Creating a Brave Space

At CANSEE 2019, we hope to build a space that enables us to have deep and honest conversations about creating societal change. This will likely bring up some sensitive topics. To uphold our commitments to diversity and inclusion, we seek to avoid continuing and replicating patterns of colonization, patriarchy, racism, trans- and homophobia, classism, and marginalization or oppression in general.


We aim to foster a brave space where everyone feels valued and accepted for who they are. This will require the participation of all involved.


Acknowledging our privileges and taking responsibility for change is often uncomfortable, but this can also be productive. We won’t all feel comfortable at all times–and that is okay! Engaging economies of change will require us to think disruptively and get outside of our comfort zones.   Still, we must foster and protect a space where everyone feels welcome, included, valued, and safe. Our goal is that everyone, regardless of who they are, feels uncomfortable a similar amount over the course of the event.


To accomplish this, we need your help. Together, we are drafting a set of community guidelines that will be used to enhance our engagement at the conference. We are suggesting we start with the following guidelines.
– Always speak, and listen, with respect
– Consider and value other people’s perspectives and opinions
– Listen carefully at all times: we all have something to learn
– Be careful with the time you occupy, make sure to keep space for others
– Acknowledge your intentions and impact
– Exercise compassion in challenging others’ ideas and welcome feedback  


This is a starting place: we want to build this collectively. Please take some time to reflect the following questions before the conference, and provide input on the registration form, and at the conference.
– What rules would you like everyone to be following at the conference?
– When you are at your best at a conference, what guidelines or principles determine your behaviour?
– How is respect best shown to fellow participants?
– What conditions make you feel safe and comfortable to participate?
– What sort of facilitation is important to you during Q&A?
– How can we respectfully ask for the space we need during conversations?
– How can we make participants feel valued?