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Next Up gathering at Hollyhock, Cortes Island, BC 2013

Hello all and happy fall.

I hope that all of you are doing well.  I write this to you from Ottawa, heading a great day working with the group on a new Constellation of Change session. The last couple of months have been awesome – we completed selection and orientation in 5 cities and now have 5 cohorts of awesome across the country.

Our gathering in May was a time when, from the moment the ferry left the dock in Horseshoe Bay, every moment felt like an embodiment of the initial dream that helped to drive the formation of Next Up. One idea that drove our work was thinking that if we were serious about our ideas for social change, we needed to get serious about supporting, training and connecting next generation social change leaders across the country. With a new group in Ottawa and rumblings growing in other cities for programs and new partnerships – this is an amazing journey to be part of.

Where to now? Some neat stuff coming up: we have a 3-year capacity building grant from Vancity – thank you Vancity! This support is going towards a new database system, developing a monthly donor stewardship plan, admin support for the organization, and a few other core, not-terribly-flashy but absolutely essential background functions that will allow us to be better, smarter, faster than we were before.

There’s so much happening now that Next Up alum are involved with across the country, that it’s hard to capture all the amazing in one place – some things to look forward too:

A 5-day intensive Next Up program to be held in late spring in Saskatoon with First Nations, Metis and Inuit young people, promising discussions with folks in Inuvik and Winnipeg, Organize BC: a training partnership with several Environmental groups in BC, and much more.

That’s enough from us – thank you, all of you, for all that you do.

- Kevin Millsip