re-imagine the role of the university. Looking to the future, how can we make a difference in ways the world is likely to turn?

A small “catalyst” team has engaged convenors and facilitators to have conversations and gather advice.

Conversations about civil society and the university were hosted through the spring and summer. We captured much opinion about the directions we might take.  Community Conversations are now complete.

Practices in other places are being discovered and reviewed.

Here is a list of events and activities so far.

In early fall of 2012, we drew on these to set the bigger picture: values, directions, principles and potential partners.

The structure of the new school emerged in late fall 2012.

In January 2013, an open house was held to showcase the vision for the new school for civil society and engagement.

The proposal for the School for Civil Society and Engagement is now complete. Find out more about the new school!

For more information about civil society, read Perspectives on Civil Society by Adam Sneyd.

Re-imagining the role of the university bottom arrow

Dialogue goals

  • Broaden and deepen our and thinking on the meaning of civil society
  • Explore the linkages between the universities and civil society sectors
  • Engage university and civil society constituents in a process of imagining how the University of Guelph can move in a direction of greater engagement

Building Blocks of Civil Society