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Transforming Cities from Within (TCFW) is a space for ongoing learning, practicing, and connecting for innovators working in, with, and alongside complex challenges in the public sector such as climate change, systemic and structural oppression, ongoing colonization, and many others.

If we are to transform the stuck and problematic ways of being and doing in city work, then we must cultivate spaces to learn and practice new, alternative, resurgent and/or emergent ways. Grounded in foundations of collective thriving and ecosocial justice, we are lovingly committed to the slow, nurturing work that systems transformation asks of us, tending to relationships of care for ourselves, one another, our teams, our organizations, more-than-humans and future generations. Although our work largely focuses on cities, this work is also likely relevant to those working toward transformation from within stuck, legacy institutions of many other kinds. We warmly welcome you into this space to learn, practice, and try to do a little bit better every day, alongside us. 


TCFW was seeded on the unceded, unsurrendered, and ancestral homelands of the xwməθkwəyə̓m (Musqueam), Sḵwxw̱ú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation), səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil- Waututh) and shíshálh (Sechelt) peoples.


While working on social and ecological policy and planning in the City of Vancouver, we realized that there was a need to have different processes, frameworks, practices to work differently on complex challenges, and that current ways of working weren't leading to more transformative innovation. The Healthy City For All strategy made space and budget to spark the Solutions Lab, a social innovation lab inside the City. Launched in 2017, we worked on this for a few years - growing labs and a community of practice for City staff and community partners, while also engaging in applied and action research and building partnerships along the way.


In 2021, we experimented with scaling to more network oriented work with the Transforming Cities from Within Learning Journey and community of practice, made up of teams from 12 cities across Canada working on complex challenges at the intersection of climate, equity and decolonization. Since then, we have been continuing to explore how we can learn, stretch, scale, and nourish transformative innovation in the public sector across cities in North America. 



We are constantly evolving! Are you interested in consulting services, co-creating, resourcing or learning with us? Contact us.


Thank you to our project partners and funders!

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