To boldly go where no one has gone before

BY ROSALIND HO / FIFTH SPACE FELLOW

Fifth Space is such a totally new and untested project that InWithForward wants to have a way to capture what it feels like to be part of a Fifth Space problem-solving team and to document our learning process. So they asked me (Rosalind Ho, BACI) to be a Blogger for Fifth Space, and to spend some of my 20% time to take photos and write short pieces for the Fifth Space blog.

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What I love about Fifth Space so far is that we don’t just listen to lectures and take notes, but we are actually rolling up our sleeves and being actively involved in demonstrating new concepts and coming up with concrete ideas for change. Other Fifth Space Fellows are also really excited about being involved in this project and are enjoying the opportunity to think “outside the box”. One of my fellow team members, Rachel le Nobel (Simon Fraser Society), commented that “I like the opportunity to engage in a really creative process” and the chance to work on a project without having to worry about funding and other day-to-day limitations.

The various interview exercises that we Fifth Space fellows did were very popular with our members, as a creative and fun way to get started in a safe space. Both Carla Mandy (BACI) and I really enjoyed the interview exercise that we all did on Orientation Day, going around Douglas College to ask strangers about their eating habits. The lunchtime interview exercise on Feb. 3rd was also popular with all Fellows, and the different approaches to documenting our results – storytelling, a skit, a video replay – showcased the creative potential that we can harness to effect change by working together.

Carla, Rachel, and I are all part of team CARRA, which will be exploring the challenge that youth friendly employers are not employing youth with disabilities, and are therefore missing out on potential resources. To prepare for recruiting in the community next week, we did some role-play exercises, which really got our juices flowing and helped us to think about the assumptions and some potential responses that we will be dealing with next week. As we will be dealing with employers who are not at all related to social services, we will have to carefully consider how to approach these people who “don’t speak the same language that we do”.

Fifth Space is a truly dedicated time and space for Fellows from 3 different non-profit agencies to connect with each other and to work on a project that we are passionate about. We are all looking forward to working with a dynamic team of people to explore new ideas and “to boldly go where no one has gone before.”

I’m really looking forward to working with all of you! Stay tuned for more updates next week :)

-Rosalind Ho is one of 29 Fifth Space Fellows

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