Circle of Friends

By its very nature, the Philia Dialogue is a collaborative effort. Through dialogue and shared actions we work together with many individuals and organizations to enlarge our understanding of caring citizenship and to enable everyone's contribution. On this page we would like to introduce you to some of our family and friends.

The PLAN Family

Philia is an initiative of the PLAN Institute for Citizenship and Disability, which in turn grew out of the work of PLAN (Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network).

PLAN Institute for Citizenship and Disability
PLAN Institute was created by PLAN to respond to the burgeoning interest in PLAN's work. One of its primary functions is to nurture and mentor the development of family groups who want to establish an organization similiar to PLAN. Through policy reform, leadership development, social entrepreneurship, social network facilitation and dialogue, PLAN Institute's work is focused on connecting people, ideas and actions.

Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network (PLAN) is a registered charity created by and for families who have a relative with a disability. Its mission is to help families plan a good life for their relative with a disability, and to ensure a safe and secure future for the relative by supporting, monitoring and advocating for them when the parents are no longer able.

Fellow Travellers

The following are organizations with which we are connected by bonds of understanding and support. We are proud to acknowledge them as fellow travellers.

Ashoka Canada
Ashoka is a global organization that accelerates social change by investing in leading social entrepreneurs - extraordinary individuals with unprecedented ideas for change in their communities. It does this by electing them to Ashoka's global fellowship and supporting their work through all phases of their career. Since it began in 1982 Ashoka has invested in more than 1500 Ashoka Fellows in 53 countries. We are proud that Philia's executive director, Al Etmanski, was one of the first two Ashoka Fellows elected in Canada.

The Asset-Based Community Development Institute (ABCD)
ABCD was established in 1995 by the Community Development Program at Northwestern University's Institute for Policy Research. Building on 3 decades of community development research by John Kretzmann and John L. McKnight, ABCD challenges the traditional approach to solving urban problems by shifting the focus from neighbourhoods' needs and deficiencies to mobilizing community assets.

Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion (BACI)
BACI supports individuals with developmental disabilities in becoming fully participating members of their community, and in pursuing their interests and dreams. To this end, BACI provides a broad range of programs and services to over 600 individuals with disabilities and their families. Over the past 4 years BACI has worked to infuse Philia values and concepts throughout the organization, as well as into the wider community.

BC Co-operative Association (BCCA)
The BC Co-operative Association is an umbrella organization representing the co-op and credit union movement in BC. BCCA promotes co-ops as powerful tools for community control over local economies, and as key strategies for economic and social reform. A regional affiliate of the Canadian Co-operative Association, BCCA's mission is to promote the growth and development of the co-operative sector in BC.

Caledon Institute of Social Policy
The Caledon Institute is an independent social policy think tank based in Ottawa. Underlying Caledon's work is the quest for a new architecture of social policy, based on the belief that fundamental changes in the economy and society demand equally fundamental reforms to social programs. Caledon emphasizes the vital links between social and economic policy, and its proposals are based on what can be achieved.

Canadian Abilities Foundation
CAF was established in 1986 to provide an administrative framework for Abilities Magazine. Its activities have since expanded to include several published works, resources and activities, including the acclaimed Abilities Festival and Access Guide Canada. CAF provides information, inspiration and opportunity to Canadians with disabilities, their families, friends, and the entire spectrum of professionals working in their service.

Disability Foundation
The Disability Foundation was created to help people with significant disabilities achieve full citizenship in the community. It consists of six affiliated societies: BC Mobility Opportunities Society, ConnecTra Society, Disabled Independent Gardeners Association, Disabled Sailing Association, Tetra Society of North America, and Vancouver Adapted Music Society.

Inclusion Press
Inclusion Press is an independent Canadian publisher striving to produce readable, accessible, user-friendly books and resources about full inclusion in school, work, and community. Inclusion Press operates on the principle that inclusion is about all of us - about our abilities and gifts and how to share them - and it creates and shares, tools, resources and capacities so that all can live full lives.

L'Agora is the first virtual, interactive encyclopedia in the French language, and the first conceived entirely for the internet. Based in Quebec, the encyclopedia is divided into twelve categories from the arts to the sciences, from the divine to the human, each containing a wealth of information, opinion, research and related links. L'Agora also publishes a magazine that is available in print and on-line.

L'Arche and L'Arche Canada
L'Arche is an international network of faith-based communities creating homes and day programs with people who have developmental disabilities. Founded by Jean Vanier in 1964 in France, L'Arche is now a world-wide organization with over 130 communities on five continents, 26 of them in Canada. It welcomes people from many different faith traditions, as well as people with no formal religious affiliation.

The J. W. McConnell Family Foundation
The McConnell Foundation funds national initiatives that address challenges for Canadian society by engaging people, building resilient communities and developing a strong knowledge base. The Foundation's focus is primarily on initiatives that directly strengthen communities and build bridges between sectors, and it seeks to help organizations achieve long-term systemic change. The McConnell Foundation has been a long-time supporter of Philia, for which we are deeply grateful.

National Coalition on Dialogue and Deliberation (NCDD)
NCDD is a network of nearly 300 organizations (including Philia) that believe that elevating the quality of thinking and communication among citizens is key to solving humanity's  most pressing problems. NCDD members are committed to dialogue as a process for increasing political awareness, social capital and civic engagement, fostering collaboration, and building understanding and cohesion in the dialogue community.

Resilience Alliance
The Resilience Alliance is a research organization that explores the dynamics of complex adaptive systems to discover foundations for sustainability. Through an international program connecting regional case studies with theory development, the RA strives to provide novel solutions to managing resilience and coping with change, uncertainty, and surprise in complex social-ecological systems.

Simon Fraser University Dialogue Programs
Through research projects, educational programs, consultations and planning activities, SFU's Dialogue Programs offers expertise to diverse organizations, communities and individuals on the use of dialogue-based inquiry for the exploration and understanding of complex public issues. View their 2002-2004 Biennial Report here (PDF, 2.5MB).

The Society for Disability Arts and Culture (S4DAC)
S4DAC was incorporated in 1998 to present and produce works by artists with disabilities, to promote artistic excellence among artists with disabilities, and to provide opportunities for their development. S4DAC is known best for kickstART!, a four-day visual arts, dance, comedy and theatre fest embracing local and international talent from a broad range of disabilities.

Tamarack - An Institute for Community Engagement
Tamarack is dedicated to helping Canadian communities take ownership of local issues by using proven strategies for community engagement. Through work with local organizations, Tamarack seeks out and encourages citizens to build communities that are caring, prosperous and healthy. Tamarack is currently co-leading Vibrant Communities, a national movement for change on poverty reduction.

Vanier Institute of the Family
The Vanier Institute of the Family is a national charitable organization dedicated to promoting the well-being of Canadian families. An acknowledged leader on issues affecting families, the Institute advocates on behalf of Canada's 7.8 million families from the point of view that families are the key building block of society and that every Canadian is included in their context.

World Accessibility
World Accessibility is a unique portal through which to access information, contact people, locate providers, learn about events, and find relevant products and services. Its mission is to create an inclusive environment within which everyone can communicate efficiently and effectively regardless of ability.

The World Café
The World Café fosters collaborative dialogue by creating focused networks of conversation around "questions that matter" in a hospitable and welcoming space. Designed on the assumption that people already have within them the wisdom to confront challenges, café conversations enable people to think together, create shared meaning, strengthen community and ignite innovation.