How To Be A Changemaker
By Mabe Kyle

Feb 7, 2024 | Rural Change Makers


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  1. Dream. Dream as big as you can while understanding your own limitations. Set a goal. Make a plan. Step by step lay it all out to understand the path you will travel down to succeed. Every success story began with a dream.
  2. Listen. Consult with those who are impacted in the greatest ways for they hold knowledge you cannot gain any other way than through lived experience. This will aid in coming up with tangible solutions. Ask plenty of questions and understand the people and what they say even when it may not be your own way.
  3. Collaborate. Form a team with whom you can carry out your dream. Ask people for help and give assistance so you can carry out your plan with sustenance. Know you cannot change the world on your own. Find a team who will help you plant the seeds and support you in ways you need. Don’t be afraid to lead.
  4. Create. Put your plan into action so you can start making an impact on your community. Try to make an effort and you will make change even if you hit a few roadblocks along the way.
  5. Persevere. Conflict is inevitable. Failures are bound to happen but it is from where you gain the biggest lessons. Continue even when the going gets tough and whatever you do don’t give up.
  6. Build. Expand. Grow. Figure out where else you want to go. Once you have gained traction. Keep your wheels in action.
  7. Sustain. Your practice cannot see gains if you burn out from the work you do. Don’t underestimate the importance of rest. Take care of your whole self and the ways you need to and don’t forget you can receive Community Care too.
  8. Express. Have gratitude for people, lessons, resources, and for yourself throughout this process. Make art with the supplies you have. Whether that be a leaf from a tree or through poetry. Find ways you can share all of your care you have gained from your journey. Reciprocate your love with your community.
  9. Evaluate. Circle back again to where and why you began. How did you get here? Accept feedback and figure out ways to implement it to continue to work towards Community betterment. What have you gained from your experience? What have you gave from the work you did? What are your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats? What would you do differently if you did it again? Remember to thank your team And throughout the whole process continue to dream.

Preliminary Findings

Diversity in Key Actors: Collaboration among private sector, local governments, provincial government, and federal government enhances solutions to labour shortages.

  • Titan Trailers: Cultural support boosts newcomer retention and local economy.
  • Dufferin County: Educational-local partnerships impact labour needs.
  • Western Ontario Wardens Caucus: Regional collaboration aids in overcoming labour challenges.
  • Rural Northern Immigration Pilot Programs and Upskill Canada: Innovative approaches to labour and economic growth through permanent residency facilitation and short-cycle training programs, respectively.

Next Steps

Over the next year research will continue to understand how rural workforce development initiatives are assisting rural communities and rural economies. Upcoming research activities will include continue analysis of innovative case studies, create innovative work force case studies, create online map of innovative work force case studies, conduct knowledge mobilization of findings, and conduct in-depth case studies to enhance the understanding and transferability of 2-3 innovative rural labour shortage strategies.

Blog Authors

Paul Sitsofe

Paul Sitsofe

Paul Sitsofe is a dedicated professional with a diverse background in social and community service, academic education, and practical experience. He is currently a Master of Planning, Rural Planning and Development student at the University of Guelph, where he is currently a graduate student research assistant, focusing on rural demographic shifts and innovative workforce development strategies.

Ryan Gibson

Ryan Gibson

Ryan is the Libro Professor in Regional Economic Development at the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development at the University of Guelph. This chair position was created through an endowment by Libro Credit Union and two University of Guelph donors.

Ryan also serves as the President of the Canadian Community Economic Development Network and a board member of the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation. 

Niju Mathews

Niju Mathews

Niju earned his Masters of science in rural planning and development at University of Guelph. As part of the Addressing Labour Shortages Through Newcomer Attraction Project Team, Niji has contributed to research and examination of current labour shortages being experienced in rural Ontario with an aim to identify potential solutions in the form of policy and practice.

For More Information

Please visit or contact:

Paul Sitsofe –

Niju Mathew –

Ryan Gibson –

Mabe Kyle

Maker of poetry, pottery, and photography who loves being creative. Adventurer who calls many places home across border lines. Builder of communities who enjoys being active. Embracing friends, family, and their neurodivergent mind. Keener for desserts served at every meal with the sweetest tooth you may find. Yearning for disability justice and liberation for the collective. Learning how to express gratitude and be kind. Embodying a life without binaries who is very introspective. Mabe Kyle is a disabled queer white settler who lives on their family’s farm on Anishnaabe, Haudenosaunee, and Attawandaron territory along the Haldimand Tract. They are a creative professional with a passion for healing and self expression who has practiced and honed their skills in six countries. With a strong foundation in social justice and leadership experiences, their open mindedness and active engagement in continued learning, enables them to have a unique perspective to problem solving and the development of communities. Mabe is currently an Expressive Arts Therapist in training and a peer support worker in practice.

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1 Comment

  1. Website Administrator

    Thank you Mabe for your generous spirit and being such a valuable member of the Rural Change Maker program. You inspire each of us with your creativity, thoughtfulness, commitment and passion. Can’t wait to celebrate your contributions to Brant County through your Pride initiative!

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