CiU Initiatives

The Change it Up Initiative has three distinct components.

  1. One is the actual, on-the-ground Change it Up programs that we (and other organizations) have run with youth or adults in communities across Canada. Things like employment training in various sectors, foundational skills programs, and College preparation courses. We started this work with First Nations communities in Alberta in 2009. The approach and content came out of a multi-year research project looking at educational change and ways to support powerful learning and growth that’s aligned with how humans learn best.

  3. Out of those on-the-ground programs, we developed the second component of Change it Up – a base curriculum for personal development and soft skill growth that we have used in all of our programs, no matter what sector or type of training we were running. This was developed because we saw that the biggest barriers learners had in keeping employment or getting to the next step in their journey was often around behaviours and mindset.

  5. The third component of Change it Up is the Professional Development. As we tried to expand the CiU initiative, we realized that facilitators needed support in delivering the workshop materials and in really understanding the approach. We ran a Pilot Project for the P.D. in 2019, working mostly with organizations who supported Indigenous peoples and word quickly spread. Soon we had demand from many different types of organizations that supported learning and growth in diverse settings. Our results were so powerful, we secured federal funding in 2022 to offer the training across Canada to individuals working with marginalized populations. Over the past 4 years we’ve had large numbers of participants who are social workers, counsellors, employment service workers, and people who run training for all kinds of diverse groups and individuals. This works because the material in the training program is not content specific. It’s not about ‘What’ you are teaching, it’s about ‘How’ you are approaching facilitating the delivery of the learning material.