Thinking Like a Movement Retreat


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Please note: this event is not yet scheduled.  Please email us to be added to the notification list for the next retreat.

Plan Institute is pleased to host our annual four-day learning opportunity with Canada’s leading experts in social innovation. 

Thinking Like A Movement (TLM) is led by Al Etmanski and Vickie Cammack together with expert special guests. Past keynotes have included Tim Draimin, Executive Director of Social Innovation Generation’s national office; Beth Haddon accomplished Canadian journalist and former broadcast executive with CBC and TVOntario; and Frances Westley of the University of Waterloo and JW McConnell Chair in Social Innovation.

Traditionally, TLM has been focused on learning how to sustain social innovation; reflect on deep patterns that lead to high impact social change; strategize around public policy and advocacy; invest in the creation of inclusive, caring communities; develop an understanding of whole system change; as well as to reflect on personal roles and responsibilities to create a vibrant learning community.

TLM is designed for social innovators in the not for profit, business, government and citizen sector who want to extend impact, durability and the scale of their work.

Past participants appreciated the sharing of ideas, learning new concepts, the opportunity for discussion as well as the time to re-charge. To quote one of the participants:

“I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to explore ideas and concepts that were new to me, for example Panarchy was fascinating.  To be in an intentionally thoughtful environment where ideas could be expressed without judgment (no right answers, only more questions) was an enriching experience.” - Past Participant

“Attending ‘Thinking Like a Movement’ was one of the best investments our organization have ever made. The four day retreat was worth more than a month of work time." - Past Participant

Fee: $1,600 per person (2016 special, regularly $1800)
Includes five star meals & villa accommodations, pre reading package, all learning materials, and training.
Location: Painted Boat Resort & Spa, Sunshine Coast
Dates: TBA
For more information or to join the notification list for this retreat, please email

Al Etmanski – Co-Founder PLAN and Partner-Social Innovation Generation 
Al is widely recognized as a visionary thinker in the areas of social policy, community development and individualized services for people with disabilities and is an author, advocacy consultant and social inventor. President and co-founder of Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network (PLAN), he led the successful campaign to establish the world’s first Registered Disability Savings Plan He is a founding member of the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation’s Social Innovation Generation. Elected as a global Ashoka Fellow in 2003, Al also holds a faculty position at John McKnight’s Asset Based Community Development Institute.
Vickie Cammack – President & CEO Tyze
Vickie is someone who finds and implements innovative solutions in the social sector. As the President and CEO of Tyze Personal Networks Vickie is a recognized Canadian source of inspiration and demonstrable solutions related to social networks, social innovation, citizenship and network models of care. Vickie is a Co-founder of Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network (PLAN), a pioneer social enterprise supporting families to secure the future of their family member with a disability. She created PLAN’s Personal Network program, a unique response to the isolation and loneliness experienced by people with disabilities and mentored the spread of grass roots PLAN groups in 40 locations globally.
Tim Draimin - Executive Director, Social Innovation Generation (SiG)
Tim is a leader in the non-profit sector having worked across Canada and internationally. Tim authored Canada’s first national study of social entrepreneurship and is a frequent advisor to government, as well as to nonprofit associations and leaders. Tim is a senior advisor to the new MaRS Centre for Impact Investing (CII). He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Grand Challenges Canada and of the Governance Strategy Council of the Institute on Governance. He has served on many international delegations and participated at UN prepcoms. He was the founding CEO of Tides Canada Foundation, which focuses on the environment and social justice. He was an advisor to Community Foundations of Canada’s Responsible Investing Pilot Project and a past board member of the Social Investment Organization (SIO).
Beth Haddon, Adjunct Professor in Masters of Journalism UBC 
Beth has held a range of senior broadcast positions including Managing Director English Programming at TV Ontario, Head of Current Affairs and Features Programming at CBC Radio, Ottawa Bureau Chief for CBC Television's The Journal, and Adjunct Professor in Masters of Journalism UBC. She's a past member of the Advisory Board of the Coady International Institute at St Francis Xavier University, a volunteer with "Equal Voice" and board member of the Canadian Journalism Foundation.
David Roche and Marlena Blavin 
David Roche is “a theater pioneer, a major contributor to the culture of disability. In his acclaimed one man show, The Church of 80% Sincerity, he weaves childhood memories, scars, dreams, desires and everyday human experiences into a brilliantly funny, moving and absolutely mesmerizing evening of theater.” Marlena Blavin is a professional speaker and performance storyteller and a founder of the Circle of Women performance storytelling group, in addition to having a thriving decades long practice in the healing arts. She is a certified Feldenkrais practitioner.