In SCI

One year after Reilly Yeo presented a challenge as a Case Study at SCI, we caught up with her over the annual oyster BBQ to reflect on what’s changed for her and her work.

OpenMedia.ca is a small team looking to make a big impact by safeguarding the possibility of an open Internet. Despite digital policy issues having the potential to be prohibitively complex, they coordinated the largest online campaign in Canadian history, Stop The Meter, making them as engaging as they are relevant.

As Community Engagement Specialist for the organization, Reilly clearly knows how to get people involved – no small feat in a crowded digital world. Yet despite their successes, she still ceased the opportunity to be a SCI case study.

“It’s a chance to showcase your organization and tell a story to lots of knowledgeable people and what makes you unique.”

Case studies are at the heart of the Hollyhock Leadership Institute, emphasizing peer learning by having 3 organizations per conference share a key challenge to the group. A small panel of experts then facilitates questions from the audience, providing guidance and feedback.

Perhaps her experience working with citizen-driven campaigns made her so receptive to the feedback and process from the case study model, which Reilly says was extremely helpful – not just in receiving feedback from the community but in preparing for it as a team beforehand. The practice of creating a clear challenge, speaking to a broad (yet experienced) community, and stating a complex issue clearly helped Reilly “get the team on the same page.”

She even recommends practicing that model outside of the SCI community, as something she credits helping make OpenMedia.ca standout.

“There’s a systemic perspective that you get here… We are (now) recognized as a place in this progressive landscape.”

One thing is for sure, Reilly’s work continues to resonate because of its significance to our community, which increasingly includes the use of digital strategy. To keep on top of the issues OpenMedia.ca works on and how it might impact you, including Canadian wireless prices being amongst the highest in the world, the threat the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement is to small telecom and web providers and a democratic internet, or coverage of the online spying bill, C-13, follow their work online or on Twitter: @OpenMedia_ca

Social Change Institute is part of the Hollyhock Leadership Institute and takes place at Hollyhock, on Cortes Island, each June.